Showing posts with label lace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lace. Show all posts

26 April 2018

Pattern: The Blossom or the Bole

The Blossom or the Bole $US6 on Ravelry (no account necessary)

O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?
— William Butler Yeats, “Among School Children”

Inspired by the Yeats poem "Among School Children", this asymmetrical triangle shawl begins with Garter Stripes then alternates stripes with Leaf Lace before bursting into a large section of Birds Eye Mesh. A few more Garter Stripes and a Picot Bindoff finish everything off.

Choose three skeins of your favorite sock yarn and enjoy a fun (but not too challenging) knit. Stitch patterns are provided in both written and charted formats.

Finished Measurements
Wingspan: 87 inches/221 cm
Depth: 42 inches/107 cm


  • Color A (black): Backyard Fiberworks Prairie (fingering weight: 100% superwash merino, 400 yds/366 m per 3.53 oz/100 g), color: Cast Iron, 1 skein or approx. 300 yds/274 m
  • Color B (green): Backyard Fiberworks Prairie (fingering weight: 100% superwash merino, 400 yds/366 m per 3.53 oz/100 g), color: Arbol, 1 skein or approx. 400 yds/366 m
  • Color C (purple): Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles (fingering weight: 100% superwash merino, 400yds/366 m per 3.53 oz/100 g), color: Daydream, 1 skein or approx. 300 yds/274 m
  • US6/4.0 mm 24-inch/60-cm or longer circular needle (long circular needle is used to accommodate large number of stitches)
  • Stitch marker
  • Tapestry needle

24 sts x 48 rows = 4 inches/10 cm in Garter Stitch after blocking

  • Casting on
  • Knitting
  • Purling
  • Increasing
  • Decreasing
  • Binding off

Test knitting: IsabelleBleu, Minimoebius, SarahinHouston, Strickgut
Technical editing: Catherine Clark

The Blossom or the Bole $US6 on Ravelry (no account necessary)

Happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

01 October 2017

Pattern: Urchin Plumes

Urchin Plumes 

by Kathleen Dames

US$6 on Ravelry (no account necessary)

What to do with six gorgeous tidbits of color in Backyard Fiberworks kits? Use them ALL, of course! By bringing together Garter Stitch sections of one-ridge stripes with thick stripes of Urchin Plumes lace, you get the best of both worlds in a cozy cowl in two sizes, depending upon just how cozy you want to be.

Urchin Plumes lace is provided in both charted and written form. If you are new to lace, it's a great start because you only work the pattern every fourth row. If you are experienced with lace, did you notice that this is really Ostrich Plumes? I couldn't resist changing the name to align with my favorite shade in the Dove in a Plum Tree kit from Backyard Fiberworks. Which of the six delicious shades is your favorite?

What you'll love about knitting Urchin Plumes

  • A chance to put one of those gorgeous kits to good use (or 400/800yds of your favorite sock yarn - this is a great pattern for stash diving and using up your favorite leftovers)
  • Satisfy your lace knitting urge, then balance it out with a bunch of garter stitch
  • Finishing is quick with just two short seams (and a bunch of ends to weave in - I tried to come up with a clever solution for this, but there's just no good way around it)

What you'll love about wearing Urchin Plumes
  • Wear your cowl long for drama or short for warmth
  • Show off two delightfully different textures in one piece
  • Large cowl can be worn as a shoulder wrap, too


42-inch circumference, 7 (14)-inch depth. Shown in smaller size.


Backyard Fiberworks Dove in a Plum Tree kit: 400 (800) yds/100 (200) g total of fingering weight 100% Merino wool

  • A: Urchin 66 (133) yds 
  • B: Hosta 66 (133) yds 
  • C: Plume 66 (133) yds 
  • D: Dove 66 (133) yds 
  • E: Ume 66 (133) yds 
  • F: Walnut 66 (133) yds 

US3 29-inch circular needle (or longer to accommodate a large number of stitches) or size needed to obtain gauge
Stitch markers
Tapestry needle


24 sts x 48 rows = 4 inches in Garter Stitch
16 sts x 32 rows = 2 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches in Urchin Plumes after blocking


Photography: Nick Dames
Technical editing: Corrina Ferguson/Picnic Knits

Everything you need to create your own beautiful Urchin Plumes is provided in the professionally designed (by me!) pattern. Instructions to create small and larger versions of the cowl plus charted and written versions of Urchin Plumes lace are included.

07 July 2016

Pattern: Vines: a lacy tank

Vines: a lacy tank on Ravelry $8 (no account necessary)

Vines: a lacy tank is a perfect first garment, if you are looking to dip your toe into lacy waters. No sleeves, no shaping, just pretty pretty lace and a few clever bits for the top edgings and straps.

Beautiful and easy-to-work Vine Lace pattern (provided in both chart and written form) makes a simple little lacy tank, perfect for adding that extra layer you’ll need for spring (or any time your outfit needs a little oomph).  Worsted weight yarn makes this a quick one, too. For warm-weather knitting, try it in cotton, linen, or a blend.

