Lace Knitting

One of the Christmas gifts I got from my husband was a knitting book I really wanted: Knitted Lace of Estonia, by Nancy Bush.  It talks about the history of lace knitting in Estonia and gives several beautiful patterns for lace shawls.
Lace knitting is really anything that involves yarn-overs (yo) and decreases, creating holes arranged in a pattern.  I had done a lot of things that involved these techniques, but I had never actually done lace knitting with small needles and thin yarn.  I started by knitting two lace bookmarks.  At first, I had to get used to working with the small needles and yarn.

This was good practice.  When I got my book for Christmas, I was ready to start knitting a shawl.  I chose the Queen Silvia Shawl for my first project.  I have always knitted with cheap yarn, but for these shawls wool lace-weight yarn is recommended.  I found some on sale at, and my husband said I could get some for my birthday.  I ordered white yarn for this shawl, and pink yarn for my next project: a triangular shawl from the book.

I am about 1/5 done with my shawl.  For the part I am working on right now, there is a chart that shows the stitch pattern.  The chart is 16 rows, and I am supposed to repeat these 16 rows 20 times.  When reading from a chart, it helps me to color every other row with a different colored pencil.  This makes it easier for me to follow along and not lose my place.
 This is how much I have finished so far.  The colored yarn at the bottom is temporary.  It is holding the stitches that I will later use for making the edge.
This is what it looks like stretched out.  After a lace item is finished, blocking it stretches it out, making the design more open looking.  I am really excited to see what this shawl will look like when it is finished and blocked.

Slippers for My Husband's Cold Feet

For a while I had been thinking about either getting Brad some slippers for his birthday or knitting some.  After Christmas I had some time to take on new projects, so I found a few patterns and had him pick his favorite one.  The pattern he chose has pompoms, but I didn't do that.  (It would not have been very manly.)  I also made his slippers longer than in the pattern.  They are very warm, and he likes them a lot.

Christmas Knitting Projects

The past month and a half has been busy.  My parents visited for Thanksgiving, and we had a good time.  The day after they left, we started packing to move to a different apartment across town.  On December 10th we moved, and then the unpacking started.  We really like our new apartment.  It is a lot nicer than the old apartment, and it is a better neighborhood.  We got unpacked pretty quickly.  I just need to hang pictures.

After I finished my fall garland I devoted my energy to my Slanting Gretel Tee and blocked it the day before Thanksgiving.  I ended up making one more alteration before I finished.  I bound off on the neckline sooner than in the pattern because I don't like my necklines to come up over my collarbone.  I therefore had more stitches when I bound off, so the neckline is wider than in the pattern.  However, I think I might undo some things before I am completely satisfied.  I am contemplating making the sweater an inch shorter and then shaping the neckline differently.  After wearing my sweater a few times, I decided the neck felt rather constraining.  I do love the various design features: the seed stitch stomach, the celtic-looking center cable, and the sleeve cables.

As soon as my Slanting Gretel was on the blocking board, I started knitting a scarf for my husband's grandma as a Christmas gift.  A friend had loaned me an older book, Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework.  In the knitting chapter I found a lacy stitch design I liked.  With the busyness of moving, I found myself rushing to finish it in the last two weeks before Christmas.  A few days after I gave it to Grandma, I was reading online about knitting lace, and I found a technique that would have enabled me to make both ends look the same.  I will have to remember that for next time.

When we visit my husband's family, we always spend a lot of time sitting around talking, so I like to bring my knitting.  I had crocheted a Bible cover a few months ago that I wasn't satisfied with, so over Christmas I took it apart and knitted a different one.  I found a stitch pattern from the same book.  I knitted one long piece and then sewed the pockets closed.  This cover fits my Bible much better than the other one did.