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Successful Lace Knitting


Almost three years ago, if I have the time line correct, Donna Druchunas asked me if I'd be interested in submitting a design for a book she was working on. She had a variety of lace stitches we could choose from and our pieces had to feature at least one of those stitch patterns.

Donna just released a couple of the pictures from the book, Successful Lace Knitting: Bringing Dorothy Reade's Patterns and Techniques to Today's Knitters, and, lookie, mine is one of the ones she's previewing.

Photos by Brent Kane, copyright Martingale & Company

You can see the other pieces she's previewing here.

I'm knee-deep in deadline knitting. I like to think that means I'm embracing my alter ego:

The Knitter
The Knitter

The upside is, I think I make a decent super villain. The downside is, I won't have much to blog until the end of the holiday season.

I'll try to slip you a few pup posts in the interim, you know. like this, where I send my dog out into hail.

If you were to look at my Ravelry notebook, you'd notice a lot of projects that are super top secret. (If I showed them to you, I'd have to kill you, and nobody wants that.)

Sadly enough, this doesn't even represent the full list of unbloggables. Two are to come (awaiting yarn) and one two-part pattern isn't represented (didn't get a good swatch shot before I sent it off.)

So, that means I've been very busy and haven't much to show for it around here.
But, in the next month and a half, or so, I expect to have a new self published pattern for you, which will reveal the whole behind these two little pieces.

Swatch1 Swatch2

And, the premier issue of Twist Collective will be out with this bad boy.


The rest will come in its due time. So funny too, I had this grand idea that I'd work on all self published stuff this year. How silly I am. I have been trying to do more of my own designs, but the opportunities that have arisen, to work on other projects, have just been too good to pass up. In the end, I think it's all worked out for the best.

That said, with several patterns being tech edited right now, and other patterns due very soon, I've been so entrenched in numbers and details that I needed to give myself a little break yesterday.

That's when El Matchador, some Spunky Eclectic merino and I, had ourselves a luxurious few hours while watching Deadwood on DVD.


These are the singles spun not-too-tightly, using a supported long draw method. I plan to ply it pretty tightly once I've spun the 4 ounces I have. I think this will retain the softness without being too prone to pilling. The colorway is called Sage and it's an amazing mix of greens and browns, ranging from deep leafy green to red and yellow ocher. The picture really doesn't show the color well. You'll just have to take my word for it.

I'm eager to finish spinning up the remaining fiber, yet also feeling mentally refreshed enough to dive back into my deadline work.

In unrelated news, my parents arrive on Wednesday when we will belatedly celebrate Father's Day with my now-legitimate-no-longer-step father. Huzzah! And to add to the fun, my mom and I will be at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene on Friday and, maybe, Saturday. If you'll be there too, please say "hi." I have a feeling my wallet will be substantially lighter after leaving the event.

What I did with my long weekend


I know I'm a little late to be reporting about my weekend. But these pictures are making me happy right now and I want to share.

I finally finished the piece I've been knitting for Donna Druchunas' upcoming book. We were all asked to incorporate one of Dorothy Reade's lace patterns into an original design. I love this sort of challenge. I find I'm far more creative when I have some sort of rule or limitation.


I wish I could show you the whole thing but this teaser will have to do for now. The yarn is Lorna's Laces, Lion and Lamb. And the wee buttons? Those are vintage. I just love old buttons. I've been slowly amassing (maybe more of an "asmattering") a little collection of vintage buttons.

Completing this piece basically frees me of all deadline knitting. There is actually one other small item I need to knit but it's, as I said, small and I expect it to be rather fun, too.

I do have a substantial amount of pattern writing to do now, though. It's never as much fun as the designing and knitting but I guess it's what they pay me for, right?

On Saturday, Leo and I walked around downtown Portland a bit. We live about 10 minutes from downtown, but for the sake of our savings accounts, we don't go terribly often.

