One of the most satisfying aspects of crochet and knitting is the possibility of getting a project exactly the way you want it. Sometimes that’s a matter of following a pattern exactly, with the recommended yarn and even the colour from the photograph. Sometimes the published pattern is the jumping off point for something different.
We have two beautiful pieces to show you, both built on the same foundation. They’re both heirloom pieces, which can be confidently expected to be treasured by generations. They’re astounding feats of knitting, and we’re proud to be able to show them to you.
The starting point for both of them was the Laminaria pattern, free from Knitty. It’s a stunning thing in itself, and much easier to knit than it looks (Estonian lace is like that – it looks difficult, but it’s delightfully not). What’s particularly exciting about these two projects is how they start from the same place and go in different directions.
To celebrate the birth of baby A E, KittyKahBoom took this pattern and doubled it to make a square. The result is a stunning christening shawl.
She started with a circular cast on, eliminating the stitches for the selvedge and replacing them with centre stitches. The entire shawl was knit in the round, with every alternate round adding increases.
This is stocking stitch lace the no-purl way – since it’s knit in the round, the rest rows in between the lace row aren’t purled. As the fabric gets larger, the lace becomes more and more ornate, until it reaches this:
Baby A E is a very lucky baby indeed.
Another very lucky person is C, who got married last weekend (our very best wishes to you both, C!). She has a friend, WittyKnitty, who offered to knit her a wedding shawl, with Laminaria as the starting point once again. Here’s the end point:
Although large portions of this are straightforward Laminaria, another very lovely Estonian lace shawl was also called up for duty. The Echo Flower Shawl contributed the border and the edging (you can find complete details of the modifications here on the shawl’s project page). As written, the original Laminaria has neither nupps nor beads, but with the Echo Flower nupps and a champagne-coloured bead nestling beside each one, isn’t the result stunning?
Here’s the section, common to both shawls, where the lace transitions from a simple 3-out-of-3 pattern to the Blossom pattern:
These two pieces of work deserve to last for hundreds of years. They’re testament to the skills and generosity of two amazing knitters, and they’re articles of great beauty.
But you know, there’s many, many people like this. We know, because we meet them in the shop every day – people who change the direction of a decrease or add a flounce or use a different colourwork pattern, for the best of all reasons: because they prefer it that way.
The chances are you’re one of them, and we’d like to hear about it. If you post in the comments below before midnight (Irish time) on the night of Sunday April 3rd telling us about something you modified and how, and we’ll enter you in a draw for a copy of Knit Edgings and Trims edited by Kate Haxell.