I have recently finished two lace projects for patterns with shop models. The Fir Cone stole in Kidsilk Haze,
and the Feather and Fan scarf in Malabrigo Laceweight.
I wanted to write up some patterns that were simple enough for beginner lace knitters, but not too boring. I loved working the Fir Cone pattern. I didn’t want to put a complex edging on the stole, in part to keep it simple, and in part because I like the cleaner line. I’m not a ruffle-y kinda gal. I did add a little yarnover selvedge to make blocking easier. I threaded the wire right through each hole before pinning out. (Sorry it’s so dark.)
I went with Feather and Fan for the Malabrigo only after several failed attempts at using other stitch patterns. The color I chose, Alpine Pearl, is more strongly variegated than some of the other Malabrigo laceweight colors. Feather and Fan really works with multicolors, in my opinion. The other stitch patterns I swatched just didn’t show up very well.
These projects were fun, simple knits, but working with a fine laceweight like Kidsilk Haze is fairly slow going, even in a simple pattern like Fir Cone. The finer yarn requires more attention. I have to look at what I am doing much more closely than with a heavier yarn. This is why I’d recommend a first time lace project to be worked in a slightly heavier yarn. It is easier to see and to feel what is going on. It is harder to accidentally knit a yarn over into the next stitch on the wrong side row. (Not, of course, that I didn’t do that.)
Several posters asked me for recommendations on good patterns for beginner lace knitters. Here is one I’d definitely suggest. It must be one of the fastest knits ever – the Forest Canopy Shawl, by Susan Lawrence. I was looking for something to do with the one skein of sport weight singles from Plain and Fancy Sheep and Wool Company that I bought in Virginia. After the Fir Cone Stole, moving on to a sport weight singles on a size 5 needle felt like I was turbocharged. Even without caffeine.
People often ask how long it takes me to knit a particular item. I can’t generally say, it’s bits of time here and there. But this triangle went so fast that here’s an estimate on this small triangle. At the point in this photo, it took the US Open Women’s tennis match and A Streetcar Named Desire, featuring an amazingly young and svelte Marlon Brando.
Here’s the finished project, un-blocked, which took an additional neighborhood block club meeting, an old Star Trek (the one where Spock goes into heat) and two 20-minute truck trips hauling horses to a trail ride. That’s my measure of time.
The question I am asking myself now is this: see how much yarn is left? Should I rip back the cast off rows and add a few repeats? I think the shawl/scarf might be nice a bit bigger, and what else will I do with this small amount of yarn? Anyone made this? Thoughts?