Haruni Lace Shawl

This is so pretty, made with sock yarn in gently variegated colors. Knitted from the top down, with directions in chart form and in row by row instructions. From Knitpicks .


Three Vintage Patterns, 2 Knit, 1 Crochet

Years ago, my wonderful mother in law gave me her entire stash, years worth, of old knitting and crochet pattern leaflets and booklets. She was an awesome knitter/crocheter. She’s in a nursing home now with severe Alzheimer’s, and I truly miss her. Many of the booklets are no longer protected by copyright and have been long out of print. I’ve finally gotten around to photographing them and as of today, will be offering them at my Art Fire shop, also called Dances with Wools. I hope you’ll hop on over and check things out. These would make nice little gifts for the knitters and crocheters in your life. Now that this little project has gotten off the ground, I’ll be posting more patterns shortly.

The first three patterns are unbelievably stylish, considering that they were printed almost 50 years ago.

Buttercup Crocheted Shawl

Even the name reminds me of spring.

Simple Knitted Shrug.

I’ve made three of these thus far. The yarn originally recommended has long been out of production, but I subbed with DK weight baby yarns and have been very satisfied with the results.

Collared Crocheted Shawl

Get a head start on this one for Christmas gifts. Quick to make up with bulky weight yarn.

Click on the link above to order. Available instantly by digital download, or photocopy via  snail mail.

Melusine and a Different Way to Dye a Shawl

Via the Art Fire site, where I maintain my shop, I came across a new article describing a dye method I’d never thought of using on clothing. The tutorial contains a pattern for a pretty triangular lace shawl, and directions for handpainting it, with several interesting design variations. It also specifies an unusual method to set the dyes; hint: it involves a car! I’m not posting any photos because of copyright restrictions, but trust me, the results are stunning.  Check it out here.

The shawl is named “Melusine”, because of its ability to take on different colorations. I’ve included the myth of Melusine for you to think about as you’re knitting.

The Story of Melusine (Medieval France, 1394)

Melusine was the daughter of a fairy and a king. She grew up to become the fairy Queen of the forest of Colombiers in Poitou, France. One day, she and two of her subjects were guarding their sacred fountain when they were visited by a handsome young man, Raymond of Poitiers. He and Melusine talked all night,  and she agreed to become his bride, on the condition that Raymond promise that he would never see her on a Saturday. He agreed, and they married. Melusine brought her husband great wealth and prosperity. She built the fortress of Lusignan, so quickly that it appeared to be made by magic. Over time, Melusine built many more castles, fortresses, churches, towers and towns, each in a single night. She and Raymond had ten children, but each of them was flawed, with mismatched or missing eyes or ears, a lion’s foot, or huge teeth. In spite of their strange deformities, the children were strong, talented and loved throughout the land.

The family was very happy until Raymond’s brother paid them a visit and convinced him to be  suspicious about his wife’s Saturday absences. The next Saturday, Raymond sought Melusine, and found her taking a  bath. Spying on her,  he was shocked to see that she had the body and tail of a serpent from her waist down, but he said nothing.  One day, however, one of their sons attacked a monastery and killed one hundred monks, including one of his own brothers. Raymond angrily accused Melusine of contaminating his line with her serpent nature, and she knew that he had broken his betrothal promise.

Melusine, wailing, turned into a fifteen-foot serpent, circled the castle three times, then flew away. From that day, she would return at night to visit her children, then vanish. Raymond’s happiness was destroyed forever. It is said that the serpentine Melusine returned to fly, wailing, over the castle, whenever a count of Lusignan was born or died.  Among her children were the King of Cyprus, the King of Armenia, the King of Bohemia, the Duke of Luxembourg, and the Lord of Lusignan; her noble line  will reign until the end of the world (or until the French Revolution!)

WIP: Sausalito Wrap – It’s Finished!

Finished 8/27/08. The pattern is fun and easy to memorize, and the finished wrap fits and drapes beautifully. Love it!

Started this 2 days ago, in Caron’s Country 0015, Deep Taupe. It’s a fun pattern, not too difficult. This yarn, a merino/microfiber blend,  is very drapey. A few months back, I knitted a log cabin afghan with Country, for my daughter, who loves its light weight and silky feel.