I’m currently working on a pair of fingerless gloves, which are taking much loner than I expected, mostly due to the fact that I’m designing the pattern by myself, and have so far, failed the last 2 attempts. Hopefully, the third time will be a charm. I am using a cowl pattern I found as my inspiration…

I’m using the same stich for my fingerless gloves, but obviously the pattern will be very different. For Christmas, my boyfriends sister gave me the most beautiful blue yarn, of which the exact colour and brand escapes me. This was perfect, because I have the Berroco Vintage DK yarn in Cracked Pepper, so I’m using the two colours in this pattern to make it somewhat more visually interesting.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been recording my pattern, so completing the second glove will be a wonderful challenge! But hey, who doesn’t love a challenge, eh?

Wow! You never realize how much of your life you spend working until you move to a full-time position. Not to complain, not only am I happy about the promotion, but my bank account and local yarn stores are happy too. Over the christmas break I embarked on two new patterns. The first, a wrap around shawl. The second, fingerless gloves, the pattern which, I am making up as I go. But more of that later.

The shawl is another Japanese pattern. I love these patterns. They’re to the point, and because they’re drawn, and not written, you don’t have to read 300 lines of “repeat row 1”.  This pattern takes forever!  I’m nowhere near 1/3 of the way complete, and I’ve been working on it pretty regularly. But it will be well worth it in the end. At least, the pictures look promising.

Now, I have to admit, I actually started the shawl last June. But three  rows into it, and my demon cat decided one day while I was out of the house, that my ball of yarn (Palette wool from Knit Picks in Navy) was too round and needed to be stretched out. I came home from work and walked into a murder scene. It was literally like a horror movie. The yarn ran a trail from the bottom of the stairs, up to the top, around the kitchen table three or four times, down the hall, into my bedroom and there, on my bed, in the messiest lump of navy merino yarn I have ever seen, was the cat, curled up and fast asleep. I was so angry and after trying for hours to untangle the mess, I felt so defeated that I put the shawl away until Christmas.

Each row takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to complete. It wouldn’t take so long except that the way in which the yarn was spun, causes for the hook to easily slip through the  yarn, separating it, so i have to take extra care not to do that.

This is only 26 of 275 rows completed

Each row takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to complete. It wouldn’t take so long except that the way in which the yarn was spun, causes for the hook to easily slip through the  yarn, separating it, so i have to take extra care not to do that. I’m hoping to have this done by April so that I can send out to my mother in time for mother’s day.

The Irish and Their Lace

September 8, 2011

I don’t know about you, but when I think of Ireland, I’m instantly transported to the island’s country side with its emerald-green fields, rolling hills, its beautiful old stone cottages and its dreary weather. I have  a friend who lived there and said it did nothing but rain and when it wasn’t raining it was cold and damp, so she had no choice but to move her “office” to her couch and do all of her work in front of the fire. I imagine that this weather was a major contributing factor in the developement of Irish Lace. Well, that, and the efforts of some very “crafty” nuns during the Potato Famine.

The Irish economy was weak to begin with before the famine struck. The majority of Irish land was too rocky to produce anything other than potatoes, and those farmers that were lucky enough to grow other vegetables, had a difficult time purchasing the seeds to plant with. The Ursuline Nuns saw an opportunity to help women earn additional income for their family. The nuns taught those wanting to learn and the craft quickly evolved from a venetian style crochet to its own style. The patterns which were created by the women often became a family tradition and turned into closely guarded family secrets. The wealthy would pay for the fine crochet cloth and thus, the women would be able to help provide for their families.

Irish lace is some of the most beautiful and fine work I have seen. Just look at the work that went into this wedding dress and childs frock.

If you want to see more of this intricate lace work, there’s the The Sheelin Antique Irish Lace Museum in Ireland, which you can see in person, or in a budget friendly look at their online shop. I highly suggest you take a peak. I guarantee you will be amazed!