Tag Archives: lace

Inspiration: Phew!

The Olympics are over and my sweater has finished blocking (just in time for a few lovely, cool days).  I love my new sweater, and there’s no denying that speed knitting can be very satisfying, but now my mind is wandering to a new project.  Something that I can really sink my teeth into, something I can work on slowly and carefully.  Something stupidly elaborate and full of ridiculous details.

This scarf/wrap is just gorgeous.  I love the use of a semi-solid with the slowly-transitioning rainbow colorway.  And the little sticky-outy leaves are a fantastic detail.  (Though one I think would drive me a little bit crazy to work up.)

Snood Forest Witch by Svetlana Gordon1m_medium2[1]And every time I see this project go across my screen, my heart skips a beat.  I love looking at all the beautiful colors people choose.  And, honestly, I can’t even guess how it’s constructed (short rows, maybe?)!

Fox Paws by Xandy Peters

2016-06-21-21-46-26_medium2[1]And, I do love lace.  It’s been years since I really sunk my teeth into a full-on lace shawl.  And this one has beads.  (And little cables.)

Lily-of-the-Valley-Rosea by Alla Borisova4_medium2[1]What do you like to work on when you’re looking for a complicated, careful knit?

Summertime, and the living is… muggy

It’s officially been summer for about a week, and it is officially summer.  It’s hot and muggy and there isn’t even a breeze.

(OK, fair enough, it’s “Seattle Hot”, so it’s in the mid-to-upper 70s.  But I’m officially a hot-weather weenie, so it’s hot to me.)

Ollie agrees- he needs a haircut, and is impatient for us to fill up his kiddie pool.13495497_10106435157559480_5717683599402702824_o (1)I’m currently working on a big cabled sweater (a Christmas gift for someone, so I can’t tell you about it) which is just too much to be knitting right now.  All that wool!

What I’d like to be working on is something light and breezy.  Something at a tiny lace gauge.  A lovely, summery tank top.

This tank is simple, drapey and lovely.  If I worked in an office, it would be super cute to wear with a blazer or a light cardigan.

Bonny by tincanknitsIMG_4731-ed-sm_medium2[1]I love the little details on this top- the tiny cap sleeves, the delicate lace at the hem, the split sides.  So cute!

22.2 Top with lace edges by Karen Noe22.1-Top-m_medium2[1]I love the all-over lace and the flattering, swing-y shape.  I would totally wear the heck out of this tank.

Just a Wisp by Pamela SchwabDSC_6755_medium2[1]I can’t wait to finish the big sweater so that I can make myself a new tank top or two.

What summery projects do you like to make?

What’s Old is New Again

We’re going back. Waaay back. Way back to a month after I started the blog, and the first pattern I self-published.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s the Lace-Edged Shawl! (I was pretty literal with my pattern names back then… I’m still not great at naming things, but I like to think I’ve improved a bit.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This bad boy was my first attempt at writing out a pattern… and holy cow, did that show. So many typos! So many poorly worded sentences! So much incorrect terminology!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So, I’ve rewritten this and fixed a bunch of formatting stuff. It’s amazing how much my pattern-writing has improved over the last three years (if I say so myself)!

You can get the *New and Improved* pattern Lace Edged Shawl-Updated!

Inspiration: Me Time

We’re Knitters.  And, as Knitters, we knit for the people we care about- family, friends, neighbors, especially around the holidays.  I’ve been knitting my fingers to the bone doing my best to finish everyone’s gifts before Christmas.  And now that Christmas is done- well, I’m a little at a loss.

Now it’s time for what I’m dubbing the First Annual Knit For Yourself Month.  Let’s celebrate January by knitting for ourselves!

I’ve gone through my stash and gone through my Ravelry Queue, and picked out three projects that I could totally work up without even stopping by my LYS (although, I do love a good trip to my LYS).  And the best part?  These projects would be just for me!

I could break out my lace-weight and my tiny needles and make a beautiful, intricate lace shawl.  I love knitting lace, but I’m not a very “lace-y” kind of girl.  I’ll wear a lace shawl once or twice after I block it, but then it sits in a closet, or, if it’s lucky, it’ll get hung up on the wall.  So maybe not… it is pretty though…

Haruni by Emily RossHaruni-0001-ps_medium[1]Or, I could make a sweater- I do love a good sweater.  I saw a group of girls wearing this sweater (they each had one in a different color) at a knitting conference last year.  it was super flattering and adorable over dresses.  Look at that cable down the front- beautiful!  And, since it’s cropped, I bet I have enough yarn on hand.

