Thursday, November 29, 2007


See the guy on the left with the hat? That's Tristan, a member of the University of Puget Sound crew team. Tristan traveled to England last summer. I asked him to bring me a 500-gram tin of Twinings Earl Grey or English Breakfast from the duty-free shop at Heathrow. He did. He also brought back lots more tea, lots and lots of lovely tea. He refused payment but was persuaded to accept a wool knit hat for those cold, wet mornings when the team practices.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A New Doily

This is design #5 from Lavori Artistici #11. I selected it because I like the cable. Lace and cable are a great combination; doilies with cables are even better.

I am not too thrilled with the spider web center; it doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the design. And, it was a pain to knit.

The particulars:
  • Pattern: Lavori Artistici #11, design #5
  • Thread: Vintage Clark's Big Ball, size 30, in an orchid color (it's solid orchid, not variegated as the photo might suggest)
  • Needles: US1 (2.25 mm), although I usually do the first six or so rounds in a size smaller needle, 2.0mm in this case.
  • Size: 12" diameter

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Heirloom

I recently had an opportunity to purchase an heirloom — a doily by Marguerite Shimmons. Marguerite works in size 100 thread. Size 100!

The doily is about 12 inches in diameter. I don't know what pattern it is. It's possible that it's a combination of one center and a different edging. Nevertheless, I love it.

Lacis in Berkeley, California, has a collection of Marguerite Shimmons doilies in its museum collection.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Big, Comfy Shawl

Everyone needs a big, comfy shawl. My latest is the Alix shawl by Myrna Stahman by way of Debbie Macomber.
  • Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot (superwash wool, mohair, nylon) in Lupine, 3 skeins (I had about 5 yards left)
  • Needles: US7
  • Finished size: 46 inches center back
The pattern as written finishes with a seed stitch border. I decided to finish with the Catharina border from Myrna's "Stahman's Shawls & Scarves." (Not an original idea; I had seen a version with this border.)

Both the Catharina and Alix shawls use Myrna's variation on the Smiling Diamonds pattern from Barbara Walker's first Treasury. Catharina is a Faroese-style shawl; Alix is a triangle shawl. Catharina was the one of the first shawls I ever made, so I was familiar with the edging. The only tricky bit was adjusting the attachments at the center point to center the bottom scallop.

What's nice about this shawl is that you can knit it in just about any yarn. I've seen it in the finest lace weight to much heavier yarns. I've seen it in solids and variegated yarns. It's easy enough for beginning lace knitters but interesting enough for veteran lace knitters.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lovely Lunna

What better way to transition from summer to winter than with a lace scarf. This one is Lunna, a Jamieson & Smith pattern.
  • Yarn: Jamieson & Smith Shetland 2-ply, 2 hanks, 252 yards each.
  • Needles: US3
  • Size: 12 inches wide by 50 inches long
What made this scarf fun is that part of it has patterning on both sides. The less fun part was grafting 67 stitches. The yarn was a bit stiff and scratchy to work with, but softened up considerably after washing.

The scarf is photographed on my Japanese lace leaf maple — a lace scarf on a lace maple. In the summer, the leaves of the tree are dark red. In the fall, the leaves "catch fire" in a stunning flame color.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Turquoise Angel

Sivia Harding's Angel Pearls beaded scarf, made with leftovers from Sivia Harding's Shetland Garden shawl (see September 17 and September 19 entries). My only difficulty with the pattern is that the purl and bead symbols on the charts look exactly the same. Fortunately the written instructions allowed me to mark where to place the beads — hooray for designers who provide both written instructions and charts.

  • Yarn: Nature Spun fingering weight, approximately 1 skein
  • Color: Hurricane Seas
  • Needles: US5
  • Beads: Silverline 6/0 Black Diamond (turquoise is darned hard to match, so I opted for contrast)
  • Pattern repeats: 13 repeats of the middle section
  • Size: Don't know; I gave it to my friend Liz before I measured it