Friday, June 3 / 12:55 p.m.

Thing of Beauty

My latest project is "Butterfly", a (randomly) beaded lace camisole from Rowan 37 designed by Jennie Atkinson, who is, I believe, new to the Rowan team (correct me if I'm wrong), and it is a Thing of Beauty (capital letters Absolutely required).

I'd planned to knit it in a lavender colour but when several balls of kidsilk haze were put next to several different colours of beads, the only combination I really liked was the one photographed: a very pale pink called "pearl". The shiny glass seed beads are pale pink and off-white, and I think the colours combine nicely for an antique lace effect.

I really like the effect of knitted lace, and I also enjoy the process, but its low wearability factor has led to few lace projects for me. I have a gorgeous white lily of the valley shawl my grandmother gave me, and I think I've worn it once (and even then, it didn't really go with my outfit). I might occasionally sling a wrap across my shoulders but a lace shawl is really too fussy for my style. A tank top, on the other hand, is just the ticket, which is why I was very pleased to see this design in the latest Rowan. I think I'll be able to wear it with skirts (over a beautiful silk camisole that I have yet to find) or jeans (over a plain cotton spaghetti-strap tank).

So far the knitting's gone smoothly and surprisingly quickly, except for one ridiculous mistake that forced me to rip back 25 rows or so. When you're knitting lace with beads and mohair, ripping back takes as long (if not longer) than the knitting itself. To solve this problem, I plan not to make any more mistakes!

The one thing that worries me is the seaming, as it will make or break the piece. Fortunately there are only two side seams, but I haven't seamed anything lacey before (who HAS? Not much seaming to do on a shawl or scarf!) and I'm a little worried. Anything like backstitching where you end up with bits folded to the inside (sorry, I don't sew so I don't have the proper vocabulary) would show, but the more invisible mattress stitch has only been successful for me in stocking stitch so far. Ah well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it - I'm still not finished the back. I think I definitely won't use the Kidsilk Haze for the sewing but probably sewing thread.

I'll leave you with a closeup of the stitch pattern, which I believe is quite common (at least, it looks very familiar, but then it should as I've been spending a lot of time staring at it lately!):

I'm also working on "Hobo", another tank top from Rowan 37, and I've got lots of ideas about knitting these days so I should be back to blogging for the forseeable future. Winter and its light levels unfavourable to knitware photography bogged me down for a while.