Tag Archives: lace knitting

It’s called, “Instant Gratification!”

This past week was a fast week for me.  I had Monday off for President’s Day, worked on Tuesday, and then went on a business trip to St. Louis for the remainder of the week.  I wanted to take a shawl and decided to knit Sentiment by Andrea Rangel using my three skeins of MadelineTosh Home, a super bulky superwash wool from the Magnolia Society Neutrals shipment.  I started on the 17th and finished the morning of the 19th, which was too late for taking with me on my trip, but I was able to block it before leaving.

So, let’s talk about the pattern.  Sentiment is very well written offering step by step instructions for the entire pattern, as well as a chart for the lace pattern.  It is quick, easy to follow with an easy to memorize stitch pattern.  By using super bulky weight yarn and a size US 15/10mm needle, this project could easily be completed in a full day.

Thick and cozy, Sentiment is soft as a cloud, yet warm as a wool blanket. Heavy yarn makes it a quick knit, and the easy lace pattern is perfect for those newer to lace. Be as bold and dramatic as you like: nothing cheers up a cold winter’s day like bright color! ~ Andrea Rangel

Courtesy of Andrea Rangel (© Kathy Cadigan 2013 )

While this pattern calls for 320 yards of Malabrigo Rasta, a super bulky weight merino wool, I only used a total of  286 yards (2.6 skeins) of my MadelineTosh Home.  Speaking of the yarn I used, this scrumptious soft superwash bulky wool is simply to die for!  It is so incredibly soft and truly shows stitch definitions.  Each skein measures 110 yards/100 meters, is machine washable, and calls for a US 10  11 needle (6mm to 8mm).  I really think this yarn would make a great bulky weight vest or sweater.

Madelinetosh Home

And now for the photo shoot, photos compliments of my hubby, Don….

It is really cozy!

My bottom edge curled during the photo taking … bummer!

Close Up

A side view to show the lace design

I have to truly say I love this shawl and plan to wear it often for work as it is super light weight and drapes really great over my shoulders.  If you haven’t already done so, be sure to take a peek at Andrea’s full line of designs, which can be found online at Ravelry – Designs by Andrea Rangel.

Until next time, happy knitting, crocheting, spinning and crafting!

Old Shale ….

Last weekend Kelly over at the Celtic Cast On posted her finished project, a lovely shawl call Old Shale Shawl by Amanda Clark.   Kelly knitted her particular shawl as a prayer shawl, which inspired me to do the same thing.

Old Shale

Old Shale Side View

Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna Choice

2 skeins each of Linen and Silver Gray

Needles:  U.S. #10 / 6mm circular knitting needle

My Rav Project Page

First, this pattern is super quick and super easy!  I casted on last Saturday, June 2nd and finished yesterday.  Yes, it only took a week to knit and I love how it turned out.  This shawl was made for my husband’s aunt as a prayer shawl and since she once told me that she is allergic to wool, I decided to use acrylic.

I did not want a solid color and opted to use the color Linen for the main part of the shawl and the Silver Gray for the lace stitch.  I also did only three full repeats of the pattern and ended with four garter stitch rows instead of six.   I really like how this shawl turned out and the stretchy acrylic will be perfect for my aunt to wrap around her shoulders to stay warm.  And since it is acrylic, it will be an easy care garment!

If you are looking for a new design for a giving as a prayer, I really suggest keeping this pattern in mind.  The pattern is very well-written, offers step-by-step instructions and charts for the lace stitch pattern.

Amanda has another design that would also be good as a prayer shawl called Skoosh.  This triangular-shaped shawl is worked in one piece from the top down using Aran weight yarn and an US size 8/5.00mm needle.  I think this would be another quick and speedy knit project too.

Do you knit or crochet prayer shawls?  

If yes, what is your most favorite pattern to use?

Until next time, happy knitting, crocheting, spinning and knitting!

Casting On and Casting Off: A quick lace project and a touch of leaves!

I joined the Ravelry Group, 12 Shawls in 2012 the first part of this year but I’m slightly behind so I decided the month of May was the perfect month to catch up a bit and knit at least two small shawls.

I love quick projects and this past week I casted on Arroyo by Sarah H. Wolf using my stash yarn of Wisdom Yarns in Poems, a very light fingering weight sock yarn.  This took me a total of five days, including the time for blocking.  If you are a beginner lace knitter, this is a very easy pattern and would be perfect for you to try.

Pattern: Arroyo
Yarn: Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock in Ivy Trails.
US 4 (3.5 mm)
I added beads on rows 10, 18, and 26 of the lace pattern, and I added an eyelet row at the very end before binding  off.
Start Date:
May 23, 2012
End Date:  
May 28, 2012
Ravely Project Page:

This will look great as a scarf for this fall!

