easy stuff

I recently picked up a copy of Nancy Bush's excellent Knitted Lace of Estonia, and already have sticky notes on various pages, marking off the ones I want to make first. So far I have one project done, one on the go, and a third one slated to be done next. All are made 100% from stash yarn.

The scarf in the photo was the first thing I finished. It was a birthday present for my mum, made from the same yarn and to go with the lace beret I made her. The scarf weighs in at 31g, so the beret and the scarf together weigh less than a typical beret does on its own. For some reason I find that very satisfying — it reminds me of those catalogues for camping gear that list the weight of each item along with loving descriptions of the "space-age" material it's made from. Here's something that could have been made any time in the last 800 years and it's remarkably light, plus it can be folded into a very small space for storage.

As near as I can tell from the book, Estonians have a lock on how to do lace so that it's fun, quick, and turns out well. They always alternate one complex "pattern" row with one simple one, which makes for a nice rhythm, and the patterns are very quick to memorise. I don't do lifelines, so the knitting rushes along. To be perfectly honest, there are a few mistakes where I shifted one stitch over here or there, but a judicious increase-this and decrease-that straightened everything out again, and they don't jump out at you when you look at the scarf.

Because the Kidsilk Haze is so airy, the nupps (knobs, the flat bobbles you can see along the lace patterns) are very faint unless you hold the scarf up to the light, which explains my choice of display arrangement for the photo. They do add to the texture, though — just more subtly than if I'd used a more substantial yarn.

For anyone skittish about trying out lace (why?) I recommend an Estonian scarf pattern.