It’s a trap!

I do wonder how many of you read that title and immediately thought of Admiral Ackbar? Just me? Never mind. 0ff2ac98d64c91b6fa1017b61f332dd0

Anyhow! What’s actually a trap, or more accurately a fake is the fan I was using as inspiration for the Fian challenge. Whoops. I spent the first chunk of my fian time working on getting my needle skills back up to snuff and then finally sat down to do my design work. Emailed the museum where it’s at to ask, as the info about it is sparse, and found out ‘oh that? Yeah. Glued together cut parchment and silk strips.’ (I may be paraphrasing the far more professional answer the lovely curator sent to me.)


Say what!? Not lace at all? A good fake? Well. Damn.

I had a bit of a think, and a bit more obsessive staring at portraits and I think I’ve come up with a plan b (which looks very much like plan a, honestly). Clearly, its trying to fake up lace. I mean CLEARLY. While there’s no real evidence for flag fans being entirely made of lace, there’s plenty of evidence for lace edges and embroidered middles. The jump from an embroidered middle to an embroidered middle with some cutwork embroidery is a gentle one, so I’m just going to keep on keeping on.

What I’m not going to keep doing, is using this as a ‘I want it to look like THIS!’ sort of guide, because needle lace on a linen ground is never going to look like this. It’s like expecting my calico to put on a sheep costume and actually look like a sheep. (Or actually wear the costume, but that’s entirely different.)

New fabric is in the mail, designs are hitting the graph paper and soon the testing and obsessive stitching can begin. I’m not sure what I want to put in that middle section, suggestions welcome!

Just keep knitting..

I do feel a little like Dori in the Finding Nemo movie, the lace has hit the never ending stage. Except for one little detail. Before, I was toddling along on the whole ‘oh yeah, I’ll know when I’ve enough’. And then I did the math. And then doing the math became doing a bit more math, with a pencil and graph paper and ended up looking liks this.

Parasol patterns

And then as a reward for all that spiral knitting, I decided to do the hunt for an edging. I wanted wide, but not a leaf pattern, something that evoked the feel of the spirals, but everything wasn’t quite right. So I took two that were close, smushed them together and added a few more holes. I think that’s what goes on behind the magic curtain of design, actually. I then tried it out on some size 5 cotton in blue, as well.. the state of my size 5 Clea is a sad one indeed.

Edging swatch

I’d hoped for about 3″, this is about 6″ wide. Which means I can stop knitting spirals about 3″ earlier! Huzzah!

I have found more Clea 5. Yay!

In the UK. Okay, still yay-ish.

Canada Post is on strike. (Lock out technically). Decidedly not yay. The progress of the parasol may, at some point, come to a crashing pause while I wait on yarn.

Then I’ll just have to toss together a shawl for Camp Loopy, which has also been rattling around in my head for a while.

But for now, back to much more of this.

Parasol close up

13 days

I have long wanted to knit myself enough lace for a parasol, as this fair skinned redhead might be solar powered, but prefers indirect light. I finally scored the perfect umbrella frame at the dollar store on the weekend. Light, not too flimsy or big, white handle and tip and the ‘fabric’ is perfectly clear plastic. I dont even necesarily need to remove it!

Unfortunately I have no already knit lace in stash that’s big enough. My largest current pieces are about half the size needed. Whoops.

A little under two weeks from now is Faery Fest locally, and I suspect we’ll be going to it on the Sunday. I’d really like to at the very least. Last year, I baked and broiled in the unrelenting sunshine. This year, well. See the above mentioned parasol plan.

Which gives me 13 days to knit an umbrells sized lace piece and figure out how to attach it. GO!

I decided to go with Spiralen in the centre until I’m so sick of it I can’t think, and then either edge it with a good wide edging, or crochet off, or feather and fan, or something else that I’ll decide when I get that far. For the moment, a nice big spiral.

Attempt 1 with mystery blue poly-cotton, and 2.5 mm needles up to round 12 and while the mystery yarn has a lovely soft drapy hand, it’s awfully thin and this is a structural piece. Soft super drapy hand is actually not a feature here.

Parasol take 1

Attempt 2 is with Clea 5 and 3 mm needles. It’s much bigger and a bit more solid, which is probably good in an umbrella. Especially one that I want to finish in less than two week.

Parasol take 2

And here they are side by side, to get a sense of the size difference between them. This is the same pattern, knit to the same row, but different thread and needle size.

Parasol start

I apologize for all the crappy iphone photos, I don’t usually bring the big camera to work, and that’s where I do most of my photographs. Ah well.

The next big puzzle is what to do when I run out of Clea 5.