This design takes advantage of lace's need to be stretched out for maximum beauty and combines it with knitting's stretchiness. Choose a size with 2-4 inches of negative ease (that is, smaller than your bust measurement - choose 0-2 inches if working with linen or cotton), and knit away. When you finish, you will have a pretty layering piece that hugs your curves with no shaping-in-lace for you.

What you'll love about knitting Vines: a lacy tank:
  • The simple and elegant Vine Lace pattern is quick to memorize
  • Working in the round means you're always seeing the pattern
  • This design is virtually finish-free!

What you'll love about wearing Vines: a lacy tank:
  • Putting negative ease to work for you means a figure-flattering tank without shaping work in the knitting
  • Add a pop of color to your outfit by layering over a contrasting top
  • Vine Lace naturally creates the pretty scalloped edge at the hem

Size/Finished Measurements
Chest: 24 (27½, 32, 36, 40) inches
Length: 22 (22½, 23, 23½, 24) inches, shown in size 32 with 4 inches negative ease

  • Madeline Tosh tosh dk (100% Superwash Merino Wool 225 yards/206 meters per 50 gram skein); color: Ink; 2 (2, 2, 2, 3) skeins
  • US8/5.0mm 24-inch circular needle
  • Spare DPN for 3-needle bindoff
  • Stitch markers
  • Tapestry needle

17 sts x 24 rows = 4 inches after blocking

Skills Needed
  • casting on
  • binding off in pattern
  • 3-needle bindoff
  • working in the round
  • knitting
  • purling
  • increasing
  • decreasing
  • following written or charted instructions for Vine Lace pattern (both included)

Many thanks to my test knitters: claribel, fibreflake, nicemrsharris, danigolts, drewhilda, and dinobower 
Photography: Nicholas Dames

Everything you need to create your own beautiful Vines: a lacy tank is provided in the professionally designed (by me!) pattern. Both written and charted versions of the Vine Lace stitch pattern are included.

Lovely knitters who purchased this pattern when it was originally released should have received a message from Ravelry that the updated version of the pattern is now in your library. Don't miss the special customer coupon code!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

07 November 2014

New pattern: Strawberry-Picking Shrug

Hop on over to Jane Austen Knits for my next design.

Strawberry-Picking Shrug, Jane Austen Knits 2014

Perfect for Emma to wear on a visit to Donwell Abbey, the Strawberry-Picking Shrug is pretty enough for Emma, while warm enough to satisfy Mr. Woodhouse's fears of catching a chill. Knit in Malabrigo's Lace yarn in the Cactus Flower colorway, this project is a manageable introduction to lace knitting on both sides of the work. 

Strawberry-Picking Shrug, Jane Austen Knits 2014

Since the shrug is worked as a rectangle, you won't have to fuss with shaping within this pattern, which will give you the freedom to concentrate on the two-sided lace. Can you see the delicate single strands radiating out from each strawberry? That's thanks to the decreases and yarnovers being worked on both sides. When you create lace with a stockinette stitch base, you usually purl back or knit alternate rounds, which creates two-strand lines in your lace. While that kind of lace is lovely (and the kind I usually play around with because, let's be honest, who doesn't love a soothing purl-back row or alternate round of knit stitches?), there is a delicacy to lace worked on both sides.

Two tiny seams and a few ends to weave in are all you'll have to do to finish this project. If you're ready to take your knitting skills to the next level, this pretty little shrug should be your next project.

Order your own copy of Jane Austen Knits 2014. Or grab one at your LYS - Small Business Saturday is coming up on November 29th!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

27 August 2010

In Memorium: Kathryn Amelia Wilson

After an amazingly full life of 94 years 356 days, my darling grandmother passed away earlier this month. Since this August 15th was to have been her 95th birthday (a milestone any way you look at it), we planned a celebration for her in Freeport, Illinois - her hometown for all of those years. In addition to the little partay the family planned, I designed a shawl for her - a pi (circular) shawl to be named Perseid Shower in her honor, since her birthday always comes at the end of the annual meteor shower of the same name. It has a variety of leafy and starry motifs that take you out from under the shelter of a tree to a starry, meteor-filled sky.

So, this shawl. I cast on at the beginning of July (once we were up in Maine) and immediately had problems. My second chart was wrong, but I didn't realize this until I completed the second repeat. I got frustrated, put the shawl in timeout, knowing I had lots of time until mid-August, and cast on a sweater (more on that later). Fast-forward a couple of weeks, and I know I need to get this show on the road. The charts are revised, and I'm ready to go. Things go pretty well until just after the last increase, when I discover that I'm off by a stitch at the end of the round. Ack! This is when I have 576 stitches on the needle. Five hundred seventy-six. And the yarn is the super-thin and super-duper sproingy Jade Sapphire Lacy Lamb. And the stitches to be tinked alternate between sl1-k2tog-psso and sl2-k1-p2sso. Impossible. Just maddeningly, frighteningly impossible. If you manage to discern the slipped stitch(es), it might work. But the yarn is so fine and sproingy that you're more likely to have stitches slip off the needles and bounce out of the row below. Suddenly you have runners into some pretty complicated lace.

