Ariel's craft journal (dragoncrafter) wrote,

Miranda's lace

So a while ago, my sister sent me a request:
I thought if you hadn't started working on anything for my birthday or anything I could put in a request? do you mind requests? would you rather make something up yourself? I figured at this point you wouldn't be offended if I asked, and you are totally free to do whatever.

and really, what I want is just a scarf. but a black lace scarf. keep in mind that I don't know how complicated it is to knit lace, so I might be asking for way more than the average birthday present, in which case maybe it could be a combined birthday/christmas/next birthday present? the thing is that I have this dress which I got in spain because it's fun and twirly and fits me really well, but it's strapless, which means that there's lots of bare back and shoulders. while I get that that's the point of the dress, I'm so used to tee shirts that that much skin exposed makes me cold jsut because it's exposed, not because I'm actually cold. So when I wear my coat it's fine, but then I take off my coat and I get a little cold. I'm not looking for anything thick, just any kind of layer between my skin (or most of my skin, since this would be lace which is supposed to be loopy) and the drafts of a room.

the attachment is a picture of the dress with a scarf my friend loaned me (the dress totally makes me look like a christmas present when I have it on). While I like her scarf, it has kind of a lot of tan in it and I was thinking either simple black or a reddish black or just something dark. so I was thinking a wide black scarf, somewhere between 30 and 35 cm (i don't know if that's wide, it's just wide in comparison to the ones you made trice and sierra), and then probably 90-100 cm long so that it's long enough to play with and throw over shoulders and under elbows at the same time and all that. (you know scarf lengths better than me.) if you wanted to do something like dark red, or throw in shiny red beads or something, I wouldn't be adverse to it, I just also don't know what's easy or what you like to do or what.

this is a scarf to wear with the dressy dress, so I probably wouldn't be washing it for years if then (unless I spilled something on it) since I don't really wear dressy dresses that much.

again, I know lace is time consuming and that a shawl was sierra's wedding present, so I'm all for combining this with christmas and next year's birthday and all that (and I'd expect it would take at least that long to get done) but I realized that it would really really work with this dress and that you do amazing work and it's worth it to at least ask. if you don't want to, I'll probably ask you for advice on lace thread and lace patterns and see about making it myself, since I really like the idea, but you'd do it better since you've be doing it longer.

So I went looking online for black laceweight.

KnitPicks did not have any. That is, they have four kinds of laceweight, two of which come in solids, and none of which are black. I checked a few of the other usual suspects (elann, kpixie, etc.) and eventually settled on Zephyr Wool-Silk, which I elected to order from theknitter.com.

The thing about theknitter.com is this: their prices are lovely, and they have a good selection (of lighter weights, at least), and they take Paypal. All three of these are good things. So I will probably continue to order from them.

The only thing I don't like about theknitter.com is that their shipping time is usually about two and a half weeks, most of which is just administrative stuff on their end. So when I order things from them, I shall have to remember to order it weeks before my previous project finishes.

The yarn finally arrived today. It's not quite black; it looks dark gray. I think it's mostly that it's half silk; consequently, it is shiny, and the shiny bits are dark gray, not black. I hope that this is okay with Miranda.

The only lace pattern I am definitely including somewhere is an M. Miranda has a big silver ring that she made with my uncle the metalsmith about a year ago, and it has an M in it. She also has a pocketwatch, with a handy clip that attaches it to her pants. Unfortunately, the clip is silver-plated copper, and the plating has worn off. As of Christmas, she and my uncle were planning to make a new clip with an M on it. So I think I would like to include an M on the scarf.

I am planning to make it bigger than she said. I mean, one meter? That's way too short to attach securely. I am thinking I will make it to the dimensions of Convertible, and perhaps include an edging with holes large enough to use little buttony things in, so that if she decides she wants to button it into a shrug, she can.

Now, I know the size and shape, I just need to figure out some nice lace patterns to use.

The big problem is this: I do not think floral or leaf patterns go with black yarn. A lot of lace patterns do look like flowers. So I will have to avoid those. Also, anything that relies too much on contrast between knits and purls (as opposed to knits and YOs) I want to avoid. Admittedly, the shiny yarn will probably show it decently well, but not as well as a light-colored yarn.

I have several books I'm working from.

Here's the patterns I'm going to swatch from Heirloom Knitting:

  • Print O' the Wave and Elongated Print O' the Wave
  • Some sort of allover trellis diamonds pattern (e.g. Mrs. Montague's Pattern)
  • Small leaf pattern (which does not look like leaves to me.) Note: this is also used in narrow stripes in Walker, and looks cool; Miller uses it as an allover pattern
  • Lace hole diamonds pattern
Here's the patterns I like from The Craft of Lace Knitting (which is basically all the lace patterns from the first two Barbara Walker treasuries)
  • Lace Butterfly (p. 11)
  • Crystal pattern (p. 66)
  • Checkerboard mesh (p. 67)
  • Lyre pattern (p. 103)
  • Spider stitch (p. 68)
  • Arrow pattern (p. 73)
  • Ostrich Plumes (p. 78)
  • Arrowhead lace (p. 15)
  • Pique lace (p. 22)
  • Wings of the Swan (p. 106)
These I kind of like, but they cause the rows to zigzag, so I'm not sure I want to combine them with other stitches:
  • Feather and fan
  • Horseshoe pattern (which is in both Walker and Miller)
  • Fountain lace (from Walker)
  • Frost flowers (another that doesn't look particularly floral) (from Walker)
  • Feather and Fan Border Pattern (from Heirloom Knitting)
  • Old Spanish Lace Border/Madeira Cascade (another they both have)
My big worry is this. Abby is doing a scarf that's all elaborated Print O' the Wave, and is getting bored with it. I also have a little lace scarf that's all Frost Flowers, and I got bored with it. The point is, if I do a scarf that's all one stitch pattern, I will memorize it, then get bored with it. So I need something where I switch patterns fairly often.

I have this picture in my head of Elaborated Print O' the Wave zigging in and out, leaving big triangles and diamonds in which I can put various little motifs. Of course, this does require that I have a fair number of little motifs that look good as triangles or diamonds. Also, the "big diamonds" are about 18 right-side rows tall and 18 stitches wide, so I can't actually use motifs that are that big, unless of course I decide to make Elaborated POTW even more elaborated...

I'm also thinking I will follow tradition in making the middle of the scarf in some smaller, simpler lace patterns (possibly striped, to avoid boredom). The question, of course, is which simpler lace patterns.

I'm also pondering including little red beads...

Tags: lace, miranda scarf, plans
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