A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

The web of our life is of a mingled yarngood and ill together: our virtues would be proudif our faults whipped them notand our crimes would despairif they were not cherished by our virtues.~~unknown

There’s a special magic that happens a few times a year when I stumble across (or, duh, get an e-mail telling me) that new Ravelry or Knitty is up. I’m nervous, excited, hopeful…and I navigate over to spend next hours (ok, days and nights) devouring new patterns. Sometimes I try to be patient and force myself to read through the articles first. The strategy of veggie-before-desert typically works well. It’s especially easy when my knitting-glucose comes in magazine or book form, a la Interweave Knits or Vogue Knitting, to leaf through starting with page 1.

This week, I couldn’t hold back at all and went straight to the patterns. Normally, there are only a couple that catch my eye…but I found a bunch with the Summer 2008 issue. First there’s the super-cute, elegant Wakame Lace Tunic I’d love knitting and wearing; then, the beautiful yet simple Apres Surf Hoodie I fell in love with right away, the wave-and-box texture Roped Shell, work-in-the-round Eyelet Surplice Dress, mosaic Delft Tiles Tee…I’d like to knit every pattern of the issue and am debating which to cast on for next project on my needles. Tough choice…

Didn’t I just get a monster project Pinwheel Pullover off the needles? Haven’t I been fussing about how I’m NOT so in love with Monterey Shawl in hibernation since March? Yes, yes I have. But then there’re those lovely, wistful, and not-at-all fussy, to my eye, shawls, scarves, and wraps in Victorian Lace Today, A Gathering Lace, Arctic Lace, Folk Shawls, Shawls and Scarves, Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls…few things I will be knitting for sure are blessing scarves for my friends Jenn and Michelle, something for their lovely children (2 each,) and a trinity shawl for a new friend’s mother combating cancer. While mulling pattern possibilities and yarn options in my abundant stash, I casted on this wrap inspired by a 1850 Scotland scarf pattern out of Victorian Lace Today

I love the vertical waves and delicate spaces between them. This wrap might just satisfy my lace knitting craving while I’m in between monster projects.

Lace knitting is experiencing a resurgence in popularity; even experienced knitters are often intimidated by the thought of skinny yarn, tiny needles and charts filled with mysterious symbols. Have no fear. Finished knitted lace may look brain-staggeringly complex. There is nothing mysterious about the movements and gestures of knitting lace. Anyone able to form a yarn over, make decreases, and read a chart is able to produce the sort of beautifully patterned cloud that shivers under a breath and sets the eyes dizzy. Anyone. There is no elusive, secret talent to it–just time and experience and acclimation. My philosophical belief: The best way to learn a knitting technique is to pick a project that you really want to tackle and then just do it with no fear of the potential difficulty.

Lace knitting is wonderfully flexible in terms of yarn weight since a precise fit is rarely required–the exact same circular shawl pattern could be rendered in fingering wool on large needles for a large wrap, or in gossamer weight yarn and tiny needles for a doily. Next few months will bring lots of lacy goodness, I hope.

Happy creating!


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