Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lace, lace, and more lace...

A few summers ago, I was fortunate enough to travel to Portland, Oregon, to attend Sock Summit with my friend, Christine. This was my first traveling knit adventure and we had a grand time. At the time, sock knitting was my knitting of choice. I still love sock knitting, but after overfilling 2 drawers with socks, I thought it was time to face another challenge. While in Portland, we only had time to visit one yarn store, Knit Purl, which is downtown, not far from one of the famous Powell's Books. It is a great shop, full of gorgeous yarns, very friendly help, and lots of beautiful sample pieces. I found and fell in love with a lovely green lacy scarf in the back of the store hanging by the Malabrigo Lace. The pattern is from "Victorian Lace Today", which was on my bookshelf, yet I hadn't knit anything in it yet.

After 2 years of coveting the scarf, I have finally cast on and knit my own "Scarf with French Trellis Border from Weldon's 1890 and Bramble Leaf Center" by Jane Sowerby. It was such a satisfying knit, full of techniques and lace patterns all new to me. Here she is in Malabrigo Lace:

 Thus began my lace knitting obsession. I was hooked. Sock knitting was put on hold for many months. Next, I knit the Swallowtail shawl, also in Malabrigo, sock weight this time. Malabrigo Sock is definitely my go-to yarn for shawl knitting. It is so nice to knit with and makes a gorgeous finished shawl.
 I had purchased Romi Hill's "7 Small Shawls" ebook and really wanted to get started knitting all the shawls within. I decided to start with "Maia" in Malabrigo Sock in the familiar Lettuce colorway.

 How about a cowl in Malabrigo lace? This one is Vent d'est vent d'ouest by Marie Adeline Boyer. This pattern is so much easier than it appears. It is so buttery soft and warm.
I was having so much fun with my lace knitting that I decided to ask some friends to come over and knit some shawls with me. There are 11 of us in the group; some new lace knitters and some life long knitters. It really is a nice mix and we have a fabulous time. Here a few of the ladies modeling our first knit a long shawl, the Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark.

We started a Maia knit-a-long last month. I knit mine with bare yarn which I then later dyed with Kool Aid Tropical Punch. Isn't the color so vivid and bright?

I, also, knit a few Stephen West shawls. I had been hearing so much about them and how addicting they are to knit that I figured it was time I tried a few. I knit the Boneyard Shawl (above) first with some Araucania Ranco. I put a few beads in the garter border to add some interest.

Next was the ever-so-popular Daybreak Shawl in Cascade Heritage and Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic. Doesn't it look like a Manta Ray?

I also did a little Mystery Shawl knitting. Wendy knits Summer Mystery Shawlette pattern was released little by little, every few days until the pattern was complete. It was fun blindly following the pattern, not knowing what your finished shawl was going to look like, yet watching the design progress. I used Cascade Heritage for this.
So in a year of uncertainty and major life changes, I have once again found comfort and peace in my knitting and my knitting circle. Thank God for knitting. And now if you'll excuse me I've got some lace knitting to do....