Friday, January 27, 2012

Seaweed and sand dollars

While I love knitting complicated lace, when it comes to wearing a lace shawl, sometimes simplicity wins out. Ebbtide is an elegantly simple shawl that dresses up or down equally well.

Worked from the top down, the pattern features waving bands of stockinette and feather and fan lace that show off tonal variations in semi-solid and tonally dyed yarns to great advantage.

Entertaining as the body of the shawl is to work, the real fun comes at the end – the feather and fan flows into a band of Sand Dollar lace, a gorgeous circular motif that gives Ebbtide a rather modern feel.

The Sand Dollar edging – a variation on Barbara Walker’s lovely Sunspots pattern – only looks complicated. It's surprisingly straightforward to work, and makes a stunning finish to the shawl.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Sometimes the yarn just tells you what it is going to be.

As soon as I saw the three colors of Quince and Co's Chickadee sitting together on my desk, the idea for this hat came to me – and I knew there had to be a bee in it somewhere.

The design features a rolled edge, corrugated ribbing, and stranded colorwork. On the top of the hat, a bee motif is worked over one segment of the crown. After blocking, the body and head of the bee are recolored using duplicate stitch.

The tam uses approximately half a skein of each of three colors of Quince and Co. Chickadee – Storm, Carrie's Yellow, and Egret – and is sized to fit an average woman's head.

The Bumble pattern is available for purchase in my Ravelry pattern store.

Blocking Bumble

Blocking tams has been a bit of a problem for me in the past. It's not always easy to find a dinner plate of the right shape and size – in fact, mine are square. I've pinned tams out to a blocking board, but I wasn't that happy with the results. No matter how many pins I place, I always seem to get points along the edge.

For Bumble, I thought I'd try making a custom blocking form instead. I took a piece of Gator Board – the tougher cousin of Foamcore – marked out a 10" circle with a compass, and cut it out with a matt knife. Gator board is not easily affected by water and since the core is expanded foam, it's pinnable.

I slipped the damp tam over the form, matched the fold line to the outer circumference of the disk, and pinned it along the edge. Then to keep from crushing the band and to allow for air circulation I set it on top of a small box that fit just inside the band. The tam dried quickly, and came out flat and round.