5/27/10

Triangular shawl construction

As I was knitting StellaLuna, I was thinking about all the different ways one can construct the shawl. Take for example a triangular shawl. There are at least 3 different ways it could be knitted:


1. Top-to-bottom: cast on 4-6 stitches and as you knit you would increase at the ends and around the middle stitch. The lacy edge is knitted last. Casting off 300-400 stitches might be the hardest part. Haruni by Emily Ross is an example of this construction.


2. Bottom-to-top: cast on stitches along the bottom edge of the shawl. In this case you would decrease as you go along the edges and around the middle stitch. The lacy edge is knitted first. StellaLuna is a example of this construction



3. Side-to side: not very common, but could have a lot of potential for new designs. Start at the very bottom corner (3-5 stitches), continue side to side adding only at the ends (no middle stitch increase). Advantages: the lacy edge is knitted at the same time as the body of the shawl and the knitting can be stopped at any moment by casting off all the stitches that you have on needles. Here the example of this construction:



Do you know any other ways to construct a triangular shawl?

5/24/10

StellaLuna

There are two things that I do not really enjoy in lace knitting: sewing on a lace edge and casting off a million stitches at the bottom of a triangular shawl. StellaLuna was designed in response to those feelings. The knitting starts at the bottom of the shawl and the piece decreases as it goes. Yes, it is true that you will have to cast on a million stitches (249 to be precise), but at the end you knit 3 together and you are done! The shawl is ready for blocking!




The design is based on a border pattern from “Knitted Lace of Estonia” by Nancy Bush (Thank You!)


If you would like the pattern of this shawl - you are welcome to it! StellaLuna (scheme) I am planning to release more patterns like that one (and different once too) - so, please stay tuned and sing up to FOLLOW.
Thank you!

Attention: I have posted directions how to increase or decrease StellaLuna pattern here

5/21/10

What do do you like: WS knitted or purled?

Traditionally Orenburg shawls are knitted in Garter stitch - all rows, front and back are knitted, and all the 2tog are also knitted. This technique creates a shawl that doe not have a "wrong side".
I personally have no problems with "right" side and wrong side. Below I took couple of traditional Orenburg pattern and knitted them knitting the wrong side rows and purling the wrong side rows. What do you prefer?

"Peas"
Scheme












Example


"Mouse Prints"
Scheme













Example

5/17/10

Did you know that there is a difference between lacy knitting and knitted lace?

I recently read a very interesting article by Elizabeth Lovick  " The same, but different" about differences and similarities of knitting traditions in Northern Europe. Found a very interesting lace terminology:


"There are the terms ‘openwork’, ‘lacy knitting’ and ‘knitted lace’. Basically,
    • openwork is a few holes, 
    • lacy knitting is many holes, and
    • knitted lace is mainly holes!! 
      Some folk see the distinction between lacy knitting and knitted lace as being the fact that true lace knitting has single strands of yarn. In other words, ‘yarn overs’ on every row."

      Source: paper by Elizabeth Lovick 2006, Page 6 (http://www.knittingbeyondthehebrides.org/lace/SameButDifferent.pdf)

      5/13/10

      Are all Orenburg Shawls really Shawls?


      If you talk to a Russian lady about the Orenburg Shawl, she will tell you that there are at least three different types of traditional shawls: a shawl itself, a wrap and a web. In recent years the fourth type is knitted as well: a stole.

      Here are definitions of each type (1):

      Wrap (pronounced: “pla-‘tok”) – is a big square cashmere piece, with a design along the border. The center generally has smooth knitting, without any pattern. It yields to a web in its beauty because of the density of the knitting pattern, but it is much warmer. It is a necessity in a cold weather. It can be worn on a head (instead of hat – NB), or draped over the shoulders.



      Shawl (“shaa-l’”) - is a big square cashmere piece, with designs both along the border and in the center. It yields to a wrap in its thickness because of the types of knitted patterns, but it is as warm as a wrap. It is a necessity in cool weather. Can be worn on a head or draped over the shoulders.


      Web (“pa-u-‘tin-ka”) - is a square cashmere piece with a very fine, almost transparent knitting pattern. The Web is more chic and attractive than the wrap, but less warm. Can be worn on a head or as a beautiful accessory. Makes an excellent gift. Do you want to surprise a loved one? Give her a web as a present.



      Stole (“pa-lan-‘tin”) – is a fine cashmere piece with lace knitting pattern. It is a rectangular shape, resembles scarf with different designs. Can be worn as a scarf or elegantly draped over the shoulders."


      Source (originally in Russian, translated by me):

      5/7/10

      Last day of classes - first day of blogging

      Today is the last day of classes in a school where I teach. Hooray! My students now have to work hard to study for the final exam and I have time to knit. Knitting, knitting and more knitting. I call knitting my yoga (I did not invent the expression, but I like it – so I claim it!). I can knit when I am stressed, bored, happy, anxious, when I need to think and when I just want to watch TV. I can almost do it with my eyes closed... I've knitted since I was 9 (thank you Grandma Nastya), and at this point I can knit pretty much anything. You name it - I've done it, from socks to gloves, from coats to swimming suits. But lately I am knitting lace. Here are couple things I have finished recently
      Growing up in Russia, where the knitted shawl was a norm for the days when the temperature outside plummeted below -10 F (-25 C) I always wanted to knit an Orenburg shawl. Real Orenburg shawl, like one on this picture. I am not in Russia anymore, the climate here, in NH is much milder, but I still want to knit a real Orenburg shawl. There is a great book on knitting Orenburg shawls, and there is a lot of info on Internet. As I was looking through the Internet I realized that there is a lot of information about this beautiful traditional craft is Russian but very little in English. Here, in my little blog I hope to translate this information and share it with you, readers.