Showing a close up with the beads.

I’m looking forward to wearing this as a scarf this fall and can’t wait!  This evening I’m casting on a beautiful project, the Double Leaf Saroyan by Liz Abinante and I’ll be using my stash of Malabrigo Rios in the colorway of Zarzamora.  This will be another quick knit project that I should be done with in less than two weeks!

What quick knit lace projects do you enjoy?

Until next time, happy knitting, crocheting, spinning and crafting!

Anna, a devine lace shawl!

I love lace knitting and when I see certain designs that call to me personally, I have to share them with others.  One such design is the Anna Shawl, an exquisite lace design created by Franklin Habit that he dedicated to his Mother.

When I first saw this design, I’m not sure if it was the color of the yarn that Frankin chose or the lace pattern , I just knew I had to have it!  I believe that the color of the yarn you choose for lace knitting is very important, and Franklin’s design once again tells me that choosing the appropriate color is very important when it comes to lacework.  Let’s face it, you don’t want to detract from the elegance of your lace stitches by using busy colors.

Franklin has used short rows to shape the top portion of this shawl, giving the wearer  a smooth and flawless drape.  While this shawl gives the look of complex lace, Franklin chose a very simple star stitch pattern for the top portion that is seamlessly followed by very elegant stitch design that is then edged in garter stitch to match the top.

This project will require two skeins of Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk, a lovely and soft blend of  85% merino wool and 15% silk in the colorway Italian Plum,  a size US 3 (3.25mm) circular needle, stitch markers and a tapestry needle for weaving in ends.  Franklin provides very easy to follow written instructions for the top portion of the shawl and uses a chart for the lace border.  Please note while I always encourage knitters to spread their wings and grow in their knitting, this design is for those who understand lacework and charts.

The finished size of this shawl will measure approximately 54 inches wide by 24 inches deep, after gently blocking.

This pattern can be purchased online at Ravelry.  Be sure to check out Franklin’s other designs that have been inspired by the women in his life, which include:

Photos © F. Habit. Used with permission

Photos © F. Habit. Used with permission

About: Franklin Habit is a Chicago-based knitter and artist, and the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press).  His writing, illustrations and photography have been featured in magazines such as Knitty, Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, Interweave Crochet, and Twist Collective, as well as several books. He is a sought-after teacher and speaker, and has a popular blog, The Panopticon.

Until next time, happy knitting, crocheting, spinning and crafting!

There’s nothing like lace!

So one of my goals this year is to knit at least 8 shawls, which as I mentioned earlier, I joined Romi’s lovely Pins & Lace Club that will truly help me on this adventure but I didn’t mention that I ordered the January Illuminati Kit from WoolGirl , which is part of her Embrace the Lace Club.

I got my kit today and I’m super excited to get my very first skein of Miss Babs yarn and my very first pattern designed by Renee Leverington, a.k.a.  Goddess Knits !

Inside my kit:

  • 1 skein of Yasmin lace weight (80% merino and 20% tussah silk) from Miss Babs in the colorway of Illuminati and 1250 yards in just one skein.
  • Soilsigh shawl pattern designed by Renee Leverington, a.k.a.  Goddess Knits
  • A handmade bag that holds beads for the shawl project
  • A stitch marker designed by Cathy and Emilee of MD Knits.
  • An extra-large boxy project bag.
  • A handmade Illuminati gift tag created by Jennifer of Woolgirl – perfect book mark.

I can’t wait to finish up my current shawl project so I can start this one!!

Building a library: Lace Knitting Books for Reference

There’s nothing better than building your own personal library by gathering  books that inspire, give guidance and offer possibilities.   Often, designers find that building a library for reference can often take time, especially when searching for particular books for a very long time.   Today’s featured post covers a series that is often in great demand by lace knitters.

In 1998, Interweave Press created three publications that have become a staple in many lace knitters reference libraries, the Interweave Lace Knitting Book Series.

  • Lace in the Attic by Nancie Wiseman is a collection of Victorian knitted lace patterns based on Blanche Beau’s original book of swatches of lace embellishments from clothing to tea cozies.  While a few of the lace stitch patterns are familiar, many lace knitters will be delighted to find a few uncommon patterns that have not been used since the Victorian times.  This book is perfect for period piece knitters.
  • The Lacy Knitting of Mary Schiffmann by Nancy Nehring  is a collection of patterns and stories told by Mary Schiffmann, one of the founding members of the Lacy Knitters, a national guild for lace knitting.  This book is chock full of lace patterns that are sure to inspire and bring out the designer inside you.
  • Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls by Martha Waterman is the perfect guide to teach you everything you need to know to design and knit your own shawl.  This book is a great reference for any knitter’s library as it features shawl designs that include triangles, squares, circles, half-circles,  openwork, textured stitches and lace edgings to combine as you choose.  Inside you will be inspired with designs from Ireland, Scotland and Wales with many stitch patterns originating from uses with Shetland Lace knitting.