Chuck by Andi Satterlund

chuck06_medium2[1]Or, I could make a dent in my sock yarn stash.  After all, I made socks for everyone else in the family, I might as well make myself a pair, too.  And, these cute little lace guys have a toe-up heel flap- a technique I’ve been meaning to try.

Diagonal Lace Socks by Wendy D. Johnson2006685477_2221a6e6f6_z[1]

What would you like to work on for Knit For Yourself Month?

Speedy Sweater

Whee! That went way faster than I thought it would! I guess when you make a cropped, short-sleeved sweater in bulky yarn, it goes really fast! Who would have thought?

This sweater, from casting on to binding off, probably took about a week! I should make all my sweaters like that–size 10s forever!

Like I said before, I worked this sweater as a top-down raglan with a V-neck, based on Ann Budd’s book, so I didn’t have to do any math. (Even math nerds like me enjoy a break from time to time.) And, as I went, I added cables and lace from my Japanese pattern book.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Meanwhile, I added a little k2p2 ribbing to make the sweater a little more fitted without having to worry about doing actual shaping. It’s a trick I picked up years ago. K2p2 ribbing is the stretchiest/most elastic stitch pattern, so it can act as elastic, pulling the sweater tight, when you work it in panels on the sides of your sweater. I also added a nice wide ribbed waistband and cuffs.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m so happy with how it turned out! I have a bunch of high-waisted, summery dresses, and now I can wear them with this sweater and a pair of tights all the way through winter!

Ollie likes it, too!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHave you ever made a project in less time than you expected?

Sequim!

Phew!  I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Sequim, a little coastal town on the Olympic Peninsula.  It’s pronounced “Squim” (rhymes with “him) it’s as fun to say as it is to visit!  We spent 4 days hiking on Hurricane Ridge, tide pooling on Rialto Beach, and eating delicious local seafood. WP_20150906_004Ollie spent his days barking at seagulls, running after seagulls, and trying to eat seagull poop.WP_20150908_002And what else did I do?  Oh, right… knitting.

Lots of knitting!

In fact, between all time driving between natural wonders, and mornings watching flocks of birds fly up and down the beach, I made it three-quarters through a pair of lovely lace-y socks! (A Christmas present for a lucky someone!)

WP_20150908_005After all that relaxation, I’m ready for another vacation!

What do you like to knit while on vacation?

Help me! I think I have a problem!

And that problem is that I’m now obsessed with lace shawls.  I can’t stop looking at patterns.  I’ve even gone digging through my stash and found a bunch of yarn I could use .

Sock yarn!

I’ve been collecting sock yarn over the years, and I have a big box of it next to my desk.  Sometimes I open it up and dig around in it just for fun.  But now I think I want to make a lace shawl with some of my sock yarn (despite having absolutely zero time for “fun” knitting right now.)

So here’s your task: talk me out of knitting one of these shawls.

I love the garter stitch body on this one, with the big openwork edge and the chunky braided cable.  Gorgeous and elegant!  Look at those huge eyelets along the edge!  So pretty!

French Cancan by Mademoiselle C

DSC_8833_medium2[1]I love this one, too.  It’s not exactly lace-y, but it is completely beautiful.  And I could use up a bunch of little skeins of leftover yarn to make the gradient stripes!

Song of the Sea by Louise Zass-Bangham

DSC_6050_-_Version_2_medium[1]And how great would this one look with a soft gray garter stitch panel and deep burgundy or forest green for the lace edging?  *Drool.*

Henslowe by Beth Kling

IMG_1366Or, of course, I could (should) just keep on working on the projects I’ve already committed to.  But where’s the fun in that?

Inspiration: Lace Shawls

All this talk about lace (and blocking lace) has gotten me itching for a new project (despite the fact that I have a million other projects I need to be working on, and I’m working more than 40 hours a week for the summer- Wheee!).

