My current work in progress:

Rona, by Alice Starmore, knit from Alice Starmore Hebridean 2-Ply, using 3.25mm needles.

Archives for June 2005

Summer of Lace Button Voting

It’s time to cast your vote for your favorite “Summer of Lace” button!

The 14 finalist buttons are viewable here in a pop-up window. Which one do you like the best?

(P.S. Is your pop-up blocker over-zealous? Here are the buttons in a full-size browser window.

Aren’t they wonderful? I haven’t decided which one I’m going to use yet.

Regardless of which buttons wins, you are welcome to download and use any button that strikes your fancy on your own blog.

(Don’t know how to download a button to use? Click here for a great explanation!)

The button that has the most votes by Sunday June 12 at noon EST, will win its creator a yarn prize.

Deborah Newton Shawl

I am coming down the home stretch on the knitting of this sucker! I am into the last repeat of the patterns, so the end is in sight.


My goal is to graft it together tomorrow evening, and block on Sunday afternoon. As soon as I have it grafted, I’ll get started on the Tina shawl. I can’t let L-B get too far ahead of me . . . 😉

What Qualifies as Lace?

“Knitted lace is constructed from a single thread manipulated to form a looped openwork fabric – a development from functional knitting, which was probably practised as early as the 12th century.”

I found this definition of knitted lace at

Do you think you’d like to knit lace but are intimidated by the thought of tiny, wicked-sharp needles and yarn the diameter of sewing thread? Fear not the lace! Lace can be knitted on any size needles with pretty much any yarn. Some of my favorite lace shawls are the ones I knitted with fingering or sportweight yarn on US size 6 or larger needles. Sometimes I will take a pattern for a shawl that calls for laceweight yarn and size 3 needles and use fingering weight yarn and size 5 needles, because I want a larger shawl. Check out the lace I’ve knitted — there’s a link to some of my lace projects from my knitting gallery page. The majority of the shawls there are knitted using US size 6 needles.

Try a small project to start, a lace scarf for example. A lot of people are currently knitting and loving Susan’s beautiful Branching Out Scarf from Knitty. That would be a great way to get your feet wet! You can make it this summer and have a head start on your holiday gifts. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll just keep it for yourself. Heh heh.


All Lace All the Time

I am on “Shawl Archipelago” (the lace version of Sleeve Island, cleverly coined by Carie). Yeah, still knitting madly on the second half of the shawl. I’m making progress, but it makes for very uninspiring “in progress” photos. The fun won’t start until the blocking!

So I’ll spare you an “in progress” photo today because it looks pretty much the same, except there’s more of it.

Instead I’ll post some photos of recent acquisitions.

Last week I placed an order with Morehouse Merino, and it arrived a couple of days ago.


Ten skeins of their lace yarn in Soft White. This is fingering weight, 220 yards per 1 oz skein.


Five skeins of their variegated 2-Ply yarn in Autumn Fields. This is sport weight, 220 yards per 2 oz skein.

The Soft White will likely become a square shetland shawl (though I reserve the right to change my mind a million times). The Autumn Fields — hmmmm, maybe a triangular shawl.

You see, I am stockpiling lace supplies in hopes that they allow me to take them all with me when I am sent to the Home for the Terminally Confused.

How to Salvage a Sucky Day

Come home from work to find an envelope from Sweden in your mailbox.


Open said envelope and find a cute kitty card inside.


Find also in said envelope an alluring little package wrapped in gold paper.


Open said package and find these:


Beaded wristwarmers. Knitted in qivuit.


Thank you, Johanne!! They are perfect!

Coming tomorrow: Voting on the Summer of Lace Buttons. The button that wins the popular vote wins a yarn prize!



The astute among you may have noticed (from glancing at the sidebar) that I created a “Summer of Lace 2005” Yahoo Group. Some of you asked in the comments or via email about a lace knit-along for summer. It sounded like a good idea to me, so I created a group where we can all post messages, upload photos, ask questions, share info, etc. Everyone and anyone who is knitting lace this summer is welcome to join. The link to the group is, as I mentioned above) in the sidebar, over on the right.

Speaking of Lace


I received in the mail yesterday a copy of Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller. (I bought my copy from TheKnitter — no affiliation, just wanna mention the excellent service and very fast shipping!)

This is not an inexpensive book, but I think, for me, it was worth the money. The author describes the book, on her website, as “a new Pattern and Workbook on the craft of Shetland Lace Knitting.”

While it contains several patterns for projects (baby items and shawls), none of them “spoke” to me. But that’s not why I bought the book. It contains a huge library of traditional Shetland lace motifs — all of which are charted. I’ve got other books of Shetland lace, but I think this is the largest collection of patterns in one place that I’ve ever seen.

There’s also lots of information on shawl construction, needles, yarns, cast-ons and cast-offs, etc. Most everything you ever wanted to know about Shetland lace.

I think I’m going to find this book extremely useful in designing my own lace shawls.

