Monday, April 28, 2008

The Price of Progress

I've been avoiding my blog for a week now, irritated by the enormous changes I didn't know I was making. Oh I knew I was making some changes, but just a few changes...not turning the entire fruit basket upside down. I have discovered a few things in the process. In the "new and improved" version of Blogger I can no longer have a list on my sidebar that contains both text only and text with links components. Pick which one you can't have both. I spent tonight reconstructing my WIP and FO without clickable links to photos. Sorry. I tried to restore my Flickr box that I had previously...the one that was a collage of photos. Nope, that's out too. Gotta use Blogger's slideshow feature and pick which photosource you want...Flickr or Picasa...not both. And speaking of not both, remember that nice list of buttons with photo logos of my KALs that click through to the KAL homepage. That's gone too I guess. I can add one photo...with a header, but not a series of photos; or I can add a series of links...without photos/buttons. Can't do both at the same time. This really s*cks. I am not happy.

In all fairness I have one more option left to explore...the one where I can paste in a block of html coding. I hope this will allow me to get my FiberArts & Lace Knitting Blogring links/banners restored, but I'm too tired to try tonight. One of the rings has has changed away from ringsurf, so I have to redo it from scratch anyway. SIGH!

I have a bunch of garden things to share, but they got top billing last time so I'll talk knitting this time. I'll start with the small stuff first--doilies. Now that I've knit a bunch of lace shawls and scarves, my interests in lace knitting(LK) are starting to diversify. Lately I've been quite taken with knitted doilies and what I've chosen to call "table laces". I figure table laces include everything from the smallest doily to a large tablecloth and everything in between. In LK circles, the hot topic is table laces designed by a German gentleman by the name of Hebert Niebling. His designs are distinctive and include intricate flowing compositions of leaves and flowers that have remarkable dimensionality. Now deceased, Niebling's works are held in highest esteem by lace knitting experts and the most popular designs in OOP pattern magazines are fetching outrageous prices on the secondary market, ie. EBay, etc.

I decided to venture into knitting simple doilies, which caused me to join the DoilieHeads Forum (DHF) on Ravelry. The DHF has both knitters and crocheters, so to encourage folks to crossover and try their less dominant technique they offered a simple KAL. Two patterns similar in size and appearance, one knit (Flacon)& one crochet (Antlia), both free online were chosen for the KAL. I made both doilies out of some yellow Cebelia 20 in my stash and the photos shows the completed doilies side by side. Flacon is pinned out, but neither has been properly blocked. The difference is quite striking. The crochet doily is clearly more dense and weighs more than twice as much as the knit one, yet the finished diameter is the same for both doilies. Fascinating!

Over the last 6 months or so I've looked at the vintage lace knitting patterns on Ebay hoping to pick up some of those German Anna magazines that have Niebling patterns in them. I keep my bids very modest as I can't afford to drop $50 on a craft magazine, but I've had a little success. Then one day I was thumbing through some old Workbasket magazines I had picked up for their tatting patterns. To my great surprise one issue had a lovely knit doily on the cover that looked every bit as beautiful as the ones I'd seen in the German magazines. That was my challenge. I decided to look for American magazines with knitted table laces. So this month I picked up about 6-7 years worth of Workbasket magazines from the late 40s-early 60s. What a goldmine of great stuff! I've had a blast carefully thumbing through the yellowed pages and finding all this great lace--crocheted, tatted, and yes-knitted! Yeehaw!

In my Ebay surfing, I picked up a couple of German magazines too, including a 2006 Lea special issue containing 27 doily designs. The aqua doily is #20 in the magazine and a nice, simple knit. I chose a simple doily for my 1st venture as I didn't have an English translation for the instructions or the charts and I was winging it. I goofed up one symbol and fudged the stitch in my doily, but you can't tell at all so I'm happy. Now I just need to buy a bottle of liquid starch so I can properly block all 3 doilies and give them just a bit of stiffening to help them maintain that blocked look. I am addicted!

Also a couple of weeks ago now I finish knitting the sample shawl for our Summer Lace KAL at The Yarn Haven. Before I let this yummy blue Flower Basket Shawl go I just had to do an artsy photo shoot. I hauled the shawl across the street and everywhere taking photos with blooming dogwood and weeping cherry trees and among the spring flowers. Just before going in the house I decided to take a couple of shots by the bleeding hearts even though it was terribly dark. so guess which location yielded the best photos? Yup, the bleeding hearts :-) You just never know when you are taking photos....

Now that the FBS is done I'm back working on the Orkney Pi Shawl. I have 213 rows completed at this point. I took a couple of shots of the last section, which is cat's paw lace and the beginning of more trees. At 1280 sts/round progress is painstakingly slow and hard to see. but I keep checking off the rounds with my pink marker so I know I am getting there. I'm working on a white Swallowtail shawl as my portable project and plan to cast-on more doilies for that quick FO fix. After all, sometimes a knitter just needs to see Finished in lights to know that she's getting somewhere :-)

1 comment:

Regenia said...

Your FBS is beautiful, not the pictures, but the real thing! I snuck down to Knoxville on Saturday to eat at the Melting Pot for my birthday, and MD suggested we go to The Yarn Haven since they were having their tax free weekend.... I have that boy trained :) I think you can make a text and link list by simply leaving the hyperlink field empty for the items you don't want links on.... then again, I have no clue which version of blogger I'm using.