Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Joy of Lace

3/29: Welcome to my first blog post! I hope to add some interest here soon with a free pattern and lots of pictures of my hand spinning and fibers. Meanwhile, I'm just getting the feel of this.

Although it's still plenty cold in parts of the US, the warm weather is approaching. In some places, it's already arrived! However, even in balmy Hawaii, there's no need for the fun of knitting or crocheting to stop when the thermometer goes up.

Consider lace! Those thin, cooler laceweight threads are nearly weightless, and even the simplest lace forms eye-catching patterns. I'm a fan of the finer threads myself, and love the beauty and portability of lace projects. You can usually fit them in a ziplock bag inside your purse--that's convenience! And you can end up with a masterpiece.

Try feather and fan for a classic, easy lace, which many of us have used in other weight yarns and projects. A fantastic introduction to lace knitting is available at: This is written by Eunny Jang, current Editor of interweave knits. It is so clear, well illustrated, and fun to read! And for crocheters, look here for inspiring free patterns as well:

Although they are not as cool as the combed merino laceweights, the luxury kid mohair/silk yarns just seem to make everyone's knitting look genious. Here are some samples of my own knitting and crocheting in this type of yarn, which some have referred to as "crack for knitters"--although crocheter's are welcome to join that party, too! A simple but elegant design for one skein of this laceweight is the ingenious pattern Wisp: There are not many actual pattern rows, but the effect is stunning.

Just for fun, here are some samples of my own efforts in this yarn:

The teal is a knitted shawl called Diamond Fantasy, by Sivia Harding. And there you see me modeling my crocheted sample shawl for a design I'm creating.

A lace shawl or garment is just the thing to chase off the evening chill during summer! Or get a head start on Christmas, and make a lace scarf that, I promise you, will be treasured and used. Just as with sock knitting, lace has the appeal of providing some quick rewards (with the right patterns) because it has all those holes, and is stretched even larger when finished. Plus, lace doesn't take much yarn compared to most other projects, so you get more for your laceweight-dollar. And most of all, it's a cooler alternative to those bulky wools that are so satisfying in winter!

I've got some lovely, cool, combed superfine Australian merino laceweight yarn ready to dye, as well as a very high quality Alpaca/merino combed laceweight yarn. They should appear next week in my Etsy shop Serendip: Please drop by!