Monday, 27 August 2012

Lilies of the Vally shawl

One of the most beloved patterns in the Estonian tradition of lace knitting is the 'Lillies of the Vally' pattern. There are numerous variations on this pattern, all with nobs on a bent stalk. I just had to make a shawl with a Lilies of the Vally pattern for my book project. I chose my absolute favourite among these patterns, and made this shawl.

It has a very simple and traditional design, with a centre with the Lilies of the Vally patter and a rounded outer border. I found both patterns in Nancy Bush's book "Knitted Laces of Estonia", but you may find this Lilies of the Vally pattern i many other books as well, e.g. in Siiri Reimanns book "The Haapsalu Shawl".

The shawl is knitted in "Fine Lace" from Rowan. It gives a smooth wool shawl which falls heavily around the shoulder. The colour is a light violet.

When you learn to knit the nobs, this is not a terribly difficult shawl to knit. However, there are some special stitches that needs to be mastered first.  The pattern is also relatively complex, so it takes some time to remember it all. But the end results is always very pretty, and the pattern becomes very beautiful after blocking.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Trellis shawl

When I started knitting laces, I could not find any book in Norwegian describing the tecniques. Thus, I have decided to write one, including all my own designs. Looking at them, I realiced that most of the patterns I had made required at least some experience knitting laces. Thus, I wanted to make some patterns for beginners as well.

I went through all my books to find some easy patterns. I found the winner in Barara G. Walker's book series ”A treasury of knitting patterns”, and it is called "Trellis". All you need to know to knitt this pattern is to knitt two stitches togeter (in both directions) and yarn over. The pattern consist of four sticthes and four rows. As simple as it gets.

For the outer border a used a rounded edging I found in Nancy Bush's book "Knitted Laces of Estonia". This edging require some consentration on the pattern, but the most complex stitch is to knitt tree stitches togeter.

The shawl is knitted in one of the yarns I bought on vacation in London last fall. It is from Haiku, and is called A-32B silk mohair kusa. It is a lovely mix of  silk and mohair. I didn't have much of this yarn, as I bought the last three skeins of that colour in the store. So I made the shawl narrow.
This shawl is increadably easy to knit, and will hopefully be a nice introduction to lace knitting for beginners. Even if it is easy to knit, I thought it turned out rather well. It has clean lines, is light and not too noisy with too many patterns going on at the same time, as many of these shawls have a tendency to have. Some times plain and simple is the most pretty.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Rock carvings on Tweed

One of my favourite places from my childhood is a big stone with 3000 year old rock carvings. It is located in a field at Penne on the Lista peninsula on the southern tip of Norway, with a view strait out onto the ocean.

Sheep are gracing in the field, and the landscape is flat and sloping upwards towards Nordberg, where an old stone monument is situated. There are about ten ships and a couple of sacrificial pits on the rock. It is always blowing a cold wind out there.

On Nordberg Fort, above the stone, there is a museum where your children may make a print of the rock carvings based on some reproductions. I have to admit that it was I, and not my daughter, that did the drawings last time we visited the museums. The taught was to give the prints to my sister in law, who likes to paint rock carvings on T-shirts. However, this time it was me who needed the drawings.

This spring, my local yarn shop took in some new types of yarn, among them from Rowan. They started to sell two types of tweed. I used one of them, Rowan Tweed, for this jacket. When I was standing in the store with this yarn in my hands, I knew that it belonged in a cardigan to wear when hiking at Penne.

So I made this jacked. I chose a long ribbed border both on the arms and on the bottom of the jacket. The neck line may either be worn as an open or a high-necked collar, depending on the weather. Also, I was fortunate enough to find wooden buttons in exactly the same colour as the yarn.

 On the back, I embroidered one of the ships from the rock carvings at Penne. The embroidery is made by couture stitches, and the pattern was transferred to the jacket by tulle and a fabric pen. 
The boat looked a little lonely, so I decided to sew some waves and a sacrificial pit as a sun as well. The embroideries are made in a dark brown-purple colour, also in Rowan Tweed. Now, it only remains to bring this jacket with me the next time I visit my father at Lista.

Monday, 6 August 2012

The Lilac shawl

I love lilacs; their leafs, flowers and sent. When the lilacs blossom at my cabin or at home, I become happy and glad. So, when I found a pattern that reminded me of small lilac flowers, I just had to knit a lilac shawl.

For the centre of the shawl, I used the pattern resembling the small lilac flowers. Unfortunately, it's hard to see from the pictures. This is a commonly used pattern, and you can find it in many books, among them Sharron Miller's book "Heirloom Knitting", where the pattern is called"Small leaf". I Sharon Miller's book, the pattern is knitted in gather stitches. However, I wanted to knit it in plain knitting.

For the inner border, I used a pattern called Lilac leaf. This is a traditional Estonian pattern, and you may find it in Nancy Bush's book "Knitted Laces of Estonia". For the outer border I chose a rounded edging, which I also found in Nancy Bush's book.

The shawl is knitted in a lace weight yarn from Rowan called "Fine Lace". It gives a somewhat glossy wool shawl which falls heavily around the shoulders. The colour is somewhat dark and not really red enough for the lilac flower, but it was the closest that I could find in my local yarn store.
These are easy patterns to knit. The largest challenge knitting this shawl was to keep track of where one pattern ended and the next started, but with some markers it was easy enough. These are fun patterns to knit, both for novices and more experienced lace knitters.