Lace: A Timeless Knitting Experience
For me, knitting lace is the ultimate handknitting experience. Technique and yarn join in an interlooping ethereal fabric that flows from my needles. The stitch pattern repeats like the melody of a beloved song reverberating in my psyche. Blocking opens and transforms this delicate textile, revealing a seemingly fragile interplay between air and fiber that envelops the wearer adding a layer of refined warmth.
PieceWork not only honors this magical form of needlework with an annual issue devoted to all forms of lace, but lace knitting is a regular element of special issues such as Knitting Traditions. Lace knitting is shown to best advantage in the multitude of shawls, wraps, and stoles that have been featured in PieceWork over the years. From the sophisticated to the simple, the endless combinations of yarnovers and decreases that make up knitted-lace stitch patterns are an unending delight for knitters throughout time.
Anniken Allis’s stunning An Elegant Beaded Lace Stole to Knit, worked in a lovely aqua shade of Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace yarn and Delica Beads, appeared in Knitting Traditions Fall 2013. The inspiration for this project was taken from women’s fashion in the early 1900s. This stole was created by taking a traditional lace pattern with strong diagonal lines and enhancing and updating the pattern by adding beads. The beads are added effortlessly using a crochet hook.
More recently, the Sunna Lace Shawl to Knit by Evelyn A. Clark, knit in four earthy colors of Lopi Einband yarn, was featured in PieceWork May/June 2016. Combining stitch patterns from some of her favorite Icelandic shawls, this triangular shawl begins at the top with lines of eyelets repeating every six rows. Reverse stockinette stitch outlines a spider border, and the shawl culminates in a flower-and-leaf edging which is bound off with a crochet chain.
These incorporate two very different ways to combine yarn, technique, and stitch pattern, yet like all knitted lace stoles, wraps, and shawls from the pages of PieceWork, the designs are timeless. Summer is the perfect time to cast on a lace project and connect with knitting traditions from another time and place.
Happy lace knitting!