Sunday, November 02, 2008

And You Look so Pretty in Your New Lace Sleeves


Ever since last year's Estonian Lace class at Madrona, I've been waiting for Nancy Bush's new book, Knitted Lace of Estonia. Clearly, the book has arrived! It's full of projects that I'd love to knit, even some that are making me rethink my vow never to sew on another border like we did in class. I decided that given my other knitting (Liberty, anyone?) & non-knitting committments, this was not the weekend to start a GIANT project, so I'm starting with the Lily of the Valley Shawl (Rav Link). I'm using Baruffa Bollicina yarn in a dark navy blue. This yarn is 65% cashmere and 35% silk, but wasn't much more expensive than some plain wool options (assuming that the 3 balls I bought are enough--fingers crossed!). I was planning for a less conservative color since I've been using a lot of plain browns and blues lately, but this seemed like a more elegant choice than a repurposed sock yarn, and I couldn't quite land on anything else. Now that I've knit a ways with it, the color is growing on me, and the darkness hasn't been too much of a strain on my eyes while knitting at night.

More about the book . . . . it contains very detailed instructions for the stitches and traditional construction used in many of the shawls, but there are also a few less traditional techniques employed in some of the projects. I really like that approach--the book shows just how versatile and fresh the Estonian patterns can be, right next to the breathtaking traditional shawls. There's also a collection of charts at the back of the book that can be used to design other projects as well. There are at least four patterns that I'd like to knit (several of which I saw samples of at Madrona), but having the option to adapt other stitch patterns to a design is a really nice feature.

There's a little dog staring me down and crying as I sit at the computer, she wants me to go and sit with her in the living room. Time for more knitting (or napping)!

And You Look so Pretty in Your New Lace Sleeves: Elvis Costello, "New Lace Sleeves"

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