Continuing on with the projects – today we look at The Laces! These are some of my favorites. There are two lace patterns included in the collection – one requiring a modest commitment, the other one requiring the Long Haul labor-of-love.
A large lace square worked in a laceweight alpaca silk 2-ply - this was the first project I started last Fall and one of the final finishes in the Spring. Don’t get me wrong though – we had many, many happy hours together.
Although I generally favor working lace projects with slightly heavier yarns that have a bit of body to them (mostly cause I like watching the architecture of the stitches play out as I work), there’s really nothing like a fine laceweight shawl after it’s blocked. Fine knitted lace has a way of taking your breath away when it’s whisping around!
The piece is a perfect square, with the center garter stitch portion (okay, so I guess I got a little more garter in than I may have originally let on) worked first, back and forth with lots of satisfying, mindless knitting. Just when you’re ready to ditch the simple stuff you’ll work the second section of horseshoe lace, picked up from the square’s perimeter and worked in the round, working increases at each of four corners. The delicate edging is worked last and knitted-on in place of a bind off.
Here we have our DK-weight lace contender. This piece is a true bit of luxury knitting. Marly, an incredibly light (even for cashmere) 100% cashmere will stop you in your tracks the first time you touch it. When blocked for lace, it feels even lighter – I couldn’t believe it!
The pattern provides two sizes – an average length (about 60″) and a long length (72″) depending on how much yarn you’d like to use. The final piece is wide enough to be considered a stole but can be scrunched down to be worn as a scarf just as easily. I love lace pieces that can be dressed down for street styling or classed up with evening wear. Versatility is always a plus!
The stole is worked in two halves – starting in the center with a provisional cast-on and worked out towards the edges. The lace edging is worked concurrently and changes direction at finish to be worked as a knitted-on-edging in place of a bind off. The second half is worked directly off of the provisionally cast-on sts at center and worked outward in the exact same manner as the first.
As a side note – I want to take this opportunity to extol the virtues of blocking wires. I’ve been using them exclusively for a few years and have to say that they reign as one of my very favorite (and necessary) knitting tools. I’m a big believer in the magic of blocking – not only for lace, but everything – it can really be the key to putting that extra professional touch to your work. That said, I like square edges, sharp corners and even tension – which can be achieved with pins, but you may drive yourself nuts trying if you err on the side of perfectionism (neurosis) *cough*.
Blocking wires do all the hard work and leave your lace projects coming out perfectly crisp and symmetrical. The joy!
I’ll leave you with this photo – taken in early Spring as I was communing with camera, blocking wires and at-long-last-finished-shawl.
Lace knitters – I hope you enjoy!
Bridgewater on Ravelry
Willoughby on Ravelry
*All patterns are now available as individual PDF downloads through Ravelry or through my pattern page here.*