Monday, April 30, 2007

A quick update post.
I have been working on Danish Lace and on some new translations.
Although Penning's "Oline" came with a difficulty warning label, I cheerfuly cast on in Montreal and would be done were it not for (what I think are) some glaring mistakes in the last 50 rows. They arent present in these photos so don't be too critical! These shots show how the finished item becomes oblong.

The lace is first knit circularly (on 4 dpns) then the east and west sides are knit and turned back and forth to create points which end in seven stitches.
Next the stitches are transfered to a circular needle and previous yarn overs are picked up along the sides of the two points while the north and south sides are picked up and knit from the remaining dpns. The piece can now be worked circularly again with the ovaloid core established.

Of course from this point in is an exersise in blind faith (for me at any rate) because unless you can use increasingly larger circulars (which I don't have to hand) and with the anti circular nature of this rounded shawl thinger, it's imposible to tell quite how big the lace is becoming and at what rate it's getting there. The charm of carying along a mysterious bulbous chrysalid attached to your needles is not lost on me, but I am not quite mature enough yet to trust that I'm going to like what I end up with.
Also started a cornflower-y shawl in misti which i've made a right mess of. It is so stringy looking I'm going to call it Spanish or maybe Greek instead of northern. Here you can make out the leaves in each corner-the cornflowers are made with ribbed buds. May be what threw me off.

Soundtrack:"J'Aurais Toujours Faim De Toi", The Police

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Blurry Lace at your service. The first of several lace motifs from Gloria Penning's "Danish Lace Treasures". I'm wearing it as a scarf but I may end up starching it over a circular mold and turning it into a lampshade. That's right. Lampshade.

Before I went out of town "Sybelle" the pink lace happening was also modeled by the world's longest scarf and the hoops in the loop window which I put together pre-purl soho and posy gets cozy's liberty hoops. (but thank you to those who noticed lol *meow*)

I have a pin cushion from Liberty. It is mouse shaped. I bought it on the edge of seventeen. I also have a stuffed frog. I couldn't afford much else.

Soundtrack: "My Sharona", The Knack

Monday, April 16, 2007

I finished my Sideways Spencer-from Interweave Knits f/w 2004 in Manos, colour 34/”Oil Slick”-sometime ago and have been getting a lot of wear out of it but didn’t want to post photos til I had received my custom Vivero Glass fused glass buttons. Cathy (of loop fame) managed to create exactly what I wanted for this sweater, but these buttons are just the tip of the iceburg in terms of what she has to offer. Her mille fiori works are amazing and there’s no end to the shades that emerge from the glass as you move through light. (Which also makes them very hard to photograph) You can see more at the Vivero Glass site or by contacting The Loop.

I’m typing on the train (somewhere after the Gaspé hookup in Matapédia-maybe around Rimouski?) having a grand old time-my coffee has lasted since halifax, the guy in front of me has stopped snoring, i have two seats to myself cause I’m pretending that I have a bandy leg that needs to be stuck straight out, I’m working on a new shawl in purple-blue laceweight baby alpaca and watching brideshead revisited on my laptop. oh dear. considering the thin walls in my building and my neighbours disturbingly stuffed nose this is a normal saturday nite. just in quebec. about 9 hours into the trip I watched les enfants du paradis on mute while listening to a harry potter audiobook just for a change. this is as close to multi tasking as it gets on the train and i found it strangely comforting and decadent. Like ordering coffee and tea at the same time- I don’t reccomend ordering either on any canadian train. Morgan’s top train tip #17: bring a thermos and your own tea/hot chocolate/soup. hot water is free and hopefuly you don’t buy your own tea in the same place via rail has to.

At any rate, I’m very pleased with my little sweater, it required no mods and took umm, 3 skeins with leftovers. I’m looking forward to Ms. Modesitt's upcoming book.

Soundtrack:”Matapédia”, McGarrigles

ps do you like my curtains?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Faithful readers may remember my 'cephalopod period' of late 2005. It seems to have reared it's squishy head in the guise of my latest gauge-swapping lace adventure.

