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August 24, 2005

Red Leaves

This is the current portable project:


I've gotten in a mood to knit lace. It's portable, interesting knitting and the best lace patterns (the ones with logic and symmetry) feel like they knit themselves after a few rows. Most of the "leaf" laces are like that. The coolest thing about them is that just changing the place of the decrease changes the lace entirely. Put a triple decrease in the center and the edges around the yarn-overs soften and the decrease looks like the veins. Put the decrease directly next to the yarn-overs, and the same pattern becomes a diamond. More magic.

Because I made the razor shell shawl from the top down, I made this new shawl from the bottom up. The shaping premise in both is the same - increase one stitch at both sides to form the triangle, but top down also has a second increase at the center. It's two isosceles triangles sharing a side at that center, while the bottom up is a single larger isosceles triangle, but upside-down. You can stick just about any pattern into that shaping as long as you keep increasing at the sides. Certain laces have that increase built into the pattern, including Openwork Leaf (the pattern I'm using, but with an extra row added to make the edge leaves grow properly) and Diamond Mesh - the pattern the sagacious but compulsive Yarn Harlot used to make Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy Scarf pictured here. Easy trick - if the lace pattern has that diamond shape from staggering the repeats horizontally, it's going to work as a triangle.

I liked the idea of a knit-as-you-go edging so I am doing the same faggotted edging as I make the shawl, but with a nifty cast on. I'll show it next post.

It seems there's a lace vibe out there I wasn't aware of. One of the more prolific knitting bloggers out there declared this the "Summer of Lace". She’s even knitting a shawl with the same leaf pattern, only knit top-down like the razor shell shawl. Usually I'm the one completely at odds with the trend. This happened to me with travel as well this year. I'm amazed I went to Buenos Aires while it still was the über-gay destination du jour. I suppose I’m going to have to start doing something more appropriately contrary, like Intarsia Tunisian Knitting.

I’ve used the first ball of yarn out of three that are in my stash – it’s Reynolds Coco, a 50/50 wool/rayon blend bought from Webs eons ago. Yes, the pattern knits itself, but it’s starting to get just a wee bit predictable. Should I switch to columns of razor shell lace?

Here’s a closer look.


Posted by Leigh Witchel at August 24, 2005 11:24 AM

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