Monday, 8 October 2012

Dainty Chevrons

In my book project, I plan to show different types of knitted laces. I had already Incorporated both Estonian and Shetland patterns (often in combination);  hairy and smooth shawls; with and without nobs. But I had no sheer shawls. A large part of the Shetland tradition with knitted laces is to make almost transparent laces which you may tread through a ring (so-called ring shawls). I just had to make one of these for my book.

I was a bit unsure about the pattern to chose for this shawl. I wanted something stylish and timeless. Often, ring-shawls have elaborate patterns. However, I wanted something simple and airy, in black, as a veil over a nice dress.

After searching my books, I found two patterns in Barara G. Walker's book series ”A treasury of knitting patterns” which may fit such a shawl. The patterns are called "Dainty Chevron" and "Daintier Chevron". It is really just one pattern. The difference between them is that in one, the pattern is knitted on both sides, whereas in the other, a round of plain knitting is included on the purl side.

The centre of the shawl is knitted in two halfs, and then sewn together to make the pattern symmetrical. Then the outer border is knitted on in a traditional Shetland way: where the border is knitted across and attached to the shawl by knitting the last stitch in the border together with the next stitch of the shawl. I chose a simple border from the book "Heirloom Knitting" by Sharon Miller. This pattern is knitted on both sides, which makes it very airy as well.

I used a very fine charcoal coloured merino wool yarn called "Fine merino", which I bought at "Purl soho". I also used this yarn for My first ring shawl. This yarn gives a very light shawl, and together with the fine lace pattern it made the shawl almost invisible.

This is a challenging shawl to knit because of the thin yarn and the very fine lace pattern, but I got the shawl I wanted in the end.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Thousands of blue anemones

I love walking in the forest during spring time, when the forest floor is covered by small flowers. In particular, I love when I am so lucky as to find blue anemones. In my search for simple patterns to make shawl patterns for my book project, I found this pattern that looks like a myriad of small flowers. I decided to use this pattern to make a shawl with thousands of small blue anemones.
Since this shawl was planned as a beginners shawl for my book, I chose a very simple lay out; with a flowery centre and an outer border. I have used this flower pattern in may of my other shawls, as the Lilac shawl, the Valentines day shawl and Wrapped in a pink cloud. This pattern is marginally more difficult to knit than the pattern in the Trellis shawl, as you need to be able to knit three stitches together symmetrically, but still easy enough to be feasible as the first shawl.

I found the outer border in Nancy Bush's book "Knitted Laces of Estonia". In Nancy Bush's book, this border is knitted in stockinette stitches, but I chose to knit them in gather stitches to add some structure.

The shawl is knitted in a lovely lace weight wool yarn from Rowan called  "Fine Lace". The yarn gives a relatively shiny wool shawl, which wraps heavy around the shoulders. The blue colour is a bit light for the blue anemones, but it was the closest mach I found in the store.

I chose a narrow shawl, as the lay out of the shawl was so simple, with not much variation in the pattern. It is a fast and easy shawl to knit, and I liked how it turned out in the end.