After my friend announced she was pregnant, I had a vision! A vision of a bright, blue, lace blanket. I immediately knew this was what I was going to knit for her, and set about hunting down the perfect pattern and yarn!
I love this part of knitting anything. I love the excitement of finding the perfect pattern and then spending HOURS agonising over which yarn to use!
For the blanket I found a lovely 1950s shawl pattern from the website http://www.thevintageknittinglady.co.uk. The group of patterns is called Bairnswear and it was the fourth pattern in the set that matched my vision. The pattern originally used a 3ply yarn. The website has some really helpful information about how to match modern yarns to vintage yarns and after reading this I decided to use a modern 4 ply.
I looked at LOADS of websites and potential yarn candidates before finally settling on Yarn Stories Fine Merino 4ply in Cobalt. I love this yarn soooooo much. The colour is stunning! Bright, bold and really rich, exactly what I had in mind and definitely not a pastel!!
If you’re not familiar with Yarn Stories then definitely take a look at their website. The wool is from Australia and is spun in Huddersfield, Yorkshire in the hills of Slaithwaite village. The wool is soooo soft and knits up beautifully. I’m currently knitting another project in the merino/baby alpaca blend and it feels like cashmere. More to come on that project later!
Prior to this project I had never knitted lace before and with no exaggeration it took me eight attempts to get it right! Once I’d gotten the hang of the pattern and had also decided that I did in fact need to use lifelines, I found that knitting lace is a real joy. I love the repetition and the rhythm of the stitches and the finished result it so beautiful it’s really worth all the bad words and frustrated beginnings!
Regarding the lifelines, after realising that you can’t really rip back lace without them, I hunted the Internet (and appealed to Twitter) to help me find the best solution. In the end it was a post on the internet which suggested using dental floss that really clinched it for me. Before, I’d found that the yarn I was using was getting caught in the live stitches and as the smallest yarn I had was DK, It was really too big for the 4ply knitting. I wish I could find the blog again to show you, but I can’t so apologies! But, whoever you are THANK YOU for helping me finally succeed at lace knitting!!
I washed and blocked out the blanket, which gave brilliant stitch definition and made it even softer. The only problem I had with the blocking, was that it gave the edges of the blanket a slightly scalloped edge. I’d not entirely sure how I managed that, but if I choose a lace pattern again I will definitely research this before blocking the blanket out.
I’m very pleased to say that my friend absolutely loves the blanket, as do I. It’s incredibly light, but also really warm, and I also think its very pretty! I hope you like it too! If you have any recommendations for lace knitting then I’d love to hear them!