I usually am not terribly girly with my clothes. You can find me more often in flannel and jeans than dresses and lace.  But, I admit- I’m a sucker for a gorgeous lace shawl.

There’s something fantastically satisfying about knitting up something beautiful and complicated- especially with beads.  Lace shawls drape amazingly and are simply gorgeous.  I don’t even wear most of the ones I’ve made over the years.  I have several hanging on my walls as art.

And when I’ve had a bad day, I love ogling lace shawl patterns, and lusting after skeins of luxury lace yarn at my local yarn shop.

Sigh…

Rainshine by Boo Knits

rain3_zpsrsexz0oo_medium2[1]Out of Darkness by Boo Knitsdarkness6_medium2[1]Snow Angel by Boo KnitsIMG_7621_medium2[1]Do you have a guilty knitting pleasure?

Blocking: Lace

Nothing makes me happier than finishing a big lace project- a shawl, a scarf, or a fancy-pants sweater, and stretching it out across my blocking boards.  There’s something alchemical and transformative about blocking lace.  It’s kind of magical.

You start with a little blob of knits, purls and yarn overs, and toss it in some water to soak.

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It stretches, and changes, and I think I’m going to accidentally rip it in half (especially if it’s something particularly delicate).  But, then, I get it pinned out, and hey, presto!  You can suddenly see all the lovely stitch detail.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven when you remove it from the board, the fabric is totally transformed from the ugly knot you started with.  Now, it’s flat, beautiful and incredibly drape-y and wonderful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, of course, pinning out scallops and points on finished lace shawls always makes them look even better!  (Remember how we tried to avoid stretching the knitting so much that it made points on scarves and socks?  You can do it on purpose now!)

Here are a couple shawls I’ve made over the years with interesting borders:

Panache by Lankakomero

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Aeolian Shawl by Elizabeth Freeman8176172544_3cfd6827e5_z[1]

Knitting lace can be a tedious and slow process, but there’s nothing more satisfying than pulling out the last pin from your dried shawl and looking at your beautiful creation.

Design Series: Technical Beginnings

Woo!  These socks are starting to take shape in my mind!  I’ve got so many ideas!

The tally is in, and we’ve decided that the theme of our socks is (drum roll please…):

Warm and Cozy!

cozy-cabins[1]I absolutely love this theme (especially today-it’s gray and blustery outside, and all I really want to do is curl up in a nice armchair next to a fire and read a really great novel).

So, now that we have the feel decided on, it’s time to start talking about actual knitting details: what techniques are we going to use to evoke a “warm and cozy” feel in our socks?

Here are some ideas.  Keep in mind, that these are only jumping off places.  We won’t be replicating these socks specifically, instead we’ll take their ideas and tweak them to create something awesome and unique.

Option 1: Simple socks with touches of contrasting color.  Sometimes a contrasting toe or cuff can transform a sock that’s dead simple into one that’s simply beautiful!

IMG_2698_medium2[1]Option 2:  All-over stripes.  Thick or thin, bright or muted, stripes can be used to evoke almost any mood.  Cozy, warm colors (chocolate browns, brick reds, and pine-tree greens) could combine to make the perfect socks for our theme.DSC02936_medium2[1]4445452408_b2e51aebc1_z[1]Option 3: Lace.  We could do an all-over lace pattern, or include panels of lace up the sides of the socks.  If you want the look of lace, but want something cozier, using thicker yarn makes fantastic socks to wear with winter boots. hedera_1_medium2[1]Option 4: Cables.  Cables always make socks look warm and cozy, which would be perfect for our theme.  But, keep in mind that they can make socks a little bulky if you plan on wearing them with shoes, and not just around the house. DSC_2774_medium2[1]Option 5: All-over texture.  My favorite socks all come from this category- sometimes, you just want a workhorse sock that looks good with any pair of shoes and keeps your toes warm.  Simple socks knit with the seed stitch or basket weave stitches are classic and beautiful.  Or we could try a more complicated pattern with slipped stitches or other interesting techniques.3704532404_227f070d7a_z[1] Option 6: Combination.  Stripes and cables?  Lace and textures?  The sky’s the limit!  If you’re itching for something more complicated than a simple sock designed with a single technique, let me know!  And leave your ideas in the comments section.