Obviously, most shops were a mob scene, this weekend, but we weren't terribly bothered by it. The air was crisp, there was no rain and very little wind. Just gorgeous.

I love how the sidewalks get stained by the fallen leaves.


Hi, I'm the weird girl who photographs the sidewalk, how are you today?

When one stops staring at her toes, the stuff higher up looks pretty darn nice too.


Check out THAT hottie.

With puppy chaser at the end.

I recently posted the shameful state of a piece I was working on, for a book. When last we saw this project, I had detached the sleeve, from below the cap, held it on a spare needle and ripped back the sleeve cap, so that I could remove the extra rows from one of the front sections of the garment.

After fixing the front, I picked up and reknit the sleeve cap.

09-Sleeve Cap Reknit

I moved the live stitches to circulars so I wouldn't have to deal with so many needles. This picture was taken en route to the ocean. The picture quality goes WAAAAY downhill from here. I apologize, but frankly, as much as I love you all, I'm not going to wait for a sunny day to get this issue fixed up.

I cut a tail long enough to go around the sleeve about 4 times. Aligning the sleeve with sleeve cap, I started grafting.

10-Begin grafting

There's a great tutorial here, if you've never tried grafting before.

Every few inches, I took a look at the row of grafting to assess the tension.

11-Check tension as you go

It can be ugly, no?

To fix, I just use my tapestry needle to ease the yarn out towards the unworked stitches.

11-Adjust tension

Sometimes I'd go back and adjust a couple times in the same spot, but I never lost my mind over it. The wool content of the yarn should allow me to ease out minor inconsistencies in the blocking stage.

The work went pretty quickly. Here, I'm nearly done.

12- nearly done

What can I say, I rather like grafting.

Once all was done, the work looked pretty much good as new.


Let's close this out with that puppy chaser I promised.

IMG_0084.jpg IMG_0079.jpg

See all the pics from our trip to the beach on Sunday, here.

A ripable offense


Life here on d'nile is certainly lovely, don't you think?

Uhgh, so I thought I was in the home stretch on my garment for Donna's book. I was just picking up the stitches around the neck and front, and counting to make sure the piece had the same number of stitches on both sides.

The signs were there all along. It should have seemed odd that I had trouble picking up the same number of stitches on both armscyes. And it probably should have piqued my interest that I was having a little trouble blocking the fronts evenly. But apparently, I can be pretty resistant to the signs of reality.

01-Identify issue

You see those two stitch markers? They should both be the same distance from their respective shoulder seams.

The piece is knit seamlessly, which means that the sleeves are picked up and knit down from the armscyes. So in order to rip out the extra rows on the front section, I first thought I'd have to rip the entire *sob* sleeve out.

But I gave myself a few minutes to think, and realized there is another option.

O2-assess options

I decided to cut the sleeve off, just under the sleeve cap, and rip only the sleeve cap out. Once the front is fixed and a new sleeve cap knit, I'll graft the two parts together again.

03-safety net

I'm using a yarn with a fairly high wool content, and it tends to felt, every so slightly, to itself. I knew that unraveling would require some tussling and I didn't want to drop stitches on the sleeve, so I inserted a smaller gauge needle into the row of stitches that would remain live on the sleeve.

04-OMG cut

I made a small noodly prayer to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and snipped.

05-no turning back

No turning back now.


Now it's just a matter of unraveling along the sleeve cap side.

07-catch mistakes

If you missed a stitch, just grab one of those locking stitch markers, and clip it on. In my case, didn't pick up stitches on the spare needle, in a straight line. I was offset by a row for a few inches. Once I realized, I secured the loose stitch, eased out the needle and re-thread it through the correct stitches.

08-pieces separate

The sleeve will be secured on the needle, when you are done, and you can unravel the remaining sleeve cap and reuse the yarn.

Oooh, I'm halfway there.

I'll let you know how the reknitting and grafting go.

And on that note, I need a pup fix.

panda in front of thea.jpg

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the garment category.

astoria is the previous category.

secret book submission is the next category.

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