When we think about summer knitting, lace shawls are always high on our list. We like to knit wool all year, but switching to laceweight during the hottest months keeps our core temperature within reason as well as satisfying our fingers. So we’re delighted to have six new patterns written for Plains amongst our options since the release of Wool People 10. This limited-edition laceweight Rambouillet is really a house favorite at BT, and we thought we’d spotlight those new lace designs on the blog today. We’ve sorted them by challenge level to help you pick a project that suits your summer knitting ambitions.
Are you new to lace knitting? Or maybe just in the mood for a relaxing project you can knit in a friend’s backyard with a summery drink in hand? Try Scalene or Loess. These patterns are the knitting equivalent of grabbing an inner tube to float the river with a bunch of friends on a hot day.
An asymmetrical garter triangle enlivened by just a hint of lace patterning. As you’re knitting the body of the shawl, there’s only a single panel of the motif to think about. The chart is predictable and easy to memorize. By the time you get to the long edge, your fingers will know what to do and you’ll be ready for the little bump in difficulty that a repeating motif represents. If you can work a k2tog and an ssk, you can knit this shawl. If you’re uncertain about working from charts, this is a good practice piece.
Christine de Castelbajac
Sssh…don’t tell, but Indian Cross Stitch isn’t actually lace knitting at all: it’s a cable variation! The openwork effect comes from wrapping the needle with the yarn before you work the next stitch, dropping the wraps, and then passing the resulting elongated stitches over their neighbors to knit them out of order. The intricate woven texture of this stitch looks far more complicated than it really is. And in Loess, the bands of Indian Cross Stitch appear with organic spacing to punctuate swathes of soothing stockinette, so there’s no pressure to watch your pattern like a hawk. No one will ever know if you accidentally work a few extra rows in one pattern or the other. In short, this is perfect social knitting.
If you’ve developed an appetite for a little more lace action but still want to ease in gradually, we suggest Haro.
This small crescent begins with good old garter stitch. It’s shaped with short rows so you can get comfortable with the wrap and turn technique, but there’s no need for a follow-up maneuver to hide the wraps—the garter bumps do that for you. The shawl breaks into Fir Cone Lace, one of the simplest lace motifs ever devised, and there’s no shaping to distract you while you’re building your confidence. The spicy part is the edging, where you’ll work yarnovers and decreases on the right and wrong sides to form little trees.
Comfortable with lace knitting and ready for a substantial project? Saiph and Amarilli are both intermediate-level knits, dressy enough to wear to weddings or to sweeten any summer look.
Amy van de Laar
This ornate triangle can be worked from charted or written instructions—knitter’s choice. There’s a lot going on as the floral bouquets take shape, but once you’ve worked a few repetitions they’ll begin to seem intuitive. Wrong-side rows require switching between knit and purl to maintain transitions between stockinette and reverse stockinette during the body of the shawl. Since the knitting begins at the center top with a garter tab cast-on, you can cement your understanding of the pattern over a small number of stitches.
Geometric motifs flow in both directions down the wings of this stole. The techniques aren’t difficult, but you’ll need to track your progress over multiple large charts and master the provisional cast-on to begin at the center. There are “resting” rows on the wrong side throughout, except for the resolution of double yarn overs. Saiph is the kind of knitting you’ll want to do at peaceful moments, though you may find that you can easily read the lace once you get into the rhythm of the motifs.
Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than tackling a challenge. If you’re in the mood for an engrossing knit, look no further than Lily Go’s crescent of ethereal lace butterflies.
This shawl is worked from the trailing edge upward, so the first hurdle is the large cast-on. (We recommend placing stitch markers at regular intervals so you can count easily!) With four different sizes included in the pattern, you can choose just how dramatic you’d like to go. The butterflies take shape through a four-step process clearly explained in the directions. Lunette requires you to work from charts, and you’ll need to watch three charts at once when you reach the upper portion.
As ever, we’re all looking forward to seeing your projects take shape! Please do tag them with #BTinthewild or #WoolPeople if you’re sharing online so we’ll be sure to spot them.