Category Archives: Lace

Summer Projects


Ah summer… the time of year when we relax a little bit and have some fun. I’ve definitely felt the need for some fun lately so I decided to try a few new things this summer to break myself out of a rut.

One recent Saturday morning, I woke up with visions of knitting under a big umbrella on a beach while salty waves washed ashore. An appropriately beachy yarn in a light seafoam color was just beckoning to be made into a hard-wearing beach bag. A few hours of Ravelry-perusing later, I decided on the Medano Beach pattern. I coupled in some Debbie Bliss cotton DK in cool grey to give it those fun stripes that are just so popular right now.


Following this inspirational wave to try new things, I wanted something that would be a bit of a challenge and keep me entertained. I also discovered that I’m really enjoying working with the thin Hempathy yarn, so I started thinking of light, airy shawls in laceweight yarn, which is something I’ve never worked with before. I fell in love with Brooklyn Tweed’s Rock Island Shawl, which is spectacularly lovely and word on the Ravelry forums is that it’s not exactly beginner’s lace. I picked up some lovely Anzula laceweight in the Seascape colorway and cast on for this just the other night. I haven’t gotten very far, but I think its going to be great.


Curse Breaker

Knitting a hat with so many things that could have easily gone wrong has seemed to break the bad luck curse of late.


What could have gone wrong, you ask?

First off, its a lace-like pattern, which (for me) makes it very likely that something will go wrong. And tinking back to fix a mistake in lace makes it even more likely that I’ll mess something else up.  AND I didn’t even bother with a lifeline.

And then there’s the cursed yarn I was using (see previous post for that whole story).  It’s superwash, so that meant that even though it took five tiny balls to knit up this hat, I couldn’t spit-splice the ends.  And of course, starting a new strand of yarn in a lace pattern can be tricky as well.  But I lucked out and was able to start all the new strands on the “rest” rows of the pattern.

Then there was the fact that I chose to go down a needle size from what the pattern suggested without swatching.  (Tempting the fates!)  And of course, the hat was coming out very small.  So small, that I was pretty sure I would need to give it to my eight year old niece if I ever wanted the hat to be worn.  But then I followed the pattern’s suggestion to block it over a dinner plate to really open up the lace pattern.  And lo and behold, an adult sized hat resulted.


Curse officially broken.  Now if I could just find my darning needle to weave in the ends!  (Uh oh.  Hope that’s not the curse coming back to bite me in the ass!)

Pattern: Crooked Paths by Melissa LaBarre of

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Baltic

FO: Swallowtail Shawl

Ideally, I’d be taking photos of this shawl draped prettily over a patch of soft green grass, or maybe a few of me wearing the shawl and spinning in circles on said patch of soft green grass with a bright sun shining in the background or something dreamy like that. But Daylight Savings Time saved me a smidge of sunlight today, so I took what I could get.

I’m very excited about this shawl for many reasons; it was my first lace project, it was my first time knitting from charts, the yarn is so soft and cheerful….. really I could go on.

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, one skein in Ochre
Needles: US 5
Started: January 26th
Finished: March 14th

Love it!

Weather Fit For a Knitter

This weekend has been cold, windy and unbelievably rainy. Perfect conditions for bunkering down and finishing off a knitting project I’ve been ignoring for a couple of weeks.
And that’s exactly what I did.

Hope to get some modeled shots soon, but it will be difficult since Joey’s outta town and has the good camera. Maybe I’ll get inventive.

Nupping to See Here

Ah, the Swallowtail Shawl…. if you’ve knit it then you know.  If you’ve even read about it a tiny bit, you know:  those nupps are a pain!  Basically, you increase into a single stitch five times and then on the next row, you purl those five stitches together and back into one, creating a gorgeous but damn near impossible-to-pull-off nupp.
I perused Ravelry enough before starting this shawl to learn that lots of knitters found an easier way to achieve the nupp: instead of purling 5 stitches together you can slip two, purl 3 together, and pass the slipped stitches over which basically accomplishes the same thing. Now, I’m a fairly tight knitter so I’m sure I’m not making it very easy on myself, but I’ve tried working it as loose as I can, and I still have a hard time getting those three stitches on the needle to purl. I’ve had to resort to lifting them up off the left needle with a sewing needle and then placing my right needle tip underneath them in order to purl. It works, but it is painfully slow. And its pretty intense, cause if I drop one of those stitches, I’m gonna be lost.


I also discovered by perusing other Swallowtails on Ravelry that lots of knitters choose to forego the nupp in favor of a bead. I can understand the desire to avoid the nefarious nupp, but I am most definitely pro-nupp. To me, they make this shawl.


Sigh…. Some things are just worth it.