Again, Speaking of Lace

I’m working away at the shawl.


Okay, now I am bored with it, because I’m just repeating what I did on the first half. Still, I’m only a few days away from completing it, so I will persevere.

Next up, as I mentioned a few days ago, is the Tina Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting. I’m making it in Misti Alpaca Lace in Natural White. L-B is making the same shawl in the same color, and she’s started hers. And is enjoying it so far, right L-B?

We Are Still Speaking of Lace

A couple of questions in the comments about wearability of lace shawls.

I very rarely make a square shawl, because the shape I like best for wearing is a triangular shawl. Yeah, you can fold a square to make a triangle, but in my head I always thought “what a waste — just knit a triangle for gosh sakes.”

But at this point, it’s about the process (hi Margene!). I’m interested in the construction of square shawls, so I’m gonna make one. Or two. Or more. I’ve made several rectangular shawls and like them too.

I do wear my shawls sometimes. I keep one or two of them at work, for when the a/c is too aggressive in the summer, and the heat is too wimpy in the winter. I sometimes wear one as a really big scarf in the winter. I actually find them to be among the most useful of my knits to wear.

The one shawl shape I’ve never knitted is a Faroese shawl. I am not sure why, but they simply don’t appeal to me.

Holy Guacamole, What a Storm

What happens when you mix an oppressively hot muggy day with a cold front? Not-to-be-believed thunderstorms, that’s what. I was awakened at 12:30 this morning (as were most people in this area I believe) by the loudest, most dramatic thunderstorm I’ve ever experienced. Almost unreal.

Lucy was surprisingly calm throughout.


Here’s a close-up of what I’m mailing to the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation tomorrow:


The proceeds from the Inishmore Raffle. Thanks again, guys!

Feelin’ Groovy!

Lacey groovy, that is.

I’ve made some progress on the second half of the Newton Lace Shawl. Witness:


I’m hoping the second half will take me less time than the first to complete. I think I’ve got an easier week this week with more evening free time, so I have high hopes.

As I mentioned previously (or at least I think I did) this shawl is knitted in two sections which must be grafted together in the center.

Ew. Grafting. Something of which I am not particularly fond. But what must be done, must be done.

There’s an article in a past issue of Knitty on grafting that has excellent clear instructions and photos here.

Another site with very clear pictures for grafting garter stitch is here.

I was sifting through my lace patterns last night and came across my copy of the Spider Queen. I’ve always thought this was a very pretty piece of lace, and am thinking about incorporating it into the line-up for the Summer of Lace.

I note that it is constructed by knitting the center square, then knitting each side panel out from the center separately. Hmmm, I wonder if it would be possible to knit it circularly, knitting all the side panels in the round at the same time? Probably, but it would take forever to complete a round! Also because it’s based on garter stitch, one would have to purl every other round. As far as I’m concerned, that is just wrong.

Summer of Lace Button Contest

I’ve gotten some really cute buttons in my contest (see yesterday’s entry for particulars). There’s still plenty of time to submit a button, so keep ’em coming!

A question in the comments — are we gonna have a Summer of Lace Knit-along? Sure, why not? I’ll post all the button choices on Thursday. You can vote for your favorite and if you like, download your favorite to display on your blog.

Lucy is more concerned about keeping neat and tidy in the summer heat.


Me? I’m celebrating the Summer of Lace by listening to Jimi Hendrix on the iPod.

Summer of Love Lace

Raise your hand if you are old enough to remember the Summer of Love.

Okay, never mind.

I have decided that (for me anyway) this will be the Summer of Lace.

I am blaming this partially on job stress. When I am stressed, I impulse shop. And if I am remembering correctly, I have impulse-shopped up quite a mess o’ lace yarns and patterns.

Not everything has arrived in my mailbox yet, so I’m . . . um . . . not sure exactly what I have. But I do know that it is enough to keep me amused for a while.

And I haven’t had a Summer of Lace for at least five years, which was PB (pre-blog).

I feel as though I ought to hang curtains of beads in the doorways, find my old peace sign medallions and wear them with peasant blouses. Part my hair down the middle and say “groovy.” Peace out, man.

Perhaps I am getting carried away. I toyed with the idea of making a “Summer of Lace” button for my blog, but the way I envision it in my brain (freaked out tie-dye colors/1960s flower power) and the way it came out in my graphics program were worlds apart. But if any of you lovelies who are adept with the graphics want to give it a try . . .

Summer of Lace Blog Button Contest!

An idea breaks through! Send me a “Summer of Lace” button by 5pm EST Wednesday and I’ll post them on my blog Thursday and we can vote on our favorite. The peoples’ choice will win a yarn prize.

Make the button no bigger than 100 pixels wide by 50 pixels high. You know, normal blog button size. I think most of the buttons on my blog are around 80 by 30 pixels, or something like that.

Speaking of lace, here’s the first half of the Deborah Newton shawl completed.


I’ve made a good start on the second half — photos tomorrow.