I've always liked puzzles, and as a kid I always loved to draw these incredibly intricate mazes for my friends. Both of these itches are satisfied by knitting lace. The detail of it and the way every layer builds onto the one below keeps my mind from wandering. Making everything behave takes some thought and fiddling.
Proud Suppliers of Angst to Crowned Heads for more than Four Centuries, Fall 2007/Winter 2008:
Spun the yarn from Ashland Bay merino. Designed the shawl, inspired by a piece of jewelry titled with the name you see above. Knit it through my thesis-writing. Finished it a few days before I defended. Pattern will be up for sale shortly.
Egeblad, Winter 2006:
Knit on size 0 needles using laceweight Tencel. Not a difficult pattern, lovely result, now I just have to figure out what to do with this doily (again).
Juliet Pullover, finished fall 2005:
Pattern: Juliet Pullover from the summer 2004 issue of Interweave Knits, with some major adjustments (no beads, no ribbons, slightly revamped neckline lace edging, adjustments due to gauge). Worked on size 3US needles, with Elann.com's fingering weight alpaca/silk blend.
I really like the way this came out. It fits like a dream.
Blue Lace Scarf, Winter 2005:
A Christmas present for my grandma. Easy to knit on the bus.
Pattern: Slightly modified from a scarf at the end of A Handspindling Treasury.
Yarn: Elann.com's Baby Silk, a sportweight alpaca/silk blend.
White Lace Scarf, Winter 2005:
A Christmas present for my aunt. Came out kind of long and skinny, but it also blocked beautifully.
Pattern: A stockinette feather and fan variation variation from one of my stitch books repeated 3 times, with a few stitches of garter around the edges.
Yarn: Elann.com's Baby Silk, a sportweight alpaca and silk blend.
Needles: Cheapy size 7 double pointeds, which were short enough that I could work on this on the bus without poking my neighbors.
Faroese Shawl, Fall 2005:
My mom is tricky to knit for; my instinct is to make the most complicated thing with the finest stitches, since she's totally worth it, but such a thing would sit in a cedar chest full of things that are too nice to wear.
This shawl worked out well. It's lovely, but it has a sturdy enough hand that it feels right for everyday wear. Hopefully she'll use it.
Pattern: Faroese Shawl by Marilyn van Keppel, from the book from A Gathering Of Lace
Yarn: Blackberry Ridge fingering weight 100% wool in navy. Beautiful stuff.
Needles: Longish size 7 Addi Turbos through most of it.
Flowerbasket Shawl, Fall 2005:
A gift for my mother-in-law. I finished this shawl so fast it made my head spin, after the two I'd done before this took so long.
Pattern: Flowerbasket Shawl, by Evelyn Clark, from the Fall '04 (?) issue of Interweave Knits.
Yarn: Elann.com's Baby Silk, sport weight alpaca/silk blend.
Needles: size 7(US) circulars.
Leftover yarn shawl, spring/summer 2005:
The pattern is a mix from the book Gathering of Lace: the center flowery thing is from the Feather and Fan shawl, the radiating lines are loosely based on the Rippling Rainbow shawl, and the outer crochet edging derives its genetics from the Feather and Fan shawl, though my fears of running out of the red changed it some.
The red yarn is Brown Sheep Naturespun Fingering left over from the first lace shawl I made, the gray is Jaggerspun Zephyr from the Mediterranean shawl (both seen below), worked on 5's. The differing thicknesses of these yarns led to slight gauge variations, which made things look a little strange when they came off the needles. Everything blocked just fine, though. I really like the color contrast, and how the zigzags give an almost 3D effect when each differently-reflecting piece is viewed side-on.
Gray Shawl, August'04-May'05:
This was my primary project for almost 10 months. A lot of knitting time went into it.
I don't really understand the need for everything to be fast and easy in knitting right now. I'm perfectly happy churning out mittens, but if that's all I did, everyone and their dog would have a full ensemble by this point. I'd rather spend more time and have a non-disposable item that I value at the end.
On the other hand, I'm sick of looking at this thing. But I'm sure my worldview will settle within the next month, and then I'll wear it at every opportunity.
Husband-ly socks, Summer 2004:
Socks for J, with some of the mildest self-patterning yarn I've seen.
That's a good thing.
He requested some ventilation holes, lest his enwoolened feet get all sweaty and gross. But not too girly-lacy, like that doily, heaven forbid. So I came up with some manly lace, which you can sort of see towards the top, and applied it liberally. He likes it. Phew.
Xmas Sox, Summer 2004:
Socks for my mom. The top of the foot and the top edging are done in a lazy feather and fan (aka what happens when I read through the directions once and say "I think I'll remember that". They came out cute. My mom likes them.
Doily, Spring 2004:
The pattern is "Small Cobweb Doily" from A Gathering Of Lace
, which is a lovely book. I highly reccommend it if you've done a little bit of lace and want to expand your horizons. I didn't use the reccommended cobweb weight wool, but fingering weight Brown Sheep Nature Spun left over from my first major lace project. Did it on 2's (dp's) and 3's (circ), and still to a nice effect, although I blocked the bejeezus out of it for maximum laciness, and to get the outer leaves to lie flat. I've since visited the lace in its current home (my in-law's), and it does curl a bit now. Lessons for next time.
If you get the book and are not a total lace virgin, this is a good pattern to start with. It only took me about a week to get through and it sated the lace jones that popped up about 5 minutes before I bought the book.
That's all the serious knitting business, now, let me just say that I never planned on making a doily. I love knitting lace, love looking at the finished product blocking, but then I want it out the door, honestly. I made this in the midst of an existential crisis: am I really the kind of person who knits doilies?
Apparently I am. But I'm also the kind of person who doesn't like OWNING doilies, and knows her friends and family well enough to give doilies to those who will appreciate them.
Lace Shawl, Fall 2003:
I started this shawl because I had an image of myself wearing a sundress, draped in beautiful lace, walking the streets of Rome and feeling oh-so Italiano
. But Rome was drizzly and too chilly for the shawl. Oh, well.
It was a good excuse to learn lace.
I'm more proud of this than I am of any other thing I've made so far, because from the general idea, through designing, through learning how to make lace, through more designing and ripping back and where did that yarnover go?, start-to-finish, I was on my own. And it's gorgeous.
Baby blanket #1 (aka Double Thickness Acrylic of Evil) Summer 2003:
First try with the baby blanket--I got the basic shape from somewhere (online this time) and played with the pattern in the middle--I hesitate to call it "lace", but it incoporates the elements that people use in lacemaking. It didn't turn out so hot--the two yarns together were a royal pain and ugly besides, and the fabric came out pretty stiff on 10.5(US) needles. Oh, well, it's a first try, and it'll keep a baby warm. Also note the booties. They turned out a lot better. This was donated to charity.
Baby Blanket #2 Summer 2003:
The second blanket came out nicer. The yarn (just some baby acrylic stuff) was nice and soft. More-or-less the same pattern as above, but this time it came out a little loose. It's perfectly sturdy, although I fear the mother will think that it isn't because the knitting is a little open. Donated to charity.
Anyone interested in how I made any of these things: You have a few options. A: Figure it out on your own. B: Contact me (tjane1216, then the "at" symbol, excite.com), although if it's copyrighted (as in, I didn't just make something up), I'll only be able to direct you to a reference. C: Never find out what I did, and wonder forever.