Using Fiddlesticks Zepher Lace Merino Coral (commonly refered to at the store as bubblegum pink) I'm enlarging "Sybelle" from Gloria Penning's Danish Lace Treasures (It's unclear if this is one of the amazing Anna Marie Jensen's doily motifs or not). Heirloom Lace has made these works available and all are prime candidates for this kind of treatment.
My inspiration for making the gauge jump this time comes from a fabu pink vinyl tablecoth I found through channel 4, and from Rebecca Taylor's s/s '07 Lace Trench Coat. Burberry is selling an Antique Lace Coat but the vinyl coated Trench is brilliant. Wait til it shows up in Giant Tiger.

I fear I may have only sized the doily up to a tablecloth (vs. shawl or parasol) but no worries-I will just have to try harder to live a la Cath Kidston (a lofty goal for a hobbit like myself)

Pink Lace Vinyl, £27.50
Cloth/Top Linens-Cath Kidston
R.Taylor Trench $550 at Neiman Marcus

Soundtrack: "I Wanna Play House With You", Eddy Arnold
ps looking for tips on circular blocking (since drafting this post the shawl is almost done)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Oh I could cry. I was fine with the fact that my sweater had crossed over from the Hebrides to Osh Kosh (B'Gosh), but what use are elephants on your front if they're modest?
Mine seem to be fading into the mists of their varigated background like so many gorillas in Brigadoon. (I know they would have shown up if I had done them in the brown but I was going for a ::look::) Perhaps I should make this not just a war time inspired sweater but a full blown Durrell sweater featuring as many endangered animals as I can (I'm waiting on my Durrell Foundation Membership to arrive in the mail). Would that make it a Jersey-Jersey? ahahahaha. no.
Please send any and all Fair Isle colour selection tips my way. I was so confident but am humbled at the process of choosing a really subtle palate-contrasting enough to allow patterns to pop.
Soundtrack: "Jane", Stevie Nicks -I can't be brought to knit chimpanzees...
ps here's one of the Emperor Tamarins I'm supporting in Jersey. Read about him

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Once again the Interweb has arrived like a deus ex machina to solve everything.
Thanks to resources such as the Antique Pattern Library and the University of Arizona's Digital Archive my questions about Irish Crochet have been solved and I'm going great guns. In fact this new world of old world techniques is the reason I've been neglecting the blog. Now that I understand the concept of padding cord-that is the ratio of p.c. to working thread*, and the malleability of these cords (sliding the work along the cord to create organic shapes)-I'm a little giddy with the possibilities. Also, brushing up on Victorian Lit helped, as one of the main stumbling blocks in reading these vintage patterns is the fact that sentence structure is right out the window. The logic is different. It's like crocheting William Morris' News from Nowhere vs. working his charted needlepoint.

Recommended reading includes the Hardouin Crochet series (en francais) and DMC's Victorian Publications, made available at I'm going to try and type up some tutorials myself with modern sizes and terms (and linear thought). I will at least post some photos of finished motifs to better illustrate what I've learned...b/c I assume you're all interested.

*I'm currently using multiple lengths of #10 crochet cotton if working the motif in #30. For larger motifs (read: huge) in dk weight mer.cotton I've purchased 'real' cord which I work over as a single strand. Plus I'm racking up the Canadian Tire money.

Soundtrack: "Baby Elephant Walk", Henry Mancini ....fair isle misadventure to follow...

Friday, April 06, 2007

I've reached the feather and fan section of Eugen Beugler's Feather and Fan Shawl and it seems neverending. The shawl is for Granny
but as this last step drags out I've decided to surprise her with it when it's blocked and finished lest I procrastinate further.
I expected it to be quite straight forward from here on in but I'd forgotten how different Feather and Fan and Old Shale patterns can be. In fact, there are as many variations as there are knitting families in Shetland. Most are relatively easy. This one is a trifle bizodo.

Main concerns are taken care of though; the beautiful floral centre, and wedding ring shawl status (well, that it will pull through one, it is not a traditional unst style shawl). I may cut out about 50 rows and jump directly to the (rather Islandic looking!) edging. Here's hoping it happens sometime between Easter and Mother's Day.

Soundtrack: "Good Friday", The Black Crowes

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Fibre Arts' Memento Mori?

And there it was-on Fenwick St in South End Halifax one crisp spring morning.

The last stand of the Varigated Fun Fur Scarf. Rest in Peace you Custer of the Acrylics; you fought a good fight.
Soundtrack: "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", The Band + Dylan Live
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