Designing lace is not for dummies!

I’m just now binding off my own little lace shawl design. I decided to work the entire shawl in lace, rather than leaving a large stockinette area. This proved to be just challenging enough, and kept the knitting interesting!

My new lace shawl design...pre-blocking

(Lorna’s Laces Green Line DK. The next version will be knit in bright red – orange (Bergamota) Malabrigo Lace)

I love how the lace pattern “grows” out of the raglan-style seams. Similar to the effect I’ve created in cabled sweaters, like this one I designed for Mission Falls:

Mission Falls Natalia

And this one for Knit.1 (Habanero):


Because of my mathematical background, it was a really fun experiment to determine which stitch patterns would and wouldn’t stack nicely and then to chart the edges of the shawl sections as new stitches are added. My degree is in crystallography and mineral physics, so working with symmetry and placement of motifs is kind of “my thing.”

I really enjoy this kind of mental exercise, and I think that the result is really nice! It was also good practice for garment design. The way that I grew my lace motifs would also work at raglan seams. I have yet to design an all-over lace raglan sweater, and now I can see exactly how to do it!

And I have Miriam Felton to thank, she held my hand through my first experience with the charting software! Thanks, Mim!

I’m blocking it now, and have already written the pattern! :)

Shawls shawls shawls!

I finished Daybreak!

Finished Daybreak.  Diva Style.
(Updated with a new FO photo in which I am channeling the Stitch Diva.)

I do like this, but I had several serious debates with myself as to how long I could keep at it. I decided to only do 15 colored stripes (rather than the 20 for the XL.) And then, in order to make everything work out in a manner that is mathematically agreeable to my Virgo nature, I had to do 5 border repeats. Because 15 is a multiple of 5, and there are 3 sun rays on each side…this seemed to make the most appealing shortcut to me.

I enjoyed the pattern, but have other things to get to! :)

Anyway, the effect is gorgeous.

I still think that my colors are too close in intensity. When I look at it, it reads “beige.” One color should pop and one recede.


I’m working on something new today.
Something new!

This is Lorna’s Laces Green Line DK, being knit up into what I hope will be a shawl with shaping. I’m marrying my new shawl / scarf interest with the fundamentals of Top Down sweater design, raglan shaping, and adding in some pretty stitchwork.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

OH! Remember that raw silk yarn from the other day? You haven’t seen it again because I’m allergic to it. I’m allergic to lots of silk yarns. Any that have teeny fibers that can fly off. BOO. I’m still planning to do *something* for it…I’ll probably finish this design, and then see if someone would like to try to knit it in the raw silk and see how that does.

It's a process.

This has been a really strange week. We had house guests on Sunday – Tuesday, then we all went up to the Black Range Lodge for a night. It’s weird to have a break in the middle of a week!

We stopped and took a few pictures at the Lake Valley Ghost Town (which is where we took the picture I posted of our “new house”).

family portrait

Then, we went up to the Lodge and did outdoorsey stuff with the babies.

Mazie and me

Taking a midweek break is nice, but didn’t relieve too much of the stress. If anything, it was two days that I wasn’t running around like a crazy person sending faxes and making photocopies. It put me behind.

I’m still working on Daybreak. I just spent this morning on google chat, and twitter, while trying to wind more of this pink yarn into a ball. Why am I too lazy to get out the swift and ballwinder, but I’ll spend HOURS untangling the mess that I’ve made winding by hand? It’s theraputic. Winding, winding, winding, slowly making progress.

untangling more pink yarn for daybreak

Kind of like the infitessimal daily progress we make on the faxing, copying, form-signing during this mortgage process. Just keep winding, and one day it’ll be done.

Daybreak…13 striped rows done!

Daybreak Shawl

So…I just realized that I called my wonderful readers jerks last week!

I must really be stressed! You’re not jerks. (…most of you, anyway…) ;)

I’ve made some progress on the Daybreak shawl. I decided to make the large one, since I’ve got two full hanks of sock yarn to get through. I may just keep on going until I’m out of yarn. Which would make it an Extra Large? Each hank is close to 500 yards!

Daybreak Shawl

So far, I do like this pattern. It’s a lot of stockinette, which has been a really nice break. I’m not sure if I’ll finish the whole thing in one stretch, or if it will become my “go to” stockinette project in the middle of other things. It’s taking me a while to get this far…and I’m feeling a little Clapotis-y about it today. (When I knit that, I had to say, “Ok. I can knit 12 rows. I can get to that next dropped stitch. I can DO this.”) The end result of Clapotis is gorgeous, but it took some motivation to finish up. I guess we’ll see how next week goes, and that’ll determine the fate of Daybreak!

Yesterday, while waiting to hear about the “**Waivers and Objections” results on the house, I totally messed up the stripe pattern. You’re supposed to alternate two rows of each color, but I only did one row of pink. So I thought that I could make up for it by only working one row of green, but then the rows on which I had to do the increases were on the WS…so. I did 3 rows of green, one row of pink, and was back on track.

Daybreak Shawl.  13 stripes

I’m not a ripper. Especially on a project like this, which is *supposed* to resemble something organic (the sun rising over a green field.) SO…my anxiety will be permanently recorded in this little piece of stockinette.

One concern I have is that my green is really similar in tone / intensity to the hot pink in my “sun”…so the slipped stitches don’t stand out as much as they might if I’d chosen a light pink and a dark green. The green is also loftier than the pink, so it has more body and kind of overpowers the slipped stitches in that way.

I like the ones that other people have made using black as one of the colors. BUT…I used what I had on hand in the studio. I didn’t even want to go out to the garage and look in my storage bins. SO…it is what it is. And it’ll be nice.

**Nathan asked me not to blog about the house any more until negotiations are done. I think it’s unlikely that the sellers have googled us and somehow found this blog…but…for the sake of his sanity and my marriage, I’ll concede. It’s hard, though!!