1/29/11

Same but Different

While ago I read a great paper by Elizabeth Lovick "The Same, but Different. Shetland Lace in a European Context".
The big surprise for me was a realization that traditional lace patterns, developed in areas separated by thousands of miles look very similar. In some cases they even have the same name. On the sampler below, there are 3 traditional patterns. Bottom one comes from Shetland (Scotland), middle - from Orenburgh (Russia), top one - from Haapsalu (Estonia).


In Shetland they call it "Cat Paws", so they did in Estonia; but Russian knitters saw a "strawberry" in this combination of yarn overs and decreases. Isn't it interesting?
At the first glace - all three are the same, but if you look closer ( or if you look at the chart below), you can notice slight variations in center. Another big difference is a base stitch: Shetland and Orenburgh knitters preferred the garter stitch, that made the fabric reversible, while Estonian ones used stockinette stitch.


Here is how the "Strawberry" Pattern is used in modern Orenburgh Shawl ( they are put together in a chain).

and here is an Estonian Paws in a scarf:

It is fascinating to me how humans (miles and miles away from each other) can think along the same lines...

Happy Knitting everyone!

1/20/11

Winter Wipeout Sale at Interweave

Just saw it: 
Interweave.com has a 40% off sale on many books!

Winter Wipeout Sale

Sale starts on January 20, 2011 and ends January 24, 2011.


Was: $14.95
Sale: $8.97

Was: $19.99
Sale: $11.99

 

 Lace and Eyelets
Was: $22.95
Sale: $13.77
 Just thought you might want to know!
Happy Knitting Everyone! 

1/14/11

Buzzy Bee Baby Blanket

What comes to your mind when I say "Baby blanket"? Something soft, cuddly and cute, and ... pastel colored? Pink? Lavender? Powder blue?
(I was thinking about it the other day when one of my knitting colleagues send out a picture of a baby sweater in black and neon pink with skeleton buttons: baby's mom is into all-punk-rock-things).

So, who said that a proper baby blanket has to be knitted in pastel colored yarn?
Not in our day and age! Bright-yellow might be just a right color! How about this yellow?


The design came to me when I saw a knitting pattern with alternating diagonal lace stripes and cables, that sort of looked like insects. I changed it a little, and voila: bees!
All of this culminated in a "Buzzy Bee Baby Blanket" pattern. 
The buzzy bees and characteristic stripes make this baby blanket adorable and fun at the same time! It is easy to knit and will make a great gift for any new mom and her baby (especially, if we do not know yet if it is a boy or a girl).

I offer this pattern for sale as an instant PDF download. 

Materials
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (7 oz/364 yards; 198 g/ 333 m)
or any similar aran weight yarn
Bright yellow: 2 skeins
Black: 1 skein
Tools: needles US size 4 (3.5 mm)
Finished size: 31 x 39 inch (78 x 100 cm)
Gauge: 16 sts and 24 rows per 4 inches in stocknet


Pattern is both Charted and Written in words.
US $3.00


Thank you for your interest!

and as always:
Happy Knitting Everyone!

1/1/11

Wrapped in Lace by Margaret Stove

The Holiday Season is a time to treat yourself to something really yummy, something that you have been looking at for sometime, but could not justify to spend money on, right? So, here is my splurge: I have bought three new knitting books ( Lace knitting of course!). They are: Wrapped in Lace, The Haapsalu Shawl: A Knitted Lace Tradition from Estonia, Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls.

Today I would like to show you some stunning lace projects from Wrapped in Lace by Margaret Stove.
Just to get you started   - look at that:

Kowhai and Fern Shawl

 

Lace Medallion Shawl

Granny Cheynes Shetland
This last one has a very interesting story written by Margaret Stove herself. This is how the story starts:
"An unexpected phone call in 2005 from the owner of an antique Shetland shawl opened up an opportunity to use the skills I had acquired over the years.

The owner of a damaged but complex shawl asked me to fix a family heirloom by restoring it as closely as possible to to its original state. According to the family, the shawl was likely more than 100 years old and was knitted by Mrs. Cheyne.

Mrs. Cheyne's family records show that she arrived in New Zealand with other family members, landing at Port Chalmers, Dunedin, in 1874. The yarn used for the original shawl was handspun using a fine local New Zealand-grown fleece that closely resembled wool the spinner used when she lived in the Shetland Islands. Read more of the story"

What do I like about this book?
The book is not about "Shetland Lace", or "Orenburg Lace", or "Faerose Lace", or "Estonian Lace" - no. This book is about a journey of the designer who takes the tradition and preserves it by mixing the styles and by adding new construction elements to a traditional pattern that makes the item (shawl, scarf, stole) looking contemporary and stunning! 
These are not your Grandma's shawls (even the Granny Cheynes Shetland one above), but yet they convey that heirloom quality that we associate with a lace-weight hand-knitted shawl. My problem now is to decide which one will be first in my knitting queue.

By the way,  if you are curious to try a sample project from this book you can find a "New Zealand Tribute to Orenburg" pattern for free



Happy knitting everyone 
and 
Happy and Healthy New Year!