Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Practice Lace

January is for Selfish Knitting. I'm knitting for myself this month.

To that end, I have Sivia Harding's Heart to Heart scarf pattern, the right lace needles, and the right yarn
The pattern takes 400 yards. That translates to one skein Mama Llama Cashmere in Blush Pink.

So soft. So pretty.

I sneered at the Real Old-Fashioned Winter outside the window and sat down in my chair. I:
- read the pattern notes
-cast on the ten stitches that begin the pattern
- went through the set-up rows.

Uh oh. It wasn't right. A better description than "went through" would be "muddled through". Now, please know that there is nothing wrong with Sivia Harding's directions. They are just fine.

It was me. I:
- frogged the set-up rows
- and tried again.

It was a little better until I continued on to the actual body of the scarf.

Ugh, no good. I frogged again.

Temporary missing lace-knitting mojo + lace-weight cashmere = bad idea. Instead and for the third time, I:
- cast on the ten stitches that begin the pattern.

The difference was that, this time, I put aside the lace-weight cashmere for a more robust yarn from my stash, Mmmmmmmalabrigo Silky Merino. It's 51% silk and 49% merino in a DK weight. The color is Green Gray; I'd say more muted turquoise than either green or gray.

- wrestled that lace into submission!

The scarf is divided into three sections: a tubular edge (orange arrow), a garter-stitch center (purple arrow), and a border of heart lace (pink arrow). The pattern has 16 rows and is really simple, once it's clear which direction you're knitting in. The garter-stitch center will gradually grow from its original 3 stitches to 31 stitches, then narrow again.

It's one of Sivia Harding's most beautiful designs. And yes, because it's designed by Sivia Harding, it's intended to be beaded. For the eventual blush-pink cashmere version, I have silver-lined crystal beads. The orange dots show how they'll be placed. (You can click any photo to make bigger.)

Working lace in dk-weight put in mind something Jared Flood wrote in Made in Brooklyn:
Oh how I love working up lace in dk and worsted weight yanrs - I love seeing the construction of the work, direction of stitches and the 'pop' of a lace pattern in these heavier-than-traditional yarns.

I'm a little obsessed by the prettiness of the Heart to Heart Scarf in the Malabrigo. Back to knitting so I have some more to show you tomorrow!

1 comment:

Sivia said...

Hi Helen,

I hadn't worked this up in heavier yarn, but seeing your version, I believe I must! Thank you for your very clear explanation of the pattern and your lovely pictures!

Best, Sivia