Sunday, July 20, 2014

Design Challenge: Crescent Lace

In my last post I revealed that I'd come across a little trove of Icelandic lace yarn during a trip to Merrickville. I'll admit that I've had lace on my mind for a while. It might be that it's summer and the thought of chunky knitting seems, at least temporarily, in the background. I'll also admit that I have a fondness for cresent-shaped scarves. I'm not really a shawl person, but I do like scarves. Does it have something to do with my aging neck? Maybe, but maybe not. A scarf makes almost anything look better (except on a hot summer day). Why crescent scarves? Because I like the way their ends are long and drapey. But from the design standpoint, they're tricky.
A regular triangle scarf or shawl, knitted from the top centre out is much easier to design. Here's why. The edges of such a triangle grow symmetrically. Have a look at this stunning example. See how each side of each triangle grows at the rate of one new stitch every right side row? In a crescent scarf, like my Fibonacci, the inner edge grows as above at the rate of one new stitch every right side row,

BUT the outer edge grows much faster, at the rate of two new stitches every right side row.
Therefore, the pattern stitch cannot grow on each side in any sort of symmetrical fashion. This is OK if you're dealing with a simple horizontal pattern, as in Fibonacci. It makes for much trickier planning if you're thinking about doing lace. That's what I'm doing. Is it worth the trouble? Definitely.

Because someone will ask, yes, that's the wheatsheaves lace stitch, reinterpreted in light purple laceweight wool.

P.S. I almost forgot to show this.

It's my new birdbath, from the metalsmiths in Merrickville.

P.P.S. For a reader who asked (via Ravelry) to see what the new shoulders in the Wheatsheaves cardigan look like.

It's hard to get a photo of shoulders when no one is in the sweater! But, I think you can see how nice and smooth the shoulder area is now, with no seam to get in the way and the short row shaping doing all the things it's supposed to do.