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Mutant Shawls

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I wanted to throw out a few more ideas on how you can use the Shawl Knitting Cheat Sheet, in addition to making tiny teddy bear shawls, and adding easy borders. These are some “mutant” shawl shapes that can be created by altering or mashing the 5 basic shapes.

The first shawl began as a triangle, and ended as a (garter stitch) square shawl. In essence, all you’re doing is altering the rate and placement of the increases, but the results can be quite interesting.

Other variations are possible by eliminating certain increases, while continuing others. You can create a shallow triangle shawl by stopping increasing in the centre, but continuing at the sides. You could also reverse this, and begin by increasing only at the sides, and add the central increases later. I think this would create more of a point.

If you start off with the circular shawl and switch to the triangular shape, you’ll end up with a shawl bearing some similarity to a Faroese shawl. For the shawl below I actually didn’t continue the increases down the middle, so it’s not quite a triangle.

The diagrams showing the increase paths will help you in visualising your shawl mutations, but experimentation’s the ticket. I hope this brief post has given you some ideas. I’ll continue to post about shawl design and knitting, and hope that you aren’t yet resilient to the new strains! ;)

If you’d like to listen to me ramble at the lovely Lara Neel (a.k.a. Math4Knitters) while you knit, do please listen to the interview here. I’d never done an interview over Skype before, so I was very excited! You can also grab a discount code to get 20% off any Laylock pattern until the end of August. Just enter it in the Ravelry cart. Hurrah!

* Please forgive the wonky blocking & hurried photos! So many things going on chez Laylock at the moment: autumn designs, novel writing, travel, interviews, plans for world domination, the lot!

7th August, 2011  // Knitwear Design, Laylock, Technique // tags: , , , .

The Lilac

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I do wish you could smell these. One small sprig is enough to pervade my entire room with its delicious scent….






I like to think that my creative genius has the form of a frothy, flowering lilac; preferably a well-rooted, towering specimen. Although I had little notion of it when I purchased this domain all those years ago, I’m fairly sure that this plant will remain an enduring symbol for me throughout my life, as it has done for painters & poets for centuries.

The Lilac is an ancient shrub
But ancienter than that
The Firmamental Lilac
Upon the Hill tonight —
The Sun subsiding on his Course
Bequeaths this final Plant
To Contemplation — not to Touch —
The Flower of Occident.
Of one Corolla is the West —
The Calyx is the Earth —
The Capsules burnished Seeds the Stars
The Scientist of Faith
His research has but just begun —
Above his synthesis
The Flora unimpeachable
To Time’s Analysis —
“Eye hath not seen” may possibly
Be current with the Blind
But let not Revelation
By theses be detained —

– Emily Dickinson

How about you? Do you have a mascot, floral or otherwise?

24th May, 2011  // Laylock, Literature, Photographs // tags: , , .

The Lost Patterns File

Have you seen these patterns? Perhaps if you’re a long-time reader you may remember them. The Country Stockings, the Dovetail Shawl & the baby version of the Houses Slipover. These are all patterns that were destined to be in the Houselock collection, but were never actually released. Why? The shawl & stockings are even written up!

Country Stockings

Country Livin'

It’s hard to give a definite answer. I think part of it was my inexperience. Releasing patterns (or anything, actually) is a scary business. Still, designing, knitting, writing up, and photographing a pattern, and then not doing anything with it? Silly. And lazy.

I regularly get messages from people looking for these patterns, and I have to tell them a little sheepishly that they were never released, and won’t be in the near future. The pieces themselves are now in storage in the UK. The patterns are tucked away in my hard drive, all on their lonesome, when instead they could be duplicated and reduplicated all around the world; proliferating in all manner of shapes and colours, and perhaps bringing a little excitement and delight to knitters.

baby vest

Baby Blues

The baby version of the Houses Slipover (looking appropriately mournful in these photos) was, admittedly, a failure. I knit it upon fervent insistence, but it didn’t occur to me that the motif is rather large, and babies are rather small. Ha! Oh dear, this is turning into “Knitting & Crochet Confession Week”. ;)

baby vestCountry Stockings detail

Still, all yarns can be reknit, retold, and not all those who wander are lost. Hopefully these patterns will come Home yet. :)

31st March, 2011  // Houselock, Laylock // tags: , , , .
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