Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
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Monday, 1 August 2011

Making Monday - knitted lace

Over at the Yarn Yard, Natalie has suggested a Making Monday blogpost about something you've made – and as I've recently finished a knitting project using some of Natalie's beautiful lace-weight yarn, I thought I'd join in the first round.


I'd bought a selection of yarn from the Yarn Yard shop, two lovely sock yarns and a lovely soft lace yarn colour: "Spruce" – not that I was into knitting lace but I felt an urge to have a go. When I looked for a pattern I discovered that lace knitting is having a renaissance and coloured lace shawls seemed to be everywhere! A search on Ravelry found this new lace design called Rock Island by American designer Jared Flood.

I also decided that I wanted to add a little twist of my own and use the rough-cut peridot beads I'd bought on a holiday in Lanzarote to weight the edging. It's about 25 years since I had a stab at knitting fine lace and I'd never knitted in beads – but hey! I like a challenge.


I admit to cursing a bit and pulling the work undone a few times, but with the help of some lovely new circular needles and some little light-weight plastic stitch-markers, I got there in the end. And ta-dah! my shawl looked like this . . .

. . . OK yes it does look like a green dish-cloth with beads on it.

The secret of a lace shawl is in the blocking – luckily I went to the Cottage Smallholder party and got chatting to someone who had blocked more knitted lace than I've had hot dinners! So armed with the knowledge I pinned my knitting to the spare bed – and this evening I unpinned it – and it stayed all stretched out and silky and beautiful, just like it should :-)


Just perfect for a summer evening in a garden watching a play – I'll have to buy a ticket :-)


I think I want to have another go. In fact just one hank of Natalie's lovely yarn makes this shawl and there's lots left over . . . enough for a . . . er any suggestions?

Celia
x

21 comments:

  1. It's beautiful Celia. Blocking it has made all the difference

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  2. Absolutely lovely, Celia. It doesn't matter how many times I do it, the results of blocking always amaze me. Enjoy wearing your new shawl :)

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  3. You've convinced me about blocking as it looks fabulous. WOnder if you'll find a warm evening and a play to watch in your glam, beautiful wrap.

    X

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  4. Celia, your shawl is a beauty, and adding beads to Jared Flood's excellent design was a brilliant idea.

    Mr Flood has many beautiful designs, and really knows how to make use of textural stitches.

    I've never done any lace knitting...think that I would be muttering all sorts of bad words as my stitch count missed the boat over and over again!

    xo

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  5. Your lace is beautiful and the colour is fantastic...

    My idea for the rest of the yarn... A lacy snood, just right to brighten up a tired jumper or just to add another layer on bitterly cold days... They seem along way off at the moment but they creap up on us all too quickly...

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  6. That is really lovely - and the beads add a bit of glitz!

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  7. That is so beautiful and fine. It reminds me of gossamer...a Fairy shawl.

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  8. That's lovely Celia, though it looks blue on my screen. I bet you were talking to Jean about blocking weren't you? Wish I'd been there.

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  9. lovely! how about another shawl..like this one: http://ysolda.com/patterns/
    'ishbel' is in the fourth row down.

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  10. Thank you Gina and Erasercarver - it is all in the blocking!

    Hi Bobo Bun - Wednesday evening looking promising ;-)

    Hi Frances - I've got my eye on some of the new designs on Brooklyn Tweed.
    You need to persevere with lace knitting and check every row before going on, the stitch markers were a huge help. I think I'm hooked!

    Are you Curious... Thank you for suggestion - I'm now wavering between a lacy snood and lacy fingerless mitts.

    Hi Veg Heaven - knitting with the beads didn't make it easier!!! all the beads need to be threaded onto the yarn before you start and the slid along without breaking the gossamer fine yarn!

    Thank you Bridget - I could wear it to a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream :-)

    Hi Toffeeapple - well spotted! it was indeed the lovely Jean who was so helpful! The colour is like pine tree needles and has a subtle shading in it.

    Thank you for the link to more lovely patterns, Petoskystone. There isn't enough yarn left for a large shawl, but I'm sure Natalie is poised over the dye vats and will be putting more delicious colours in her shop very soon.


    Celia
    x

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  11. How beautiful . Ive tried knitting lace a couple of times but I end up I big jumble each time, maybe I'll have one more go!

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  12. Freerangegirl - have a go! Most lace is just knit; knit 2 tog; and slip one/knit 1/pass the slipped stitch over. The laciness happens by using fine yarn on medium size needles, then meticulous blocking.
    Huge sense of achievement when you get it right!!!

    Celia
    x

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  13. You see this is why I crochet rather than knit - that looks far too hard for me, I know I would get in a muddle! It's really beautiful - I have lots of lovely lace yarn here and I'm planning long loose tunics...

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  14. Got here at last! The shawl is gorgeous - I was trying to think of a classier word, but can't find one that does it as well as just gorgeous!

    Love the colour too - my Mum would have said "a subtle colour" - she love them as I do - the ones that take a small paragraph to define.

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  15. How about using the left over yarn for a little lace scarf you can wear in the house or your studio, one that doesn't have to keep you warm against the biting wind, just against a slightly chilly room?
    But I should have first said, BEAUTIFUL! Your lace shawl is beautiful. Jared Flood's pattern is very contemporary, using a traditional medium, my favourite kind of design.
    The beads are a lovely touch!
    Vanessa xxx

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  16. Goodness me Celia-do you have extra special stretchy time to fit everything you do into? This is beautiful and the beads make it extra special.

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  17. I wish I had the patience and skill to make something so beautiful. I have some divine hand dyed turquoise lace weight wool which I pick up and sniff and then gently return to it's box because I am terrified to use it.

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  18. Beautiful shawl - gorgeous colours. Sounds like an absorbing process making it!

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  19. No it does not look like a dishcloth with beads on it! Looks amazing!! xx

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