Hearts for Haiti

A great new shop has sprung up on Etsy in response to the overwhelming need in Haiti. Visit Hearts for Haiti, shop, and 100% of the profit (minus etsy fees) will be sent to Doctors Without Borders. Hundreds of shop are participating and I am proud to say I am part of the effort with my donation of a few travel cup cozies. Check it out- lots of cool stuff for a good cause!

Pineapples for Christmas

Gentle readers, due to the unpredictable nature of winter weather in the Midwest, I find myself at home tonight instead of watching Nathan Lane in the new production of the Addam’s Family Musical. Sigh. But we have a nice Cozy fire, popcorn, and Lord of the Rings on TV so all is not lost.

In the meantime I can talk about my Newest project- a Regency period Pineapple Reticule. Tiny little pineapple purse- how cool is that?!

You can find the original pattern (or “receipt” as they called it then) at the Jane Austen Today site linked HERE as well as an updated version for those of us unsure how to read 200 year old knitting notation.

My aim is accuracy so I will be working with thread weight yarn… usually used for weaving. I think my needles are 000… 3-0!

Buying the yarn was great since I got to browse Web’s selection of bamboo, silk, cotton and tencel thread and then wind off exactly what I wanted. Just look how gorgeous.
So stay tuned to see how this project unfolds, and in the meantime have a very Merry, Safe, and Sweet Christmas!

The Scarf Post… AND Super Shipping Sale

Here it is… Twisted Minuet Lace Pattern Scarf: A Dissection. Hmmm. That makes it sound a bit gruesome. It’s not. Really.

***Scalpels and probes aside, here is a quick plug for my last sale of the year. FREE PRIORITY SHIPPING on EVERYTHING in my Etsy shop. That means an average of 2-3 day delivery and a value of around $5…. Ends 12/21- Take advantage NOW for delivery for Christmas!!!***

And another WMASS Treasury can be found HERE!

And onward.
I haven’t created any lace patterns from scratch although I’ve been knitting lace for a while, so I decided to use some of my favorite resources for ideas and build from there. These 2 books are wonderful old friends… (And would also make great presents for your knitting buddies)
1. James Norbury’s Traditional Knitting Patterns
2. Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia

My yarn was a yummy worsted weight wool/baby alpaca/silk blend from Valley Yarns – just down the road, incidentally. This is their “Northfield Blend”. I was looking for something fairly substantial (ie not ALL lace), and easy to memorize. If you’ve ever knit a complicated pattern scarf where you constantly have to refer back to the pattern, you know what I mean. I found two patterns that I liked and commenced to scribbling, combining and knitting:

At this point I liked the width of the scarf and stitch texture, but the separate lace edge plus pattern look wasn’t doing it for me. I really liked the lace edge by itself, and if it could be spiced up a bit… There was a great “twist” stitch in the main body pattern that I incorporated into the lace edge. Basically like a cable over two stitches. With that in place I frogged and started over.
Everything was going along swimmingly, but the edges were getting very curly. Apparently the “twist” was taking itself quite literally. Before I knit several feet of curly scarf I decided to make sure blocking would take care of the issue.
Lovely non-curly scarf. Now all that remained to do was knit… and knit… and knit. 78 inches later… (ok, so I like long scarves. I mean, what’s the point if you can’t wrap them around your neck?) Final Blocking!!

Who knew creating a lowly scarf required so many steps? But see the previous post for why it is all worth it. :o)

Here is the great part- do you want to knit this scarf? The pattern repeats every 4 rows, which means it is super easy to memorize and a GREAT pattern for someone who has never knit with lace before. Just leave a comment saying that you want the pattern along with the email you want it sent to and I will send you a pdf! In the next few days I will get myself organized enough to put up a permanent sidebar link…