Saturday, February 23, 2008

Madrona, Part 3: Haapsalu Rätik Estonian Lace

I know that it's been almost a week since the end of Madrona, and that this weekend evernyone's at Stitches West, but I wanted to finish up my class project from Nancy Bush's Haapsalu Rätik class before posting. The project was a little sample shawl, using traditional techniques. The shawl consists of a center panel with a lily-of-the-valley motive, and a border that is knit in two halves and then sewn to the center. Here's the my tiny shawl before blocking:


Here it is during blocking:


And here it is, complete (except for weaving in the ends):


I really enjoyed this class, although it was a LOT of pretty intensive knitting in six hours. I made it through the center and most of the first border during class, and knit the second half of the border after I got home. Sewing the border on was the toughest part, because I was already cross-eyed from knitting when Nancy demonstrated it. The handout instructions are very good, though, and once I got past the first corner turn it wasn't so bad. I mean, I'll probably never sew a lace border on ever again, but for a small rectangle it is manageable.

Looking at the photos above, I could have done a better job of blocking the points out evenly. I didn't use blocking wires, because my wires are so much bigger than the sides of the rectangle. The angle of the camera exaggerates the difference between the top and bottom a little, but there is a difference. If I decide to DO something with this (maybe put it in a frame?), I'll reblock it and sew in the ends.

Lily up close

close-up of the center

Before this class, I was a little afraid of nupps (the mini-bobbles that make up the flowers, see), but with Nancy's instruction they weren't tough at all, even though I was using blunt clover bamboo needles. At the risk of sounding overly fawning, Nancy's class was really great--she has so much knowledge about what she's teaching, and is clearly not afraid to challenge her students. I learned a lot, and I'm looking forward to knitting something full-sized using the lily of the valley motive. Bring on the nupps!


Cactusneedles said...

It's very pretty! Looks very detailed! You did a great job.

emicat said...

w0w, I'm really lovin that lily of the valley motif - that's beautiful!

Musclemom said...

Good for you! I have not yet gathered the energy to finish my sample. I agree with the nupps -- I knitted a Swallowtail shawl and thought I was never going to finish it because of the nupps, but I am much more comfortable with them, now that Nancy has shown us how to knit them. Loved the class too, although it was a challenge, especially on the last day.

LizKnits said...

that is a very impressive piece of work -- congrats on a job very well done!

angelarae said...

Your shawl is beautiful! Nice job!