Dixie Peach: Amazing Lace - Challenge #1

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Amazing Lace - Challenge #1

Mr. Fabulous, you are excused from today's reading. I know how reading about me knitting makes you twitch. I take enough out of you when I write about lipstick.

Unlike some who think knitalongs are for sheep amateurs, I like to join them on occasion. I just like the idea of knitting something along with others around the world and hearing about their trials and triumps and I get ideas and tips from the other participants.

My latest torture passion is lace knitting. I'm not very experienced with it and I'm not terribly good at it, but it's interesting and it helps me not feel like such a failure for not knowing how to knit socks. Therefore I've joined the Summer 2006 lace knitalong called The Amazing Lace.

The first challenge is to introduce everyone to my team. The team is made up of me, the pattern, the yarn, the needles and, of course, the lace I'm knitting. I've chosen to knit two projects at the same time and I shall now introduce you to each project.

My regular readers know I've been knitting Cozy for a few weeks now. We've had a few false starts but I'm about half finished with her now. I'm using 5mm Inox aluminum circular needles paired with Schachenmayr Nomotta Twostep yarn, 53% microfiber acrylic/47% cotton. It's slightly heavy yarn but it seems to help the wrap have a stiffer form and the microfiber gives the yarn a bit of give that's handy to have on those decreases.

Here she is as of today. Roll your cursor over the photo to see a closeup of the pattern.

Cozy, however, is a taskmaster. She's very demanding of my attention. While I try to be very careful and count my stitches after every WS row my concentration will occasionally waver and I'll find myself with too many or too few stitches on my needle and me clueless about unknitting lace. Cozy then needs to make a trip to my MIL, expert knitter and super hero in sensible shoes, for her to set things right once more.

Me: Stop screwing up.

Cozy: It's not me. It's you. You don't pay enough attention to me. If I were gauzy and light maybe I'd not give you such a hard time.

Me: You're not that sort of wrap. You're the sort of wrap that one likes to have on cool autumn days. You're just not the gauzy type.

Cozy: But I should be. I should be and then I wouldn't mess you up so often.

Me: You're such a diva.

My second project is another wrap done in the exact same yarn as Cozy (Cozy is in a creamy off white, the second wrap is an oatmeal color) but with using 4.5mm bamboo needles. I don't know if you could call this wrap an original design or not as I'm not up on what constitutes an original design. I picked the stitch pattern from an old stitch pattern book my MIL gave me and then based on the gauge of the yarn I figured out how many pattern repeats to make along with the border. I don't know if that makes it a self designed pattern - all I know is that it doesn't have a name so I call it the Bonnie wrap. I have no idea how it'll turn out or if this pattern is even suitable for this yarn (I used the same yarn because I like the feel of it, plus I had it on hand) but it doesn't hurt to try. Plus I could use all the practice and experience I can get.

I started Bonnie yesterday while Cozy was being repaired by my MIL. Here she is as of this afternoon. Roll your cursor over the photo to see a closeup of the stich pattern.

Bonnie feels a bit low so far and a bit inferior to Cozy. While Cozy was designed by an experienced knitter and was published in a popular online knitting website, Bonnie was designed by me, a slightly better than beginner knitter armed with an ancient stitch pattern book. And she was named after my dog. I believe she's torn about how she feels about that.

Bonnie: You don't love me as much as Cozy.

Me: Don't be silly. I just don't know you as well yet. At least so far you seem a bit more down-to-earth.

Bonnie: I'm plain. And I'm the color of oatmeal. And I'm named after the dog.

Me: If it's any comfort, I like oatmeal and I love the dog. Just don't screw up as much as Cozy.

So there's my team. One's a diva, one's an new design that may or may not work but they're both fun to work with even if they do demand my unwavering attention. And when complete they'll be sturdy, warm wraps perfect for slinging over a long sleeved t-shirt and jeans and keeping me warm on an early fall afternoon.

Mr. Fab, you can come back into the room now.


Blogger Lisa said...

-Oooo- and -Aaah-.

I am so totally a Bonnie.

11:10 PM  
Blogger Kirsti said...

Ooh Dixie I am SO impressed with both Cozy and Bonnie. And absolutely you count as a designer! HEck, how do you think anyone designs stuff, apart from finding a stitch pattern you like and figuring out a way to use it.

I'll eagerly await progress reports.

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Belinda said...

Ok. Here I go. I WILL knit something lacy before the summer is out. I have to stop being afraid of it. You've inspired me. Plus, I'm armed with books now so I should be able to put stuff together. The lace intimidates me with its usually long pattern repeats :| I get lost in it all.

In terms of learning how to knit socks:


Terri is supernice. I wrote her an email with some questions and she wrote back. THe instructions are really clear and there are photos.

I also needed to "see it in action" so I used Terri's instructions along with this site's videos

I have lace envy though. Cozy is looking so beautiful. :')

8:33 AM  
Blogger PapaScott said...

My boss' wife Sibylle ( also blogs about knitting, in German of course. She's always ordering special wool from the US and stuff like tha. The past few weeks though she's been blogging about her new son and not so much knitting. :-)

8:49 AM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Yeah, I will admit, it's not my bag. But I will also admit that I have a deep and abiding respect for you and everyone else who can create beautiful things out of fabric, yarn, lace, whatever.

I appreciate creativity in all its forms! :)

I imagine that it must be very fulfilling.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

um . . . I don't knit. But I am impressed with your creations . . . I used to cross-stich. Does that count for anything?

3:13 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Dixie, this is enthralling! I LOVE this entire post (still love the introduction to that mouse-over trick!) and think your ability to knit anything is fabulous. Even Mr. Fab agrees, I see :)

5:21 PM  
Blogger LeaderOfMyPack said...

Your knitting amazes me. That is beautiful!

9:42 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Thanks for the compliments, y'all. You're so good to me!

Mr. Fab, I'm so, so proud of you for reading that whole thing! You are amazing!

Belinda, Scott - thanks for the links. The video one is wonderful!

And knit some lace, Belinda. It helps to get a little zen with it but it's not so hard once you get the hang of it.

11:21 PM  
Blogger MPC said...

I think both patterns are gorgeous! The Amazing Lace sounds like a fun idea.

1:54 AM  
Blogger cindi said...

Don't let the Diva walk all over Bonnie! Your team sounds like a handful. Look forward to reading more about your Amazing Lace adventures!

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

First of all, "super hero in sensible shoes" is a fantastic phrase. I think that perfectly describes what I aspire to be. :)

Second, great post. I love the mouseover for a closer look at the stitch pattern -- that's really helpful.

Finally, good luck with your shawls! I think you will get great use out of both of them.

2:57 AM  

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