Inspired by Lace and Alpaca!

Sue Blacker's picture
16 April, 2014 - 13:24 | Sue Blacker

A timely coincidence for Easter is the arrival of a special limited edition of fine luxurious lace-weight alpaca yarns in natural creamy white, plus dyed baby blue and pink together with a copy of Liz Lovick's great new book: The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting (ISBN 978 1 250 03908 8).

This clever book gives a basic introduction to Shetland lace, introduces a range of lace stitch designs and completes the offering with a range of 7 patterns.  The particularly useful aspect is that each stitch is illustrated with a photo, together with both a chart and written instructions and they are listed according to the number of rows and stitches used in the design.  This makes it really easy to select a set of designs to make a shawl or scarf without necessarily having to do too much counting!

For example, to use our lovely Alpaca Lace to make a nice wide scarf/shawl, take 4mm (US 6) needles and cast on 60 sts.  Work 2 rows in garter stitch, then work columns consisting of Steek, Cable Lace, Steek, Mrs Montagu, Steek, Cable Lace, Steek.  This will come to around 30cm (12 inches) wide and one 25g ball will make around 75cm (30 inches) so a 150cm  (60 inch) scarf will need 50g. 

However, you can also work a narrower version, on 22 sts with just Steek, Mrs Montagu, Steek or an intermediate version on 40 sts with Steek, Cable Lace, Steek, Cable Lace, Steek.  The narrow version will be about 10cm (only 4 inches) wide but run to around 200cm (80 inches), so will work as a necklace and summer drape, while the intermediate one will be around 20cm (8 inches) wide and come out at around 140cm (56 inches) long or a bit more.

If you have not the time or opportunity to get hold of this book at once, you will also find (as might be expected!) the Mrs Montagu and various vertical insertions (alternatives to steeks)  in Barbara Walker's First Treasury of Knitting Patterns, but not the Cable Lace!  There is, however, a cable lace option in our Blacker Swan Cable Lace Soft Jacket patternhttp://www.blackeryarns.co.uk/patterns-for-knitting-and-crochet/downloadable-knitting-patterns-to-buy/blacker-swan-cable-lace-soft-jacket-knitting-pattern.html ...

If you want to take advantage of our twin and triple special offer packs, why not just make a really simple and lovely striped shawl or scarf using the traditional Old Shale or Feather and Fan stitches, which lend themselves beautifully to stripes, and are a 2-row design, which is ideal for a first lace project.  The Old Shale design is the traditional edging for Shetland Hap Shawls and can be found in our Liz Lovick St. Kilda Scarf and Shawl pattern http://www.blackeryarns.co.uk/patterns-for-knitting-and-crochet/downloadable-knitting-patterns-to-buy/st-kilda-lace-shawl-and-scarf.html.

What a lovely adventure for Easter!

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