Showing posts with label Artqualia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Artqualia. Show all posts

Monday, 13 June 2011

Meandering Vines

It's off the needles, it's finished blocking and here it is....

Meandering Vines in Paton's UK Vintage











For further blog entries about the project, please look here (on blocking 


P.S. Now that I am the proud owner of a shawl, I will need to source a shawl pin.


Sunday, 12 June 2011

Meandering Vines by Susanna IC - Almost Finished...

According to an earlier blog entry, I began to work on "Meandering Vines" back in March 2011. It seems so long ago and I started several other projects whilst knitting the shawl.  

Meandering Vines


Finally, after three months of knitting on and off, it is finished. Well, ... almost finished. It's currently blocking. The shawl is knitted in a relatively thick cotton / acrylic yarn (Paton's UK Vintage) and blocking was an absolute must on this project.

The pattern is simple and straightforward, and, as promised by the designer, it can be knit in pretty much every type of yarn.  -   An easy knit for the beginner lace knitter.

My blocking method is a little quirky (see below). I neither own a blocking board, which would accommodate the full length of the shawl, nor do I have blocking pins, which would be strong enough to hold the fabric in place.

Meandering Vines in Patons UK Vintage - Blocking in Progress


Meandering Vines in Patons UK Vintage - Blocking in Progress


After some deliberation I decided to suspend the shawl with the help of two pegged coat - hangers from the top shelf of the wardrobe. The triangular corners on either side of the shawl are fastened to both sides of the wardrobe with the help of some scrap yarn (inserted in the eyelet stitches and then tied to the sides of the wardrobe). A further two coat hangers keep the garment in place at the bottom of the wardrobe.

Once this arrangement was in place, I lightly misted the garment with cold water.

Pictures of the blocked garment can be found here.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Lost in Lace - A Lace Knitting Newbie's Quest for a Suitable Project

...the Highs and Lows of my Weekend Lace Knitting Quest

Sitting on the bus late Friday evening after work, I thought about my weekend knitting. I have a habit of starting new projects during the weekend, as I am able to source patterns and I have enough time to engage in all the preparatory work (choosing yarn, knitting swatches etc.). During the week, I like to return to the project, pick up the needles and simply enjoy the process.

As of late and in my quest to find new challenges, I got increasingly attracted to lace knitting. Once I arrived home and after saying "hello" to the cats, I started to sift through my pattern library and dug out Susan Pierce Lawrence's scarf pattern for "Branching Out", which was featured in Knitty's spring 2005 edition.

Susan's  design, though relatively straightforward, incorporates the most common increases and decreases the lace knitter is likely to encounter. Once you have gotten to grips with these, you will have gained confidence and are likely to master more complex lace patterns.

To have a look at the scarf, please click on the the link to Knitty below:



That it  looked like the ideal project for the beginner lace knitter, is exactly what I thought. I started a trial with some cheap acrylic yarn. Owing to the yarn, my swatch didn't look great, but I wasn't prepared to waste posh(er) yarn during the first stages of my lace experiment.

After an hour or so, it clicked and I really got going. Mastering the stitch sequence wasn't all too hard and I went to bed with a great sense of achievement. sl2-k1-p2sso isn't scaring me anymore! Result.

I continued my lace experiment on Saturday, sorting through my stash and trying to locate a yarn that was going to be suitable, but I was in the end unable to find anything...I am sure a lot of knitters must be familiar with this scenario. You want to knit a pattern, you have a huge stash and not a single resident yarn is up to the job or would do the pattern justice. Oh, it is so frustrating!!! Friday's euphoria was followed by complete and utter frustration on Saturday.

Adamant that at least one yarn in my stash might be suitable for lace knitting, I decided to go on  another pattern search and finally I succeeded. By now it was Sunday morning and I was close to giving up, when I remembered a pattern by designer Susanna IC  -  http://artqualia.com/. The pattern is called "Meandering Vines" (http://artqualia.com/patterns%205.html) and Susanna states in her introduction to the pattern that it's possible to knit the stole with just about any yarn, provided suitable needles are chosen.

It has to be said that Susanna's "Meandering Vines" is far less intricate than "Branching Out", but by now I just wanted to knit and get a project onto my needles.

I decided to trust Susanna and started a trial swatch with some of my Paton's Vintage (30% cotton and 70% Acrylic). I originally bought it in bulk from Kemp's as it was an absolute steal at £0.59, but never quite succeeded in finding a suitable pattern for it.



I am pleased to report that after Saturday's ordeal, Sunday turned out to be a success. Meandering Vines (in Patons Vintage - Burnished)  is now  firmly installed on my needles and I can return to my  new  project over the next few evenings. It is easy to memorise the pattern and I am anticipating a relaxed and enjoyable knit. Once I have used my stash of Paton's Vintage, I will go on a hunt for yarns to be used when knitting Susan Pierce Lawrence's "Branching Out".

For all those who wish to have a little venture into lace knitting, I strongly recommend you  have a look at Susanna IC's website:  http://artqualia.com/. There you will find Meandering Vines, a pattern every beginner can knit with virtually any yarn, alongside various other (sometimes free) lace patterns. It will be worth a visit...or maybe two!






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