Tuesday, February 28, 2012


In April, Nancy Bush, a rock star of the knitting world, will be in Houston offering two classes for local knitters.  I am fortunate enough to have made the cut to get into the class.

Making the cut does not mean that I have the skills needed to master her lace knitting techniques, it just means that I followed the rules for submitting my money to pay for the class.

I have long admired her work for many years in Piecework magazine. Her specialty seems to be knitting techniques from Estonia and other Baltic countries.  I don't know if it was one of her articles but once there was an article about a knitted wedding shawl, about the size of a double bed quilt, that could be pulled through a wedding ring.  AWESOME!

Quick, do you know where Estonia is located?  (hint: further north than I thought :-()

Anyway, I got into her lace class while the other day will be spent on knitted gloves, a topic that does not interest me in the least.

I decided that instead of just going in blind to the class I would pick up her book on lace knitting and read up on her work.

'Knitted Lace of Estonia' is a beautiful book with lots of narrative and an excellent selection of knitted lace patterns as well as information on how the knitter can create their own patterns from the many motifs and construction details provided.  There is even a DVD  that adds a personal touch to the book's contents.

After reading the introductory chapters I decided to take the plunge in and try one of the patterns.

My choice was the 'Lily of the Valley Scarf' on page 90.  I didn't have the yarn called for in the pattern so I used a skein of Noro Kiramaki, a wonderful variegated lace weight yarn multicolored from beige to brown to pink to lime green.  It is similar to their Sekku line with the only major change is that the rayon is replaced by cotton.  Kiramaki is not being made any more so you would have a hard time reproducing this:

The number of mistakes in this scarf are almost too many to count but by the clever camouflage of the variegated yarn means that they do not stand out from the correctly knitted portion.

For fun I ran it through a ring to see if it would fit. (it does!)  It also camouflages the subject of this post.

After a couple of weeks of knitting diligently from this wonderful book, I blocked the scarf, to straighten out some of the knitting.  As I sat on the couch last evening to clean up the loose yarn ends Alex hopped onto the couch for a game of fetch with his knarly old Nyla Bone.  The scarf stuck to the bone and, as I was trying persuade him that he didn't want my scarf,  he leaped off the couch to prance around the living room, dragging it behind him.

I carefully corralled him (no dogs were permanently injured in this procedure...but he could have been!) and unstuck the scarf from his bone.

Pause for the air turning blue from my cursing as I discovered that several rows had their yarn broken in one area.  Huge hole that I darned together.

So that's the whole story.  Nancy Bush's beautifully patterned scarf has turned into something I will wear VERY carefully as Alex bushwhacked my satisfaction in a job well done by reminding me that nothing is more important that quality puppy time.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

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