Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Country Lace Shawl/Ein Bauernspitzenschal

Have you experienced this too: You're learning a new technique, practising and working a lot on it, until you reach a certain level of skill - and then there is no forthcoming anymore. Frustrating!

So you put it aside, you do something else, maybe for quite some time - and when you finally return to this earlier project, all of a sudden you discover that your skills have improved all by themselves while you were busy doing other things! Funny, isn't it?

Last year, I tought myself to card and spin and spent a lot of time with it - still, my yarn always turned out worsted, no matter what I tried to change in order to get it soft and delicate instead.

Anyway, at the end of November I stopped spinning, as there were a lot of Christmas preparations to do - I had decided to knit a whole bunch of scarves for Christmas presents for example - so last week was the first time I felt the urge to get back to my spinning wheel again.

I had an idea in mind to spin a very soft and gentle wool for a lace triangle scarf, or wrap - a warming and comforting something out of natural white Norwegian sheep wool and light-brown baby camel wool which I had carded together - using a very basic and plain lace pattern. A kind of rustic country lace shawl, simple and yet delicate.

And it worked! It is just as soft as I wanted it to be, thin but not too thin, some soft bumps and irregularities here and there for the natural look - and lovely to knit with! I'm not an expert, but I think the main difference is that I now tread more slowly and allow the yarn to go faster into the orifice than before, the whorl set to a medium speed.

I found the simple pattern I'd been looking for in 'Victorian Lace Today' by Jane Sowerby - a wonderful lace pattern book covering it all from the very simplest to the quite complicated ones and illustrated with beautiful photos:

The charts make it easy to find your way through the pattern:

I haven't decided on the final size yet, but I think I would like this shawl to be quite big - and I'm planning to work a special border around it afterwards, probably out of one of Nicky Epstein's gorgeous edge-and border knitting books, which I've discovered lately ... but this will deserve a posting for its own!

(German summary:

Ich habe nicht geahnt, daß man auch beim Spinnen Lernstufen/Lernplateaus haben kann - aber nachdem ich eine mehrmonatige Spinnpause gemacht habe, geht's jetzt sogar viel besser als vorher: statt dem üblichen festen, dicht verzwirbeltem Garn bekomme ich jetzt endlich diese luftig-leichte Wolle, die ich mir für meinen Bauernspitzenschal gewünscht habe ...! Und das Buch ist wirklich Klasse, mit leicht verständlichen Charts zum Nacharbeiten!)



Yes, it's amazing how that happens all on it's own. It's good advice to walk away and come back to things later. I love the natural colour of your yarn and thanks for the heads up on the books which also look amazing. I'm on the look out for new knitting books and patterns at the moment


Anneli/Bockfilz said...

Thank you for commenting, Carolyn! If you're looking for new ideas on knitting, please check out the Nicky Epstein books (Knitting on the Edge, Knitting over the Edge, Knitting beyond the Edge) - I just found them and they really provide lots of inspiration!

Elizabeth said...

Hej Anneli,

Glad your practice settled in and now you are ready to harvest the fruits.

Have a lovely weekend.

xoxo Elizabeth