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Monday, March 1, 2010

Lace Knitting: A Form of Insanity

Handspun, home-dyed, hand-knitted. Why do I do this? My friends can't understand it. I could be knitting warm hats or useful socks but no, I spend weeks making things like this.

Here are some of the reasons knitting lace is fun.

1. It is a huge challenge. Call it the Olympic Knitter in my heart.
2. It requires incredible concentration. This is good for my brain. Alzheimer's Prevention.
3. I get to make something big with a small amount of luxury fiber. This appeals to the tightwad in me.
4. Makes good gifts. Yeah, yeah, it might end up on the back of someone's sofa. Who actually WEARS these things? But it is a gift guaranteed to be appreciated. It is unique and beautiful.
5. Forces me to do math in my head. CONSTANT math in my head. See #2 above.

For this shawl I spun very fine singles of Cormo, alpaca and bunny angora. The alpaca was dyed pink and blue but the Cormo and bunny were white. I got a somewhat mottled, light pink yarn. I plied the singles with fine silk thread.

After knitting this gigantic thing (6 feet across) I realized I didn't like the color. So before blocking I put the whole thing into the dyepot with one tablespoon of burgundy dye. The color is EXACTLY what I wanted and the white blotches were fixed.

I plan to wear this shawl to my daughter's senior recital. Now I need a new dress.

That is the other reason to make a shawl.


  1. What a gorgeous shawl! I completely understand your reasons for lace knitting!

  2. Thanks, Alice. Some of my friends wonder about me :-)

  3. Amazing....who needs their sanity when you make things like that? So over-rated (sanity, that is).