lace is magic

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, projects, Uncategorized

two things before i get started:
1) if you haven’t done so yet, go to my post from sunday and vote for la tricoteuse lanterne rouge (the last remaining knitter), and get into the moth race prize pool again!

here’s a taste of just one of the lovely things you can win; a hank of laceweight mohair fresh from the dye pot. well—ok, i’ll dry it before i send it to the winner.

2) don’t forget that 10% of all knitspot pattern sale—not just moth shawl patterns—made on or before August 31, 2006 will be donated to knitters without borders. see catalog in the sidebar for information about what’s available and how to order.
(of course you can donate to this wonderful cause any time at the yarn harlot’s site!)

ok, enough shilly-shallying! let’s talk about me and my knitting!

normally, by the time 24 hours has passed after completing a shawl, said article is dressed, dry, and posing for the papparazzi. but noooo . . . not this time.

right now, the humidity here is in the 85% range. the sky has been weeping a gray, greasy drizzle all afternoon (that started juuusst after i set out on my bike for home from classes—yay.). yucko.

so all i have is blocking shots, cuz baby ain’t dry. but you can still see how pretty the alpaca knitted up. it felt heavy when i was knitting it, but now that it is stretched a bit and flattened, the fabric is light and drapey. and the stripes at the edge are fast becoming my favorite part!

i did not stretch it to its maximum by any means. in fact, i left some of the bumpiness of the texture in the fabric, because this is definitely a winter shawl to keep warm in. it still has great stitch definition though.

and actually, i hardly used any pins—just a few along the top edge, and then a few near the “tail” which has a lot of extra increasing, and needs a little help. the rest, i just pushed flat with my fingers and eyeballed the evenness everywhere. i like that—that i know it is not perfectly measured-out and pinned exactly so. it still maintains the imprint of “the hand that made it” in its slightly imperfect waviness. like old glass, or hand carving, or handspun yarn.

i had to take pause as i was preparing the photos for today. it seems like i have done this post a lot this year, and sure enough, when i totted it up, this is my eighth shawl/stole since i started the blog in february (not counting the four-seasons one, which i completed last summer and only blocked this year).
interestingly enough, i still get the most response from readers for these lace posts, though one would think they’d get to be a bore after a while. but i’m sure somebody would let me know if that were true.
lace is magic, no?

28 thoughts on “lace is magic

  1. I’m so glad you ran out of yarn. I particularly like that darker edging. I almost always find that having to improvise on a pattern improves it.

  2. Geez, Ann, that new shawl is just stunning; they just keep getting prettier. I really, really like the stitching and color on the edge.

  3. Awesome! It runs everywhere, on French blogs as well as English ones, Lace Virus. When you catch it, everything lacy is impossible to avoid.

  4. The stripe is stunning! It represents a fluttering moth. I must try lace knitting.

    Everyone is getting rain but us. We’d love to have a couple days of rain. Oregon’s just supposed to go all summer without rain.

    (One of these days I’ll shock you by posting that I finally knit some lace.)

  5. Lace is the next mountain that I intend to conquer in my knitting odyssey. Your shawls/lace work give me something to aim for! Thanks 🙂

  6. Anne, your shawl is beautiful. Love the stripes; anyone can knit a perfect shawl – but only a smart chick can come up with a beautiful and clever solution to the yarn problem. It really does look extra beautiful with the border. Okay, I am going to try lace. Which are your favorite needles for doing lace? Do you mind if I pick your brain??

  7. Yes, the edge really gives the shawl something extra, unicolored are pretty but this striped edge adds something more. I particularly like the swallopping edge.
    I made a poncho with in F&F with an extra edge. You can see it on one of the sunday postings on my blog.

    And Lace is fantasticly rewarding. Keep up with your fantastic Lace projects, I love them.

  8. I love love love the stripe at the end. Serendipity at it’s finest. It looks totally organic and one with the rest of the shawl.

    I’m glad to find out that I’m not the only one who doesn’t get out a protrator when blocking shawls. I let the shawl tell me how it wants to be pinned out. It usually turns out fine.

    That mohair is divine!

  9. The stripes are such a nice Shetland-y touch! And since the fir cone lace is a classic Shetland motif, it makes good sense here. 🙂

    There’s just something about lace. It’s not surprising that it brings folks out of the proverbial woodwork. I am more moved and inspired by the sight of delicate lace than I am by any other kind of knitting. (Except maybe a Latvian mitten. I have a real weakness for those! 😉

  10. If the blocking of lace weren’t magic I don’t think many of us would continue to knit it. Everytime I knit something in true lace-weight it’s only the promise of the magic to come that keeps me going – otherwise it all looks like a pile of ramen noodles! Your shawl is lovely – I’m sure it will keep you warm in the chilly months to come!

  11. Never get bored. I love looking at all kinds of knitting shots. A bit like my children with picture books.

  12. Lace shawls are just stunning in their beauty. I don’t care how many I look at, I have the same reaction. They kick my ass in the knitting but someday I’m gonna get one finished! I love the stripes. Ain’t it grand how necessity became so sweet?

  13. You are absolutely right on that wanting to do some of the blocking and shaping by hand and judging by eye. What on earth is the point of having something that looks mass-produced by machine? Beautiful shawl, want to make one right now (eschewing all current projects) and the contrasting edging MAKES it!


  14. Necessity is the mother of invention, eh? What a perfect fix to the yarn dilemma! The shawl looks even more mothlike and I love the idea of keeping some of the texture, too. Nice work!

  15. I didn’t think anything could make me love this shawl any more than I already did, but I was completely wrong. How much fun is serendipity, eh?

  16. Your shawl turned out beautifully! While I am waiting for the skirt pattern 🙂 and working on a bunch of other things I am thinking about this shawl for myself. I saw Julia’s the other night and it is just gorgeous. I have kidsilk haze in a couple of colors, but the only thing is: It is huge! I am a petite person and looking at the photos, I am thinking it would be easy to knit fewer of the repeats before you get to the second section of the shawl, then knit . Am I right?

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