WORKING REPORT – SPRING LIGHTNING LACY SCARF

Hmmm. As I was writing today’s entry, I wanted to refer back to a post I remembered writing back in June of 2004. Apparently not all of the posts for that month imported correctly when we transferred our archives over. So the posts you’ll see today are hand-carried ports of the AWOL material. Apologies for the deja vu. True new content tomorrow. I promise.

Material originally appearing on June 14, 2004. For the record, the pattern for the Spring Lightning Lacy scarf is now in the main wiseNeedle pattern collection.

WORKING REPORT – SPRING LIGHTNING LACY SCARF

My lacy scarf is done!

scarfdone.jpg

As planned, the ribbed center section pulls in a little bit, making the two diamond panel ends flare out. Stretched and blocked, across the widest point of the edgings it measures 14 inches at the end and 12 inches at the center. It’s about 80 inches long. That’s big for a scarf and narrow for a stole, but I like the size. I really enjoyed this project. It was just the right combo of super-easy and super-exacting. The Greenwood Hill Farm 2-ply laceweight yarn was wonderful. I Can t say enough about it. It’s the softest, most buttery Merino I’ve ever worked with. It’s hand-spun look is unique. You can see the slightly whiter areas in the photo – those are spots where one of the plies of the two-ply yarn gets a bit fluffy. There’s a lot of variation skien to skein in the amount of the fluffy bits, so if you order it or buy it at a sheep and wool show, you may want to try to pick skeins that are similar (or not, as your taste and project needs dictate).

I’m not sure whether I’ll keep this scarf or give it as a gift. On one hand I really like it. On the other hand, while it would be an interesting contrast with my guy-style brown leather aviator jacket, I know several people who might appreciate it as much as I do. Plus I’m not tired of my Kombu Scarf yet. Good thing I have the summer to think about it before scarf season resumes.

FILET KNITTING

Here’s an obscure style. Mary Thomas in her Knitting Pattern Book mentions Filet Lace Knitting. It’s a style of knitting more or less equivalent to filet crochet, which is itself an adaptation of earlier lacis and other filled net or withdrawn thread style darned embroidery. In this set of styles, the needleworker follows a graphed pattern, working solid or “empty” squares. The pattern is built line by line by these blocks of squares. This butterfly insertion is a good example of filet crochet:

(Pix from http://www.knitting-crochet.com – attributed there to Star Needlework Journal, 1917)

On page 263 of her book, Thomas describes a way to do something like this using knitting. Solid blocks are formed by units of three stitches x four rows. Spaces look to be formed by a combo of yarn overs and bind-offs. I haven’t quite figured them out yet, but Thomas gives several illustrations and a couple of easy practice pieces.

I’m asking if anyone has ever actually tried this because I have never seen any lacy knitting that was done this way – not as a piece of actual knitting, nor in a photo either on the web or in any other book. I have never seen a lace pattern for a project done in this style either. So I’m asking. Have you done this? Do you know of any pix or other sources for the style?

The reason why I’m asking? I’m in the middle of one of those panting-and-eyes-wide moments of gotta-do-it-but-how? inspiration. Yesterday we closed on the new house. I am now the proud owner of a massive Arts and Crafts style front door, with a glass window that’s 30 inches wide by 18 inches tall. There’s mounting hardware there for a lace curtain panel, currently holding a dingy scrap of Woolworth’s best. The door cries out for a better curtain.

But not just any lace panel will do. I’ve **got** to make one, and not only do I want to make one, I want to make one from THIS panel from my book of embroidery patterns:

dragon.jpg

The ultimate source is a book published in Nuremberg Germany around 1597 by one of the more prolific and well-known makers of embroidery pattern books. Not only did Johan Siebmacher put out several (this pattern was in his Schon Neues Modelbuch vol allerly listigen Modeln naczunehen Zugurcken un Zusticke”), his books traveled all over Europe so they’re very well represented in museum collections. Many plates from them were copied and re-issued during the counted pattern “Renaissance” of the mid 1800s. This particular panel has cropped up several times over the years – often simplified or truncated. The most recent adaptation from it of which I know is a pattern for an cross stitched kitchen tablecloth and curtains set in an Anna magazine from the mid 1960s.

I haven’t a clue as to how I’d go about making my George and Dragon panel, but I’ve got the will, the how-to book, the cotton yarn (Crystal Palace Baby Georgia), and the blissful confidence born of total ignorance.


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One response

  1. Wow! Absolutely beautiful scarf – reminds me of the antique sampler one I saw on a knitter’s blog (was that you?). You are a very good knitter.

    As for filet crochet knitting lookalike – don’t know much – I would probably just break down and do it in filet crochet – it looks like it would be exquisite in filet crochet – thanks for a great, interesting and informative blog – absolutely love it.

    Bridget

    Thank you! I have to confess – those lacy samplers were the inspiration for this scarf. I enjoyed it so much I’m thinking of doing a series of patterns for them. -K.

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