26 February 2012

Paint the sky with stars

My friend Scott Henderson does some amazing photography. In particular, he has some neat tricks for photographing the night sky and his images of the stars scattered across the canvas of the sky must have settled into my brain, because I woke up one night with a new shawl design forming … a black lace ruana with crystal beads scattered across it like stars in the night sky.

What I’m knitting isn’t anywhere near as majestic and amazing as that, but I am hopeful that when it is done, one will at least be able to recognize where the idea might have come from.

At this stage of the game, all it looks like is this:

If you’ve never knit lace, it’s important to realize that lace in progress looks awful. It just kind of munches together and looks like a ratty pile of string, but when it is washed and blocked, it undergoes an amazing transformation. For the purposes of work in progress photography, I pinned this to the tablecloth, which is enough to give you a bit of an idea, but not much more than that. Can you see the crystal beads in there? There are a few of them, but they’re not very visible in the picture. This little piece is half of the bottom border of the shawl: each repeat takes me about 45 minutes, and I have 3 more to go to finish this side. When they are done, I’ll cast off the edge then turn the work sideways and pick up stitches along the straight edge of the border and work up the back of the shawl. When it reaches the neck, it’ll be split into two halves – like a big rectangle divided in half up the front, so you can put it over your shoulders and have it hang there properly. I will write this pattern up so it can be knit as a stole (basically half the ruana) or as the full shawl since not everyone has the stamina for quite that much lace, especially with beading thrown in the mix.

This is such tiny yarn (Zephyr, merino/silk and 10 metres weighs only a gram) that I can’t knit on this for very long at a stretch without my eyes going a bit buggy, but it’ll get done a little at a time, as all knitting does.

What’s your favourite lace inspiration?


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