6/27/10

Hearts upon Hearts? Dozens of hearts? Other ideas?

My newest shawl is a purple cashmere/wool laceweight joy:


I am still into triangular shawl constructions. The design of this one started with a very simple motive which is  common in Orenburg lace knitting: hearts and hearts in a chain.


For while there I was consumed by the idea of creating a shawl that would have no other motifs, just hearts: and here it is!
Look closer: the hearts are on the edging, the hearts are arranged in a checkered fashion and made into circles... if you can not find them all - look at this picture!




Hearts, heart and more hearts... Imagine making this shawl as a present for your mom or your dear friend: from your heart with hearts all over!

But as I am working on a pattern I find myself struggling with the name ideas: "hearts upon hearts", "dozens of hearts", "from my heart"?
Please help me to decide! Or... any other ideas? 

6/18/10

Can I make StellaLuna Bigger or Smaller?

StellaLuna is a shawl that is knitted from the bottom to the top. The challenge with that type of the design is a definite size: you have to decide from the cast-on row how big your shawl will be. 
 The pattern here starts with 9 full repeats on each side of the shawl in addition to corners.  The shawl is knitted in tiers: bottom one (9 full repeats on each side), followed by 3 middle tiers and a top. Each middle tier has 2 less full repeats than the previous one (7, 5, 3 full repeats)
You can make this pattern in smaller or larger size if you remove (or add) middle tiers.
Let’s say you want to make it smaller. The knitting will be done in following  manner: bottom tier – 7 full repeats, middle tier 1 – 5 full repeats, middle tier 2 – 3 full repeats, top of the shawl (please note that all discussed here refers to ½ of the shawl). The number of cast-on stitches has to be adjusted accordingly.
If you want to make it bigger – you will add a tier, so the bottom tier will have 11 repeats, middle tier 1 – 9 repeats, middle tier 2 – 7 repeats, middle tier 3 – 5 repeats, middle tier 4 – 3 repeats, top of the shawl.
See this scheme – it might make things a little clear… and of course – you are always welcome to ask questions!


 Happy KNITTING!

6/13/10

Lace knitting traditions in former USSR territories

There are several regions on the territory of the former USSR that have rich and long standing lace knitting traditions. Three that come to mind are Orenburg region  (map), Estonia (map) and Ukraine (map).
Here are examples of antique and modern samples of these lace styles:
Orenburg:
Modern example from one of the shopping sites:

Antique Orenburg shawl (ca 1880)





Estonia:
"Greta Garbo" 1936 (picture from the  site of the Laanemaa Museum)


Here is an absolutely stunning modern example by Rees



Ukraine:
Modern example

  • In all three cases the tradition started from the necessity to bring extra income: women knitted shawls to sell.
  • The big difference is that Estonian knitters used sheep wool yarns while Orenburg and Ukrainian ones were hand spun out of goat's undercoats (gossamer).
  • Orenburg region of Russia developed this craft into industrial scale operation.
  • Estonia had at some point (during the Soviet era) a knitting collective that produced shawls on semi-industrial scale.
  • Ukrainian knitted lace production (to my knowledge) is mainly family-based businesses. 

6/7/10

Triangular shawl construction (take 2)

Couple weeks ago in my post I was thinking about types of triangular shawl constructions. I named three.
 Thanks to my readers, now I know about three more :
1. Short row shaping ( thank you Lina!): the knitting starts with the lacy border, and the triangular shape is developed by knitting short rows:


The excellent example of this is "Lazy Katy"  by Birgit Freyer (Knitting delight)

2. Sideways triangle ( thank you Anna!)
The shawl is knitted sideways: increasing on one side up to the middle point and then decreasing:

 Baktus scarf by strikkelise (http://l.yimg.com/g/images/spaceball.gif) is one of the examples of this construction:


3. Sideways triangle started from the middle:knitting starts with a provisional cast-on.

Shawl knitted from the widest point of triangle decreasing on one side in one direction, then stitches are picked up from the provisional cast-on at the widest point of triangle and the other side of the shawl is knitted as a mirror image.



Unfortunately, I did not find an picture of an actual shawl or shawl pattern knitted that way.
Do you know of any?

6/3/10

I am in love with cobwebs...

Last week I finished a birthday present for my sister-in-law. Here it is: lace scarf knitted in slightly non-traditional Orenburg lace style. Traditional knitters will use garter stitch:  the stitches will be knitted on both right and wrong sides of the lace. I did this one in stockinette: knitted on RS, purled on wrong. Yarn used was "Bare" lace weight by KnitPicks.
 The yarn is rather fine: 880 yards in 100 g (3.5 oz), knitted on US8 size needles ( 5 mm)


And now look at that:



The same pattern, same number of stitches but different yarn - and what a difference!!!
The blue version is done in a cobweb weight yarn by Colourmart: ~3000 yards in 100 g, needles US 3.25 (3 mm). The yarn is just exquisite: silk, cashmere, merino blend, very delicate!

I am in love with cobwebs, but I think I need to knit a sweater in worsted weight before I will be ready for a next piece!