Sunday, August 28, 2011
Recently, I finished Ishbel, a lace shawl designed by Ysolda Teague who designs, self publishes and sells knitting patterns and books. I used Nimbus Cloud, a yarn spun from alpaca, cashmere, and silk by an independent dyer. The yarn was very soft and loosely spun making my stockinette stitches slightly uneven. Blocking smoothed the main body of the shawl and shows off the pattern in the lace border.
The strength and beauty of lace intrigues me. Although knitted lace looks fragile and is easily snagged, finished pieces have a certain strength. Empty spaces allow air to pass through creating a fabric as resilient as the women who design and knit them.
Knitted lace emerges as corresponding increases and decreases combine with empty space. Both are important to the design. The combination reminds me of writing and reading stories. Whether I'm editing a rough draft for the first or fiftieth time, I shape the piece both by what I include and what I choose to omit. When I read a well written story or poem, I often speculate on what the writer chose to scratch out of her first draft. This is particularly interesting when getting to know characters in a story.
Teague's pattern was well written and the charts were easy to follow. I enjoyed the project and am looking forward to the next shawl but first I have a Christmas stocking to knit for my grandson.