Did I use lifelines? Of course not, because I'm an idiot. But after tinking back what seemed like hours, leaving a raft of coil-less safety pins in dropped stitches in my wake (and only a small fraction of the stitches tinked), I knew something had to be done. So, I bought a gigantic cone of crochet cotton, laid the poor shawl out, stretching it onto two needles, and wove the thread through the last two increase rounds (the inner round was for "insurance" in case something went horribly wrong again). It didn't take as long as I thought it might, and I started to feel better immediately. I also realized that my plan for which lace pattern to use after the last increase needed to change - this whole thing had been Fate/God/Karma/What-You-Will's way of saying I'd made the wrong decision when waffling over the plan at the 576 stage. OK, OK, I'm listening!

That was Wednesday, August 4th, and I spent that Knit Night ripping back to the lifeline and putting the stitches back on the needle. And I have to say I'm pretty proud of my lifeline weaving - I managed to weave all the stitches in the correct row (it helps that it was the increase row: yo, k1 all the way around). I started the new lace plan on those stitches and persevered, knowing I had a car ride from Maine to NYC to put a big dent in the last section before the border and then a few more days for border knitting before blocking needed to happen; I knew such fine yarn would block in a matter of hours.

Unfortunately, that Friday was a flurry of phone calls and messages about my grandmother. She was short of breath and taken to the emergency room. She was admitted to the hospital with fluid in her lungs. They had eased that situation and she was resting, then sleeping, then restless. And, suddenly, she was gone.

Honestly, we were all surprised. She had pulled through many things before; she was a tiny lady by the end of her days (under five feet, though she was half a foot taller in the prime of life - eat your yogurt and take your calcium, ladies), suffering through fractured vertebrae due to osteoporosis, but she was so strong, such a force to be reckoned with that I think we thought she would always conquer whatever health problems arose.

She was gone, and we had to get back from Maine to New York and then out to Northwest Illinois to say goodbye. I worked some more on the shawl on the drive back to New York, thinking I would give it to my aunt or just hold onto it. But the wind had gone out of my sails. It sat in my bag on the plane, and in the car, and on our annual family trip to Wisconsin. It's sitting in there, still. I'll take it out at some point, but it's going to be a while, I think.

There's more going on knitting-wise, and I promise to blog about that "real soon now". In the meantime, if you still have your grandparents in your life, give them a call or stop by if you're lucky enough to live close.

Three out of four generations of Wilson women (Christmas 2009)

15 April 2010

Piece of Emancipation History

Be sure to check out the beautiful silk shawl given to Harriet Tubman by Queen Victoria and now residing with the Smithsonian. There's a little talk of reverse engineering a pattern on the Laceknitters list. I wonder if there are any photographs of it being worn. [link]

18 August 2009

KSA: Triangular Shawls (Knitter's Service Announcement)

Want to make a triangular shawl? Only have a limited amount of that delicious yarn in your stash? Check out the exhaustive list Vicki of simpleknits put together organized by yardage; free patterns are in boldface. Summer is the perfect time for a little lace, and there are still a couple of weeks left! [link]

04 March 2008

Moving Forward

We've accepted an offer on the house. Assuming the inspection goes well (we fixed pretty much everything our inspector pointed out when we bought the house, so can't imagine any big problems will come up), we are to close at the end of the month. Yes, this month, which means I will be spending a bit of time up in Gloucester going through things and deciding what to do with them. Isobel and I are headed up there this morning to start working on a game plan and bring back the rest of my cookbooks and her toys and whatnot.

It is a bittersweet moment. The buyer plans to turn the house into a museum, which is good because (hopefully) lots of people will get to see the house and appreciate it's history. But it's also sad because this house had been lived in continuously since 1739. That's the way the cookie crumbles, though.

For you Massachusetts folk, I will give more advance notice for the next visit, which may very well be next week.

In knitting news I'm working away on the Swallowtail Shawl, having taken a break from my brother's sweater, as it's taking a toll on my wrists now that the whole shebang is on one needle. I appreciate seamless garments, but once the sleeves and body are united, it can be heavy, especially when it's for a tall, handsome fellow like my brother. I think my next sweater may be pieced, now that my finishing skills are somewhat improved. I'm considering that Drops sweater jacket that everyone's been knitting - "they" say it's a really quick knit.

I'm also thinking about knitting a Pi Shawl, since I've been re-reading Knitter's Almanac before bed, adding in some lace patterns to make it exciting. I've been combing my Barbara Walkers and have found some likely candidates that meet stitch and row count requirements as well as having purl-back rows. I am finding lace, the structure and balance of it, more and more intriguing.