hi lily, hi lily, hi lo

Posted on Posted in designing, lace/shawls, projects

last year david planted several dense patches of these bright, scented lilies, and yesterday they started blooming, but today . . . well today a whole battalion opened up as if called to morning duty and the smell wafting into the office is heavenly.

he seems to have mastered the sequencing of blooms in the yard . . . this year we have some new, really beautiful flower to look at every week.

the hostas continue to amaze me with the plethora of blooming stems they produced this year; it just goes on and on and the bees are drunk with the plenitude by the end of each day (and FAT).

the purple pansies seems to be thinning out a bit in the heat, while the yellow ones (i thought there was only one of those, but no), are making a show. still, the planter i have them in looked mighty bare after i weeded it last weekend so i planted some companions in there

i had four little eggplant starts that i didn’t have room for in the garden, still sitting in 4-inch pots and i just couldn’t bear to throw them away or let them die, so i put them in with the pansies. they might not really do anything in there but if they just get a little more of their characteristic foliage (which is very exotic and sensual-looking) and a few flowers, i’ll be happy.

and these pretties

my little container garden of lettuce looks lush and cool right now . . . i can hardly stand the thought of thinning it. i’ll give it a few more days, then make a tiny-lettuce salad (i wonder how much you could sell a tiny-lettuce salad for in NYC??) with the cherry tomatoes and cucumber that are now ripe.

which leads right into the knitting. somehow it does . . . it has to.
speaking of knitting, are you excited about twist collective? just two more weeks and we’ll get to see what treasures they’ve been keeping under wraps there.

meanwhile, i finished the big caterpillar sock with about four whole inches of yarn left. phew. i started swatching for a new sock immediately but i also cast on for the last sock-in-waiting

i’m determine to clear my SIP (socks in progress—that one’s for you jocelyn) list. i got a bunch done while going to the doctor today; i think this will go pretty fast after that big one.
plus, i am already thinking of one or two new socks; i just can’t help myself.

so what about that pear-colored yarn i kept jabbering about last week and the week before?

i finally, finally have my swatches done and at least a rough draft of a composition for it. now, keep in mind that these are working samples, not final, finished, proportional ones. there are lots of details in these that i already have notes on cleaning up. after all, you want to be somewhat surprised, right? i can’t show you everything before i get started.

ok, so anyway, i have two big swatches which are mostly the same but a little different too. the idea i am working with is the busy humming sensation i feel when i work out in the hot sun in my garden. insects are everywhere, sized from almost-invisible to big, fat, you-can’t miss-’em ones. the sound is deafening once you really tune into it—it seems to permeate my very skin. the atmosphere literally buzzes.

the swatch above is knit in the body stitch that i like so much for its vibrating, wavering feeling, like heat lifting into the air, or plants rustling in a hot breeze.

the band across the bottom is a stitch from a (reprint of) a german lace book that reminds me so much of a green lacewing insect (click that link and scroll down just a bit—you’ll see it), which is an incredibly beneficial garden bug—its larvae are avid eaters of aphids and beetles. you can buy boxes of this insect to release in the garden as an antidote to the bad kind of infestation (i never did that—i’d like to because i think they are pretty, but i don’t know how long they’d hang out once the aphids ran out . . .).

anyway, i like the wings in this stitch a lot but i think i’ll tweak it to give it more of a body.
the primrose edging is one that i’ve been dying to use for a long time—i’ve tried it in many things that didn’t work but i think here it’s super. i like it with the rest of the stitches, so i’m keeping it.

i thought at first it might be nice to do a shawl with just one allover body stitch and the band and edging, but i had to be sure i wouldn’t miss having a deep band of something around the bottom, so i made another big swatch (these swatches are about 24 by 24 inches, blocked)

in this swatch i added a section after the insect band the is semi-sheer and has a vertical stripe effect . . . a little like having a pleated flounce at the bottom (there will be edging too; i just got tired and thought i should not use any more yarn on it)
anyway, what i’ve done here is try out three different small panel motifs across the long side

i think i like the one on the left best, but i might like the center one too . . .

i keep waffling, but i keep leaning toward the one on the left. (oh, and i like the one on the right just fine, but not with the rest of the shawl, so maybe another time).

(however, when i see it in the blog photos it also looks good, hmmm)
but let’s face it, they are all pretty . . . any one of them would be great.

that is IF i decide to add a deep band . . . i’m not entirely sure about that—i sorta do like the simpler composition of the top swatch too.

here’s what i’m thinking might be a good solution for the indecision though: this piece will be done in two shapes, one faroese, and one rectangle. the faroese could be the simpler composition and the rectangle could be the more complex one. that way, they’d be more differentiated from each other.
or both could be one the same composition.

what do you think? i’m putting it out for a vote, so talk me.

