mlemmonsdesigns

Beautiful designs for adventurous knitters

Shawl shapes June 7, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 5:24 am

There are lots of shapes of shawls out there. The most common are triangles and rectangles, partly I suspect because they are the easiest to design. But those may not be knitters favorites to wear.

Obviously, different knitters want different shape shawls. This is because they want different things from their shawls. Some want warmth, some want frothy lace, some just want a colorful neck accessory like a scarf. For me, I want a lightweight shawl to cover my arms to keep cold air from fans and A/C from hitting my skin. Thus, I’m going to be looking for different shaped shawls than other knitters.

A lot of knitters say that they don’t like triangular shawls because they don’t want an arrow pointing at their rear end. Others don’t like them because the straight upper edge makes it hard to keep on. I personally don’t like them because I want a shawl to cover my arms and they have to be HUGE before that will happen.

Rectangular shawls or stoles don’t cover very much unless they are very wide and they don’t stay on easily. I’ve never been able to wear one where it actually stayed where I wanted it. It either rode up and looked like a scarf or rode down and was just a ribbon draped between my elbows.

My favorite shapes are crescents (also called heart shaped or triangles with wings). This is the shape of my Silver Bells and Cockle Shells. The wings at the front edge help keep it situated on your shoulders and provide more depth at the sides over your arms. Close contenders are the 3/4 square made of three triangles instead of two and the more than half circle. These also stay on well because they don’t have a straight upper edge  and cover my arms. Additional plus is that these shapes don’t have a point above the rear end.

There have been a number of discussions about shawl shapes on Ravelry. In one of the recent discussions, I added a poll so readers could vote for their favorite shawl shapes. The results so far have been surprising. Triangles have very few votes. The shape with the most votes by a landslide has been shallow crescent. Reading all the reasons given has been interesting. If you haven’t voted in that poll yet, please do.

 

Don’t overwork it June 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 6:02 pm

I’ve been working on designs using the yarn support I was given while I was at DFW Fiber Fest. The socks using the Budding sock  yarn by Knitting Rose progressed nicely and are now in testing. The variegated lace shawl made from Chiku by The Fiber Lady is also coming along well.

Designing a lace shawl from variegated yarn has been tricky. I tend to do complicated lace and stay away from stockinette. But intricate lace and variegated yarn just fight each other so I knew I needed to try something else. I read a lot of threads on Ravelry about what types of patterns work well with variegated yarn. The consensus has been that large leaf shapes and other simple lace patterns do well. So I found a diamond/leaf shape that I liked and found a way to tile it in an interesting way. My sketch left large blank areas that I kept trying to fill with another lace motif, but it really wanted to be left plain. I really wanted it to have something else. Eventually I realized that I was trying to make it complicated just for the sake of being complicated. I really needed to let the yarn and pattern do what they wanted to do. It’s hard because I really hate stockinette. But that is what this design needs.

I kept hearing Tim Gunn and Nina in my head telling me to take my editing eye to it and make it work.

 

Frogging with beads June 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 11:03 am
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Frogging is never fun. 

Worse is when it’s lace.

Even worse is lace with beads because as you pull out the yarn, the beads pop off and fly all over the room. Some will never be seen again and others will show up for the next five years in the cracks of the floor, edges of the sofa, your drink, etc. 

I am currently frogging about 20 rows of beaded lace with nupps. In order to control the spray of beads, I have put the lace into a large Ziploc bag and have mostly sealed the top. 

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Now, I can frog with impunity and all the beads will be nicely contained to be retrieved later and used again.

Speaking of beaded knitting, Fleegle just wrote a blog post about 4 different methods of attaching beads to knitting, including one that was new to me; guitar wire. Check it out!

If you are looking to make a beaded shawl, please consider Nouveau Beaded Capelet or Silver Bells and Cockle Shells. They are both beautiful shawls and fun knits.