Plain Jane Knits Up A Storm

A few musings about my needlecraft hobbies - knitting, crocheting, quilting, & cross-stitch along with my other love, genealogy. While growing up, I used to HATE the term "Plain Jane", but when it comes to knitting & crocheting, I've realized that I really *am* a Plain Jane in that I don't use fancy yarns.

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Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I'm In Love.........

In love with Meg Swansen's A Gathering of Lace

A Gathering of Lace front cover Image hosted by

It came in yesterday via Inter-Library Loan from the Royal Oak Library (lucky Royal Oakians to have this on their library shelf full time except when someone like me snatches it away for three weeks!) and I picked it up this morning. Fortunately DH was driving as I couldn't pull my nose out of it on the way home. It's an oversized book and I had to be careful not to open it so far that it interfered with the gear shift between the driver's & passenger's seats. There are a number of beautiful shawls in the book, but what really grabbed my attention were the lace vests. Family and friends know that I'm a "vest junkie" - I must have 30 or 35 vests in my closet, on shelves, or tucked away into drawers. I love them! Quilted, crocheted, knit, wool, tapestry, or brocade - I don't care. So these are moving onto my PPIP (Potential Projects In Progress) list:

Cocoon, p. 18, Image hosted by

Cocoon on page 18 - calls for about 1000 yards of laceweight Icelandic wool and size 6 needles to get a 20 st / 33 rows to 4". I get 20 st to 4" with worsted weight on size 8 needles. I'm thinking that oatmeal colored acrylic & wool from the recycled sweater.

Sampler Tabard, p. 91 Image hosted by

This one is a bit difficult to see, but it's has five different lace patterns from bottom to top. It calls for 1100 yards of sport weight wool or mercerized cotton on size 2 needles for the small size, gauge: 26 st & 33 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch. It's nice when the gauge is given in stockinette stitch as it makes it easy to swatch. (I've passed by a couple lace vests where the only gauge was the finished measurement of the vest. Excuse me?? I'd like to know before I go to all that work that the vest is going to fit.)

Rose Lace Vest, p. 106 Image hosted by

This one is hip length & buttons up the front. It calls for Jagger Spun Zephyr (silk & wool), 1450 yards, & size 3 & 4 needles for a gauge of 5.4 st & 9.6 rows = 1".. That's about 22 st to 4", but over 38 rows to 4" and it's over the chart pattern. Hmmm.. This one would be tough to swatch, but it is pretty.

In other happenings, I played around with some fair isle type patterns on a hat for the K4 project as a way of previewing what I had in mind for adding a bit of interest to the bright yellow raglan.

Yellow Hat - Image hosted by

It helped that the hat I had already cast on was fairly close in color to the sweater, though not quite as bright. I used a light gold and a pale yellow in the pattern and I think I like it. Still, I believe that I'll get the opinion of the "expert" - the grandson I'm making it for. How about it, Matthew? Do you want this pattern around the sleeves and the bottom of your sweater???

In answer to some of the comments on previous posts:

Leah of Itty Bitty Knitting thinks that the wool from the brick colored sweater that I'm in the midst of recycling would work for a lace shawl (or maybe a vest?) and after my weekend trip to the LYS, I agree. Laceweight yarn is that thin.

Pioggia wanted to know if I'd felted the purple & green bag yet. No, but I'm about half way done with a second one which will use up the remainder of the Lopi yarn in those shades and I'll felt them both at once.

I appreciate all the kind comments on the Feather & Fan baby afghan - I'm going to show it off tomorrow at the K4 meeting (and maybe the following Monday at the knitting class) then package it up and ship it off.

Several people have asked about the Rainbow set. That pattern is still in copyright, so I can't share it, but the basic plan is that you make two rainbows starting with red (2 rows dc), orange, two shades of yellow, two shades of green, blue & purple, then square off the top of the semi-circle with the color of the jumper (I used navy) by using slip stitches, single crochets, half-doubles, doubles & triples up to the corner, then back down to scs across the top, up again for the other corner, and down in stitch height for the side. Working out from one side, work a single crochet waist band, then pick up for the skirt and work down increasing along the way to get the fullness. Finish off with rows of sc in the rainbow colors. Start at the top of the rainbow and work two straps that cross in back and button at the waistband. Add in a couple button loops on the open side edge of the rainbow and buttons on the back waistband. The jacket starts out with the same rainbow, pick up and crochet down from the rainbow to finish the back, then pick up along the sides and crochet the underarm, chain to increase for the front armhole edge and keep going, but shape the front neck lower. Do the other side the same, sew or crochet the shoulders together and starting at the underarm, work the sleeves in the round down to the rainbow borders. The collar is picked up around the neck edge in single and then two or three dc in each sc to form the ruffle. I used worsted weight yarn and an H hook.


Blogger Pioggia said...

Lace! I like it for a while but it drives me crazy. Nonetheless, I like to see what other people knit and salivate.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom, Matthew says "put this on it"...

10:10 PM  
Blogger Momma22wildfires said...

I've eyeballed that book a couple of times. Maybe I should do like you and order it through the library.

8:27 AM  
Blogger mzundercover said...

i just requested a copy via interlibrary loan too. i met a woman at a conference recently who had a simple triangle shawl she knitted from this book...i want to knit one too :-)

9:10 AM  
Blogger Ev said...

Isn't that book fantastic??? When I saw it in Chapters, I simply HAD to have it!! I keep it in the living room so I can flip through it whenever I like. Can't wait to start something out of it, but I can't decide what. Lace is so much fun to knit!

10:23 AM  

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