Lace Blather

I’ve been lacing it all over the place this summer. Especially since the case of the missing socks. I’m not a real lace knitter like Jean or Thomas – the works of art I’ve seen on their sites require more focus than I seem to be able to give to knitting at the moment. I’m more of a slapdash lace knitter. Easily memorized repeats – easily covered up errors. I’ll just knit these two together and fake a yarnover and no one will know. Next row, please.

One of the easiest traditional lace patterns to knit is Feather and Fan, also known as Old Shale. I recently made a stole in Feather and Fan in Domy Heather, lovely Michigan yarn, but not readily found, it seems. Too bad, it’s a beautiful yarn and a real value as they say.

When making this stole, I thought I’d start in the middle with a provisional cast on. Then, after the first half was completed, pick up stitches and work in the opposite direction so the stole would be perfectly symmetrical. OK, scratch that word perfectly. Even though the version of  Feather and Fan I was using has three rows of stockinette, the curve produced by the increases and decreases on the lace row is just too strong. I mean, look at this thing, it could head on over to White Lies Designs and pose as lingerie with the cup shaping already done.


Severe blocking did help.


This is a blocking device created by Mr. Guy from a screen door that had to be replaced. A friend walked right thru the screen one summer evening at dusk. During a party…


But really, I don’t think the symmetrical aspect was worth the fuss.

I’m making a Feather and Fan scarf in Malabrigo laceweight that is just one long pattern repeat. I’ll compare and contrast when it’s finished.

The curve produced in lace shaping creates another difficulty. That is the bind off problem. “Bind off loosely” just doesn’t cut it in some cases. Witness this one skein Silara scarf I designed for the shop. It looks quite nice at the cast on edge,


which I did with a backward loop, but even with a very loose bind off the bound off edge looks really poor.


I decided to take out the last few rows, work only 2 rows of garter, then use my trusty ole yarnover bind off. It isn’t listed in any of the books I was browsing through, so I can’t give a reference. I think I discovered it when I was trying to do a suspended bind off and goofed up. I googled for it, and the only place I’ve seen it is from Anne at Knitspot. She has an excellent tutorial on it, so I’m not going to try and take pictures of it. Just go see her post. (A woman who knows her lace. No slapdash faking it for her. She has some mighty nice lace patterns, too!)

Here’s the scarf after – it still has pins from blocking the ends, but I couldn’t even stretch the scarf enough do that before changing to the yarn over bind off.


I’m doing another stole pattern for the shop. This one has what is intended to be built-in blocking assistance. I’ll see how it goes and and post the results.



2 responses to “Lace Blather

  1. I think we have the same knitting style, if there aren’t enough stiches left in this row, oh well I’ll kfb!

    Don’t put yourself down though, your lace is beautiful. How long have you been doing it? Do you have any suggestions for an easy beginner lace project? What’s a good yarn? Enough questions? 🙂

  2. I’m also a feather & fan fan and I always think about trying a symmetrical version – but never thought about what the curves would do to the seam. Funny.

    It was worth the effort. That looks beautiful!

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