Friday, September 24, 2010
Let's have a little chat about lace. Not the kind of lace in doilies or the fancy see-through kind adorning a lot of black dresses this fall, but knitted lace patterns. The kinds with names like "winding trail," "passionflower" or "snowdrops," the kind of lace that wraps any hat, sweater or shawl into it's complicated web and turns it into a prized heirloom. I don't think I could ever have enough knitted lace, and a pretty lace triangle shawl is about the best it gets. Almost. Lately, I've been having trouble with my beloved triangle scarves. It's not just the logistics of keeping one wrapped securely around my neck - the ocean wind almost stole a lovely swallowtail shawl from me once on a Seattle ferry.
It's just that sometimes I crave something a little less sweet and quaint, and a little more modern.
So, me and my lacey, shawly self got together and decided on a compromise. The result is a long, wide cowl knit seamlessly in the round. Bands of simple, geometric lace are separated by slightly gathered garter strips that create a nice, full drape when wrapped around your neck. I designed it imagining I'd wear it this way, wrapped double so it looks like a pretty, perfectly tousled scarf with no ends, or shifting, or fiddling needed. But, actually, it turns out to be a more versatile little piece of lace than I thought...
I named this pattern Balustrade, which is a fancy architectural word for a railing on a staircase or porch. I named it this partly because the lace reminded me of the geometric shapes and patterns often found on railings or windows, but also because the cowl reminded me of the word itself - a bit of lovely, pretty fluff for something that is, at its heart, utterly functional.
If you find yourself craving a bit of lace, please check out the Balustrade pattern on Ravelry here or on Etsy here.