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.

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