While these three books are no longer in print, you can often  find them online at Amazon.com and Ebay.

A fun way to learn lace stitches

Lace knitting is a style of knitting characterized by stable “holes” in the fabric arranged with consideration of aesthetic value.  Lace is sometimes considered the pinnacle of knitting, because of its complexity and because woven fabrics cannot easily be made to have holes. Some consider that “true” knitted lace has pattern stitches on both the right and wrong sides, and that knitting with pattern stitches on only one side of the fabric, so that holes are separated by at least two threads, is technically not lace, but “lacy knitting”, although this has no historical basis. – Wikipedia

Is the year 2010 the year of lace?  It would seem so to this writer,  who has been following many of the threads posted on Ravelry.  Many new KALs (knit alongs) are popping up for the new year and most seem to be lace related.   Knitters can find KALs for lace shawls, lace hats and even lace socks.  While the simple elegance and sophistication of lace intrigues knitters, the complexity of the stitches hinders many knitters from learning to knit lace.

So, if one has never knitted lace, what is one to do?   First, take a look at  the Harmony Guide: Lace & Eyelets by Erika Knight.  This handy guide features over 200 lace and eyelet designs to entice knitters of all skill levels.  Knitter’s can learn stitch patterns from easy-to-follow instructions and with a helpful photographs This guide is truly a must for your reference library and is small enough to carry in your knitting bag.  Since there are so many lace patterns to choose from, start by selecting an easy stitch pattern and practice by knitting swatches, or even better by knitting face cloths. (Photo: Courtesy of Barnes and Nobles).

The Emerald’s Lace Bath Set by Tabitha’s Heart Design is a very simple lace pattern to learn.  Not only is this cloth perfect to knit for gifts is perfect for learning a new technique.  This pattern will teach the basic principles of using yarn overs to create a simple, yet elegant looking lace pattern.   The washcloth will require a 2 ounce skein of cotton yarn or approximately 70 yards.  Included with this download is the matching towel, that  will require 5,  2 ounce skeins.  This  free download is available online at Ravelry.   Once mastered, think of the possibilites this stitch pattern can be used for.  (Photo: Courtesy of Azknitter)

Another quick and easy stitch to learn is the leaf pattern.  The Fern Lace Washcloth by Sara Galley is not only easy to knit , but will teach a very basic stitch pattern that has a variety of uses.   Once downloaded, you will find two other cloths included that will cover yarnovers, variable stitch counts and how to read lace charts.  Once this stitch is mastered, you will be able to create shawls, hats and scarves, and even indulge yourself in many patterns using this particular stitch pattern.    Another idea for mastering this stitch, knit a book marker using lace weight yarn.  (Photo: Courtesy of Rachel/BludhavenOracle of Ravelry)

For those of you who love Tunisian Crochet, here’s a simple Tunisian Lace Stitch:

Row 1: Chain number indicated in pattern (desired number of stitches plus 1), insert hook in third ch from hook, yo, pull up lp, ch 1, (insert hook in next ch, yo, pull up lp, ch 1) across, leaving all lps on hook. Do not turn.    To complete row, work lps off hook as follows: yo, pull through one lp, (yo, pull through 2 lps on hook) across until one lp remains on hook.

Row 2: Ch 1, skip first vertical bar, * insert hook under next vertical bar and also through top strand of next horizontal bar, yo, pull through both lps on hook, ch 1; repeat from * across. For last st, insert hook under last vertical bar, yo, pull up lp, ch 1. Do not turn.   To complete row, work lps off hook as follows: yo, pull though one lp, (yo, pull through 2 lps on hook) across.

Repeat Row 2 for pattern.   For last row, ch 1, skip first vertical bar, * insert hook under next vertical bar and also through top strand of next horizontal bar, (yo, pull through 2 lps) 2 times; repeat from * across. For last st, sc in last vertical bar. Fasten off.

For further information on mastering lace knitting, sign up for classes at your LYS.    You can also find many online sites with step by step instructions on basic lace stitches.  Join in a knit-along online where you will have support from experienced knitters.   Take your lace project with you to your knitting nights or local meet-ups to gain further knowledge and tips from those in the know.

Related Blog Post:  Vogue Stitchionary Vol. 5 Lace Knitting – Book Review