Tag Archives: Vintage

Not Your Grandmother’s Antique Lace Doilies

Cestari Wool on Fair Harbor 

Cestari Wool on Fair Harbor

Of late, I have been drawn to old fashioned lace doilies. It’s not that I have a burning need for lace doilies or that I am redecorating every flat surface of my apartment with perfectly round circles of tiny little stitches of white knitting cotton. Rather it’s the way that the patterns emerge as you knit round and round. It’s the wonderful selection displayed on Ravelry and how others have used these designs in other areas such as baby blankets and shawls. 

As a result, I have spent more than my fair share of time looking at the work of other Ravelers who have shared their work online and patterns posted on free sites. While many of these patterns don’t have charts to accompany them, many of the patterns use only a small number of stitches which is relatively easy to chart. 

Using some wonderfully colored magenta, lavender and black wool from a small VA producer named Cestari that I acquired from a friend during a yarn swap, I am making a friend a set of 4 placemats since the wool feels itchy. It’s interesting that the wool still retains its lanolin which may be affecting my hands. I am using size 8 needles, double points at the center and then my Denises. The problem with the Denises is that there is a tendency for them to open. Fortunately, the wool grips itself so that I haven’t had dropped stitches!

Two Color Lace Doily in process

Two Color Lace Doily in process

Based on the lace doily in lavender that I made my friend Amanda, I decided that I would need about 60 rows to make a circular placemat. After looking through the lace doily patterns on Ravelry, I decided to make the two color lace pattern. I tried two times and found that the pattern didn’t lend itself to being adapted for my purposes, so I frogged two half complete versions. While the idea of using a pattern that was made for two colors was good, I found the pattern didn’t hold my interest. Also, it was ripply which I didn’t like either!

Heirloom Lace Doily - Do Over

Heirloom Lace Doily - Do Over

Heirloom Lace Doily on Fair Harbor Beach

Heirloom Lace Doily on Fair Harbor Beach

Instead, I decided to switch to the Liz Snella’s Heirloom Lace Doily. At the center, it’s similar to the Hemlock Ring Doily and Blanket. Since it has a couple of places where there are 4 rows of knit stitch, it’s good for switching colors. Also, it’s got both written instructions and charts. Being on vacation without access to a printer, I bookmarked the pattern on my computer so that I could use it.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Beach Knitting-Hemlock Ring Blankie Progresses

Sunny & Chilly on Fair Harbor Beach

Sunny & Chilly on Fair Harbor Beach

Beach knitting is one of my favorite forms of knitting in public (KIP). Unlike subway knitting where I’m filling time that would otherwise be unproductive, I enjoy being on the beach where the constant sound of the ocean kissing the shore is reassuring and peaceful.  With knitting in hand, I combine two of my favorite activities enhancing my relaxation. 

Unlike swimming, the benefit of having knitting on the beach doesn’t require specific weather conditions (although I am not a fan of knitting in the rain). The cooler than average June weather actually enhanced the experience since it kept the beach relatively deserted. Due to the slight wind (which was great for my husband’s windsurfing), I had to knit with a thicker yarn which translated to lots of progress on my Hemlock Ring Blankie. 

As with any large project, I find that the beginning goes quickly since there’s the sense of adventure and I haven’t had time to get bored with the project or an uninteresting repeat.  With the Hemlock Ring Blanket, the number of stitches per row increases significantly which means that progress is REALLY slow. 

 
Hemlock Blankie on Fair Harbor Beach

Center pattern of Hemlock Ring BLankie

Center pattern of Hemlock Ring Blankie

Green & Lavender Feather & Fan Rings on Hemlock Ring Blankie

Green & Lavender Feather & Fan Rings on Hemlock Ring Blankie

 

Despite bringing two sets of 10.5 needles, I still ran out of room to keep knitting. It became work to squeeze the stitches onto the needle. Thankfully, I have a set of interchangeable Denise needles at home so that I can extend the length.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Hemlock Ring Blankie-Vacation Projects Begin!

Hemlock Ring Blankie Yarn-Silk Spun Cotton

Hemlock Ring Blankie Yarn-Silk Spun Cotton

Lately, I’ve been bitten by a lace doily bug. There is some about knitting round and round and watching the pattern slowly evolve. Perhaps its the influence of Marion Kinzel’s Lace Knitting Volume 1. As a result, I’ve been trolling Ravelry and the internet for vintage lace doily patterns. 

In the process, I kept finding myself drawn to Jared Flood aka Brooklyn Tweed’s Hemlock Ring Blanket which is a modification of a traditional doily pattern using a thicker wool. This pattern has roughly 2,700 projects on Ravelry! In part, I attribute this to the fact that it’s a free pattern and the recommended yarn (Cascade Eco) has a lot of yardage so that a project costs about about $30.00-$35.00. (Mind you this is a lap blanket not a full size blanket.) While I’m usually not one to follow online knitting trends, the Hemlock Ring Blankie has made it into my queue.

From a yarn swap last spring, I have 5 skeins of Farmhouse Yarns’ Silk Spun Cotton or 1,000 yards. It’s a thick yarn consisting of American grown cotton, American grown wool and silk. It’s made by Carol Martin of Hopyard Spinnery and contains 200 yards per skein. the label recommends using a size 8 needle. Since I’m making lace, I plan to use my 10.5 needles by Susan Bates in pink and purple which are plastic and have wonderful points. The yarn has wonderful names like Mint Julep for the green which is a blend of greens with a smattering of blue. Since this is a beach vacation project, the sun light plays wonderfully on the color. 

Hemlock Ring Blankie on 4 Double Point Needles #10

Hemlock Ring Blankie on 4 Double Point Needles #10

It turned out that the Hemlock Ring Blankie made a great vacation project. First, it becomes a relatively big project very quickly so being away where you don’t need to shlep it to knitting circles and the like is great. Also, the weather at Fire Island was cooler and windy than average for June. As a result, it was good to have a knitting project with a thicker yarn that could be worked easily. The finer lace shawls were difficult to knit between keeping the pattern in my lap and being able to work the yarn.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief