Monday, 26 July 2010

Estonia meets the Mohave desert - or the aeolian shawl

A seemingly odd combination, until you read Elizabeth Freeman's lovely description of the desert influences on her pattern. The piece pinned out above shows yucca, the first of the patterns in the shawl.

This was another one of those patterns that I knew I wanted to knit as soon as I saw it, and that was mostly because I wanted the experience of knitting it. I mean I want the finished article as well, but it's becoming increasingly obvious to me how much of a process knitter I am. Point me at something that inspires a "that looks difficult" or "that looks different" or "I haven't seen/done that before" and there's a good chance it will end up on the I-want-to-knit-that list.

I'm opting to knit this without the beading - in large part because I'm not sure I have the patience to place more than 2000 beads.

And here she is on the needles with stitch markers in place to help keep me on track. The pattern really isn't difficult (for anyone with some lace experience) - or hasn't been so far (hope I'm not jinxing myself for later sections!).

My tip, for anyone new to lace and repeating patterns (everyone else probably already knows this), is liberal use of stitch markers, as illustrated below.

A marker between each pattern repeat means that if (when) you do stuff something up it shows up a lot sooner - you tend to discover it in that repeat, rather than getting to the end of the row only to discover you're out by a stitch. I reckon its worth it, even in something like this where there's a bit of moving markers around - in this particular pattern when you get back to the beginning of the 8 row repeat, the next set of 8 rows is offset several stitches relative to the set you just completed.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Block party

close up detail of pattern in laminara shawl
I've been on something of a blocking (or rather re-blocking) spree since I got the interlocking tiles. Should have done this years ago.

print o' the wave shawl pinned out on blocking matI've been meaning to re-block both the laminara and the print o' the wave for a while now. I'm not sure if I just didn't block them very well first time around- long enough? wet enough? tight enough? - or if it's something to do with the composition of the yarns.

close up of print o' the wave shawl
The laminara is in JaggerSpun's zephyr wool silk, which is 50/50 merino and tussah silk, and the print o' the wave is in a Fibreworks yarn which is a mix of merino and possum (which they don't seem to make any more).

laminara shawl pinned out on blocking matThis time, I've been pretty aggressive - especially with the laminara; soaked them, and left each of them pinned out overnight to be sure they've dried completely. Will be interested to see if they hold up a bit better over time.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Ends and beginnings

All lace is a little odd and lumpy while you're working it and before it's blocked, but Muir creates these fabulous little mountains.

Pinned out on the new blocking mat, of course, it's a different story. After several years of blocking knitting on the bed, I bought some interlocking foam squares - which are already looking like an excellent investment. No more having to pin the knitting out as early as possible in the morning in the hope it would be dry in time to go to bed that night.

With Muir done and (nearly) dusted, I'm looking at the second of the kaalund yarns - poinsettia - which is going to be Elizabeth Freeman's aoelian shawl from Knitty. At the moment, the pattern - or the first of the several patterns - is resisting my attempts to get into its rhythm, but it'll come.

Saturday, 3 July 2010


I've been tempted by Muir ever since I first saw the pattern, but every time I had some laceweight and went looking for a pattern, it never seemed to be right for it. This time, however - lucky coincidence. I bought the yarn at the Sydney Quilt and Craft Fair a couple of weeks ago with no particular purpose in mind (which also means I've got about twice as much as I need). It's from Kaalund Yarns in a colour called nectarine.