Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bells' Long, Lacy Summer

Bells has been challenging us to make some lace this summer, and I've taken her message to heart. Here's what I've been working on, from the gorgeous book shown. It's the Large Rectangle With Center Diamond Pattern, from Victorian Lace Today, knitted in Misti Alpaca on 4.5mm needles. I've finished the center section and have been struggling mightily with the knitted on border...today I turned the second corner, having finished one long side, the first corner, one short side and the second corner. I count this as VICTORY, because my learning curve was pretty steep. And guess who has been helping me knit...you guessed it, Alfonse le Soot, now recovered fully from his misadventure earlier this year.

During the struggles with the pink alpaca rectangle, I decided I needed to work on something with fatter yarn, so I inserted a couple of weeks to do this Shetland Shawl from Wrap Style, using Elisabeth Lavold's Silky Wool and 4.0mm needles. This was a piece of cake to knit, and a lot of fun, too...did wonders for my confidence about lace.



Then, lest I be too flushed with success, I was seduced by a KAL offered by Schoolhouse Press to do Amy Detjen's Pansy Triangle Shawl, featuring a really neat centered eyelet that's fun to have learned. I just happened to have some Unspun Icelandic in a gorgeous Sumac color, so I launched that one, too. After some rough spots while I struggled with wrap and turn difficulties, I finally clicked in with this one and sailed on through. I'm really loving it...it's shaped nicely, so it doesn't slip off your shoulders. Of course, no sooner did I finish than the hottest weather we've seen this year arrived...30 degrees C. (87 F.) today. Still, this is the Southern Highlands, and cold weather can (and does!) arrive at any time.
Here's a detail shot, showing the neat pansies with their centered eyelet:
And here's the full shawl, in all its glory:
Still no quilting to be shown, but I have done some designing with EQ6 and think I'm on the path to the first of the baby quilts I have queued up. Pics when I have something more definitive to show.
I've also got some gorgeous laceweight yarn in a gorgeous pale grey variegated that's crying out to me...but I think it's time for a break from lace. Actually, I have two pairs of socks on the needles, too, and one of those has a lacy top. Can't stop myself! And I need to get back and finish up the gansey sweater, too...still have to chart the patterns for the sleeves, and then I'm good to go. The body of the sweater is finished, and it's looking wonderful.