Monday, May 28, 2012

So-called Easy Lace

Way back in 2011 Oogy and I decided to focus on knitting lace projects.  I began this Large Rectangle shawl from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby, thinking it would be a relatively quick project.  I had to leave it languishing for many months because it was not mindless knitting.  Even though it is labeled "easy lace" in the book, I found that it required all of my attention, even after doing many repeats of the pattern within a short time.  The other thing about lace is that it requires concentration just keeping it on the needles.  So, it sat until about a month ago when I decided that I needed a total escape from thinking about work.  I found it so therapeutic to pause the incessant internal work narrative and focus just on knitting.

The pattern is a traditional diamond motif with a 12-row knitted-on border.
I used Misti Alpaca Lace in a color I can't remember.  It's a moss-like green.
One of the most challenging aspects of making lace is blocking it to show its pattern most effectively.  I have sewn the wet shawl onto a quilt!
I thought once this project was complete that I would not be interested in making lace for a very long time.  However, I'm now eyeing the considerable stash of lace-weight yarn and wondering which project to tackle next.  Perhaps one that Jane Sowerby calls "intermediate lace"?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Normal

I was going to call this "back to normal", but this has been a transformative year and what was a normal level of busy last year seems a bit leisurely now.  Right now I'm happy to focus on something other than work at 10 o'clock at night.

A few weeks ago Oogy posted pictures of her Wingspan projects, and as is often the case, I did not hesitate to follow her example and made my own.  She is my project guru.

I began with a few sock blanks from Knit Picks.

Which I dyed to varying degrees of intensity with the color Wedgewood from Prochem dyes.


I got impatient and scrapped my original plan to make the husband stand over the stove holding the sock blanks and lowering them slowly with exact timing.  I did this instead.

By the time I had lowered both blanks into the bath, the dye was mostly used.


The color progression was not perfect, but I was OK with that.

With the dyeing finished, I was very eager to begin knitting.

The variations of Wingspan that most impressed me were ones with gradual color progression, so I was hoping to achieve that with the wedgewood-dyed wool.  It sorta worked...

This pattern is very good for semi-mindless knitting.  It's all garter stitch, with markers doing all the counting work.  Just when it gets boring, it's time to begin a new wedge.  I can see doing this again.