Summer is a great time to wear lace. It’s also a great time to knit lace! So often lace projects are worked on a lighter weight yarn, which means that you have less weight to carry around with you and your WIP. I’m not going to tell you that lace is simple, but there definitely are lace projects that are less tricky than others. There are also a ton of projects that are wonderful for learning lace, and that’s where I’ll start today.
Most of you are familiar with Michele Hunter’s awesome books, Building Blocks, Building in Color and now Building in Lace. Hunter puts together user friendly blocks of knitting work in which you can experiment with different lace motifs and techniques. Building with Lace has been out for a year now, but it hasn’t gained much steam. I’m prepared for that to change, because Alex’s sample is almost complete (please remember that it’s only been on for some time because of her surgery and lengthy recovery time!). Alex is knitting hers up to be a big cozy wrap, and she chose to knit up hers in Findley DK, a luxurious blend of silk and wool that is smooth to the touch and bounces off your fingers. I cannot emphasize enough that this is a wonderful teaching project. Anyone with lace aspirations should start here. Another great yarn for this project is Euro Baby’s Criative DK. This yarn has a hint of sheen and a lot of yardage. It also is easy to care for, and can go in the washing machine (considering all that lace, you’ll want to lay it flat to dry).
Getting into other lace shawls, everyone should check out Kyler by Isabell Kraemer. This triangular shawl has a simple chevron lace pattern that repeats throughout. This is a wonderful project for someone who wants to work a little at lace… not a lot. Kraemer uses a toothy yarn for this project, and my number one recommendation would be Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft (because it is just that, but also because I recently finished 2 Loft projects and I am OBSESSED with it). Other great options would be Baah’s La Jolla (to add some fun color), Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal or Shibui Birch.
Emily Greene just published her Orthogonal pattern, which features a very cool geometric lace pattern throughout. Greene knit up her sample in Peerie (coming soon to Wool & Grace!) but once again, Loft, Birch, Fine Donegal, La Jolla or Tosh Merino Light are all suitable options for this. I’m very intrigued by Greene’s designs. They are angular, architectural and sophisticated. I’m so curious about her background and what inspires her designs.
Another brand new pattern is the Whisper Wrap from Purl Soho. I love that this is a fairly blank canvas of knitted fabric, with a striking singular chevron motif that spans the wrap. Whisper is knit up in a lace weight yarn. Shibui’s yarns like Cima and Lunar would all be heavenly for this project. Brooklyn Tweed’s Vale is also screaming to me for some attention. With it’s nice twist and soft hand, it’d work through a project like this beautifully.
Lace garments are always fun, and they add a bit of interest to your summer tees and tanks. Bolan is a new pattern from Leila Raabe (Raabe also published Deschain, a very popular summer lace sweater from last year). Bolan is nothing but a boxy tee, except it does have a gorgeous lace motif across the the top of the front and back. Worked in a fingering weight yarn with a slightly open fabric, I think this project screams to be made in Shibui’s Reed. Fern would also work (I’ve seen examples of it knit in Fern on Ravelry) but I tend to prefer the drape that goes along with Reed. For those of you who love the ease of working with wool, pick a super wash like TML or La Jolla as these will also have a bit more drape.
Tegna is a pattern from Caitlin Hunter that has been wildly popular since its release last year. It’s a another lace tee with its lace panel adorning the hem of the garment. This piece is worked in the round from the bottom up, and this construction makes it super easy to modify the length of the body. That’s probably why knitters love it so much – it’s easy to make it just how it suits you! Hunter works up Tegna in a hand dyed sock yarn, but focus on fingering here. She loves the painterly effect of using hand dyes, and if you do too, check out TML and La Jolla first and foremost. Otherwise you can also consider Shibui’s Staccato, Daisy or Cozette from KOCT or even HiKoo’s Sueno.
One more lace garment from you is Yume by Isabell Kraemer. This lace yoke pattern was just released and there’s a lot of room to play. It can be knit with short or long sleeves. Yume is written holding two lace weight yarns together, but you could also use a dk or sport weight yarn here as well (intended gauge is 22 stitches/4”). I personally love the idea of using two lace weight yarns, and think it’d be gorgeous using a combo of Ito’s Kinu with Vale or Cima. I’m getting starry eyed just thinking about the texture. Or how about a combo of Lunar and Pebble? There are endless possibilities when we discuss mixing yarns, but if you opt to go with one yarn, what about something like Queensland’s Savanna, Shibui’s Fern or Zooey (these are all summery options). Or what about Soie et Lin from KOCT or even 365 Yak? These would be slightly cozier options, but would be totally perfect for wearing any time of year!
There’s lots of lace out there, and much more to see, so explore the world of Ravelry on your own! If you have any questions, shoot them my way! Oh, and if you love lace, stay tuned for the release of Brooklyn Tweed’s new Wool People which comes out next week. Not only is there an awesome pattern by the much adored Stacey Gerbman, but there’s tons of beautiful lace in this collection!