33 thoughts on “hi lily, hi lily, hi lo

  1. 😀 Well, I like the one on the left the best. The one on the right is nice, but I don’t think it goes as well with the rest of the shawl. I also like the idea of the simpler version for the faroese and a more complex for a stole. Either way, it looks very nice. 😀

  2. That sock looks mighty tempting. And the lilies? I had a spray of them at my wedding long ago. The fragrance was powerful, an olfactory fireworks display, so to speak. Somebody told me they are called stargazer lilies. It’s hard to say “I don’t do pink” when you view something that stunning, huh. I do pink now, I’ll tell you that. Thanks for the post.

    Beth, aka lennox

  3. I like the one on the left best also. Both the central pattern and the band pattern (the V) are very strongly V-shaped, and the band pattern on the left is also a V. The one in the middle is nice, but it doesn’t seem to to work, for me, with the other patterns. The one on the right is also nice, but too meandering and curvy. Lovely, can’t wait till you publish it!

  4. Well I know this one will be on my needles when you get it done. You realize I’ll have to throw out all my sweater patterns because I’ll have a fleet of shawls instead?

    I like the very first simple one – it really made me go ahhh. And I saw what you were thinking even before you told us. Definitely lace wings.

    If you do a rectangular then I can see adding the other wide border. If I had to choose it would be the left one. The middle one is too heavy for the rest of the piece.

  5. I think the left border edging is the best overall, don’t like the middle border pattern at all with what we can see of the shawl and I like the right border, but it isn’t quite as harmonious as the left border. Don’t know if I’ll ever knit one of your shawls, they are a bit more involved than I seem to be able to cope with – at least for now. But I love Hamsa and Rivolo!!

  6. Ooo, I love Stargazer lilies. My husband (then boyfriend) gave me a bag of the bulbs when we were dating, and every time I smell them now it brings me back . . .

    Gorgeous shawl. I pretty much liked everything about it.

    I’m a big help, aren’t I, lol!

  7. I like all three border edgings quite a bit, but agree that the left one works best with this shawl.

    Also agree that the deep border edging would look spectacular on a rectangle shawl and that the simpler edging would fit the faroese better.

    I am very agreeable this morning!

    This is going to be a luscious set of shawls!

  8. The left wins by a landslide, Does that make you feel like doing one of the others? I’m the sort that would react that way! But I do like its simplicity very much. Such a lovely shawl it will be. I’m almost 1/2 way done with my Japanese fan shawl, so lovely and silky-soft, that I may have to give it to my daughter as an engagement present, though I swore I’d keep that yarn for me!

  9. You’re just going to town with all the little nothings scarves. The last two are fabulous. Love the huge bug swatch. Fun!

  10. I just got some stargazer bulbs on sale and planted them out back – I hope the spot I picked gets enough light, for there is nothing quite so wonderful as their summer scent.

    Love the new garden shawl. and am so glad that you will be designing in both faroese and rectangle. it’s a great option.
    Before I read all through your post, I saw dragonflys – and caterpillars, and a stray lady bug or two. It’s going to be a stunning shawl.
    Deep edges verses smaller lacey? hmmmm. I like both. Why not offer both alternatives on one of the pattern versions? (I know, it would be ultra complicated, but ever so fun)

  11. I like the top picture best, with the two insect patterns and the edging. It looks really organic and full of flight. i don’t love the vertical flounce because I think there gets to be too much going on for a shawl when you add it in and it anchors the insects too much. That said, the multiple patterns might work well on a stole as they do on the honeybees.

  12. I wish I could ’embiggen’ the photos to get a better look at the differences between the left and the center motifs. From what I can see, I like the center motif up close, but from a distance (the fifth shot of the swatch) I think the one on the left works best overall.
    I love the insect inspiration. 🙂

  13. As always, you are producing stunning work! While all options are beautiful, I like the first swatch shown best. Can’t wait to see the finished project!

  14. For the band, my vote goes to the pattern on the right. However, to be honest, I don’t care for the banded version at all. It looks too much like a sampler–it is very busy, regardless of which pattern you choose.

    But it was love at first sight when I saw the simpler version with the allover pattern, single lacewing band, and primrose edging! The simple design would make a gorgeous “float-y” triangle in kidsilk haze or some other luxury yarn.

    I hope you won’t waste this lovely idea on a Faroese version, though. I don’t care for the Faroese shape, because I knit one entire Faroese shawl with too-wide shoulders, and had to frog the ghastly droopy thing. If you’re going to do a Faroese version, please make it the banded one! 🙂

  15. i love the first sample – i agree that the band makes it look like a sampler, and it would be a drag if the beautiful design got even a little lost!let those insects fly!

    i’m looking forward to your final decision- it’s such fun watching some of your design process. thanks

  16. It’s looking like the vote is leaning left (heh); I think I like that one a bit better, myself. Faroese? Yes? (also heh) I like the SIP; I’m going to have to start using that myself, what with all of the SIPs in my house!

