That’s Jacqui’s latest lace shawl, Loren by Gudrun Johnston. It’s made from Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca laceweight in Teal Feather, and as you’d expect from the designer, it’s constructed using traditional Shetland techniques.
Hand-dyed yarns such as Malabrigo can vary quite a bit from dyelot to dyelot, so it’s even more vital than usual to make sure you’ve got enough to finish your project. But it happens to all of us: half a ball of one dyelot and two thirds of a second, languishing in the stash wondering if they’ll ever get another chance to shine. This was Jacqui’s dilemma. Or maybe there’s only ten balls of one dyelot left in stock and you need twelve. What to do?
Just working till one dyelot runs out and then switching to the other risks putting the colour change bang in the middle of your work, across your tummy or halfway up your arm. With a bit of cunning, though, it’s possible to place the switch so it looks entirely planned, or even to make it invisible.
The trick is to put the switch over at a point where there’s another change going on. In Jacqui’s Loren, you notice the pattern difference between the border and the centre section: both the direction of the work and the stitch pattern vary. So the variation in colour looks entirely planned, as indeed it was.
If you want to hide the changeover, then welts and cuffs of jumpers, or the ribbing sections of hats, and borders of all sorts work well. And no-one need ever know. The observer’s eye will be fooled by the difference in stitch pattern and hardly register the colour change at all.
Of course another reason to talk about this beautiful pattern is our excitement about the upcoming weekend: Gudrun Johnston’s lace workshop is on Saturday morning, with Mary Jane Mucklestone’s colourwork one in the afternoon. We can’t wait!