The Knit Knack's Blog

Better living through fibre


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An Irieknit Design

My commissioned lace stole is overdue for her reveal!  What began as a serious inquiry last Boxing Day on broad specs grew into an original stole design with beautiful Helen’s Lace yarn and light beading.

Although knitting for hire was a bundle of new challenges, I knew early on that my label as it were would be Irieknit.  This is, after all, the way that many of you know me as a spinner & knitter on both Ravelry and Twitter[.com].  My ‘irie‘ designation dates back to birth.  In full-flush of First Time Dad excitement, I was announced to the world (via a Gleaner classified ad) in all caps as born that day “one IRIE GEMINI…”

Then as now, some got it; others not so much.

‘Sea Grapes’ knitted lace stole

The colourway of this 50% silk/ 50% wool yarn is Berry.  The stole used 950 yards or 85g of the yarn with the body and border knit with different sized needles.

Body detail, ‘Sea Grapes’ knitted lace stole

The centre is the Melon pattern from Victorian Lace Today with repeats added to the panel.  Thinking of my Jamaican client as I knit lent the motif a decidedly Caribbean feel.  One thought led to another and soon I had a doubly-wide border of soft waves.  The VLT techniques pages were very empowering.  They helped kick me up a notch to lace design.

The client’s wide brief is what also allowed me to go farther.  Following my muse often takes me back to poetry.  This 27″ x 88″ stole is named Sea Grapes after Derek Walcott’s 1976 poem:

…for the sea-wanderer or the one on shore

now wriggling on his sandals to walk home,

since Troy sighed its last flame…

The classics can console.  But not enough.

People often ask, “How long does it take to knit that?”  In this case, I have an answer based on a focused lace knit.  The knitting time was 30 hours for the body; 17 hours for the border.  It was made over 17 days.  This does not include 2 hours for blocking or added prep time & design work.

On the blocking mats, ‘Sea Grapes’ knit lace stole

Producing knitted lace of this scale for hire changed my work days, and lifted my game.  In the end, I was happy to deliver an item that can not and does not exist elsewhere.  It came as much from our relationship of many years as from my skills, time and materials.  We are both happy.

Supporting handmade matters.  I’ll be happy to collaborate again in the future.


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Per contra Hand Towel!!

Well, I promised a pattern & now am delivering!  It was made for DH on his (surreal age) birthday, August 14th.  Please do bear with me – this is my first written pattern.  The E & OE at the end may be familiar to some… it stands for Errors & Omissions Excepted.  You will always find it on a lawyer’s bill.  I’m happy to clarify/ make revisions – just let me know if you have any issues or challenges.

The FO looks like this:

What’s in the name?  Well, per contra means “on the other hand.”  The towel wants to be your substitute for select-a-size paper towels in the home.  It’s a quick knit from the bottom up with all-over cabling that gives the towel massive ‘sponge pockets.’  No more tearing sheets for simple things like drying-off fruits!

Hope you find this a fun knit.  Good luck changing habits! Talk to me about knitting these on commission for you – good for stocking stuffers!

Per contra Hand Towelv1.1090825

Edit:  To fix hyperlinks.  Notes:  This is a .pdf.  The pattern is copyrighted with a Creative Commons Canada Licence to users.  The licence terms are set out in the pattern.