  17. I like the strong lines of that particular deep border with the more angular shape of a rectangle. So I vote for the simpler faroese with the deep border on the rectangular one if you want to do the deep border. But you’re the designer, not me.

    And I love this so far, so that makes one or two more must knits that just got added to the keep an eye out for list. Better get my self-deluding back on track eh?

  18. I’m not sure how I can articulate this, but for what it’s worth, I prefer the first swatch, sans vertical band after the insect band. I find it’s a bit too structured for the overall effect of this piece? Seems a bit, I don’t know, heavy? Like it’d pull the entire shall towards it. I prefer it with the simple primrose edging.

  19. WOW, you’ve been busy! I think that I like the big band of vertical pattern, and I think it looks great in the triangle composition, but I think it would look better in the rectangle. I like the middle swatch when it comes down to it as well, although the left works too. 🙂 I say make the two shawls similar, but a tad different.

  20. I love the swatch with just the simple primrose edging and without the deep border. Simply stunning, and so different from other shawls I have seen.

  21. I vote the one on the left, too, and like the idea of two versions.

    I love your patterns and can’t wait until I have disposable income again so I can go nuts in your pattern shop! Of course, there’s so many I really love, I can’t imagine how people restrain themselves from buying something like ten patterns at once.

    Sigh. And my TBK pile is so huge already!

  22. Simple edging, no deep border. There, my little two cents. Can’t wait for the pattern! Love the little dragonflies. Beautiful!

  23. I think you should keep the deep band for a stole. But I like them all. I can’t help it.

  24. I LOVE the busy, buzzy center section, and I love the primrose edging. I agree that the motif on the left is the lightest and airiest and thus matches best.

    I love the idea of lacewings too. Those insects are so beautiful and magnificent. You mentioned that you were going to make some adjustments, to that part of the pattern to change their look. May I make a suggestion for those changes? Right now, that motif does not say lacewing to me at all, although I can see how it suggests them. Right now, I see big fat grubs or maggots. If the little buggers had more of a head and torso, plus the wings, perhaps that impression would go away. Also, the holes/negative space in the wings is bigger than anywhere else on the pattern. They are also, grid like. That to me does not suggest wings that are membrane thin crosscrossed with a delicate network of veins. Hopefully, I am solo in my impression, and the rest of the world will find that motif charming as is.

  25. My head is spinning with all of the gardening, knitting, posting that has come from your house lately! Whew! I just popped by to see the scarf from yesterday, and is it still at the top of the page?! Oh, no, there are TWO more posts here! My goodness! I love the all of the ideas and views, so I’ll let everyone else decide this one, while I stop my head from spinning ’round!

  26. The one on the left! It has the right balance of solid knit plus lace, and then the lace itself echoes the lacewing motif above. The one in the middle looks too uncomposed to me, like it’s falling apart, too much air and the pattern is too disjointed from the rest of the scarf. But, see below, I think it might be different if you varied the length of the band… (The one on the right would make a lovely little nothing, perhaps?)

    Although I understand why you need to differentiate the faroese from the rectangular version, I hope that you’re not saying you’d leave the band off the faroese. (I don’t think so, but just in case I have to say this!) It would go so well, that flounce on the bottom. I have this flowery sundress with a pleated lace several inches long sown to the hem and that tiny piece of fabric really makes the dress. But if you did vary the motif to use the more complicated one, and make the band a good deal deeper on the rectangle, I think that would be distinctive and lovely, especially if you added in another motif running above, perhaps, to better unify it with the central pattern? and then use the shallower simpler band motif on the faroese…

    Look at me, I’m talking like I know the first thing about design. My words are unnecessary because you always come up with something fabulous.

  27. The shawl, in whatever variation you decide upon, will be stunning. The main pattern reminds me of gingko leaves, perfect with the lacewing design. The pleated edging makes me think of flowers. Your amazing garden has permeated your knitting — all to the good!

  28. Sorry, I know this comment is late but I wasn’t at a computer yesterday and wanted to put in my two penn’orth, for what it’s worth. Just wanted to say that I love the right hand border pattern. It may not be right for this current design, but please use it in something soon!

  29. I love it all! I am winding down on Bee and I think that this might just be my next lace project…beautiful!

  30. Hi Anne, I was just wondering. I have a skein of Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere and I wonder if that would work for Rivolo? I believe it would and it would be great because it has both some blue and some brown in it. What do you think?
    Ann Carpenter of Dallas
    P.S. I like the first border pattern you showed.

  31. I really like the way you described your source of inspiration for this shawl – I could feel the sun and hear the insects… It’s really interesting to see you designing a piece using sensations as a starting point.

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