Vintage Lace Blanket

After my friend announced she was pregnant, I had a vision! A vision of a bright, blue, lace blanket. I immediately knew this was what I was going to knit for her, and set about hunting down the perfect pattern and yarn!

Bairnswear 147-4a
A picture of the original pattern, taken from the Vintage Knitting Lady website.

I love this part of knitting anything. I love the excitement of finding the perfect pattern and then spending HOURS agonising over which yarn to use!

For the blanket I found a lovely 1950s shawl pattern from the website http://www.thevintageknittinglady.co.uk. The group of patterns is called Bairnswear and it was the fourth pattern in the set that matched my vision. The pattern originally used a 3ply yarn. The website has some really helpful information about how to match modern yarns to vintage yarns and after reading this I decided to use a modern 4 ply.

Yarn Stories Fine Merino 4ply Cobalt
The wool

I looked at LOADS of websites and potential yarn candidates before finally settling on Yarn Stories Fine Merino 4ply in Cobalt. I love this yarn soooooo much. The colour is stunning! Bright, bold and really rich, exactly what I had in mind and definitely not a pastel!!

If you’re not familiar with Yarn Stories then definitely take a look at their website. The wool is from Australia and is spun in Huddersfield, Yorkshire in the hills of Slaithwaite village. The wool is soooo soft and knits up beautifully. I’m currently knitting another project in the merino/baby alpaca blend and it feels like cashmere. More to come on that project later!

Prior to this project I had never knitted lace before and with no exaggeration it took me eight attempts to get it right! Once I’d gotten the hang of the pattern and had also decided that I did in fact need to use lifelines, I found that knitting lace is a real joy. I love the repetition and the rhythm of the stitches and the finished result it so beautiful it’s really worth all the bad words and frustrated beginnings!

LifeL
You can just see the white dental floss lifelines in the stitches.

Regarding the lifelines, after realising that you can’t really rip back lace without them, I hunted the Internet (and appealed to Twitter) to help me find the best solution. In the end it was a post on the internet which suggested using dental floss that really clinched it for me. Before, I’d found that the yarn I was using was getting caught in the live stitches and as the smallest yarn I had was DK, It was really too big for the 4ply knitting. I wish I could find the blog again to show you, but I can’t so apologies! But, whoever you are THANK YOU for helping me finally succeed at lace knitting!!

Blocking The Blanket
Blocking out the blanket.

I washed and blocked out the blanket, which gave brilliant stitch definition and made it even softer. The only problem I had with the blocking, was that it gave the edges of the blanket a slightly scalloped edge. I’d not entirely sure how I managed that, but if I choose a lace pattern again I will definitely research this before blocking the blanket out.

Stitches Up Close
Close-up of the stitches after blocking

I’m very pleased to say that my friend absolutely loves the blanket, as do I. It’s incredibly light, but also really warm, and I also think its very pretty! I hope you like it too! If you have any recommendations for lace knitting then I’d love to hear them!

Charity Shop Pattern Finds #2

Soooo I’ve been at it again (searching charity shops for awesome knitting patterns that is!) and this time I think I’ve found some real gems!

You may remember my previous post Charity Shop Pattern Finds, where I found Spot the Dog patterns, a lovely crocheted dress and patterns for Father Christmas jumpers, the latter of which I actually managed to make for J this Christmas!

How is it possible to top such delights, I hear you ask? Well I’m pleased to say it is possible with these amazing vintage patterns I managed to dig out!

The styling alone on these patterns makes me gloriously happy (especially the dapper gent in Patons Capstan!!), and I think its an interesting insight into the cycle of fashion trends! I’ve seen some jumpers recently which are very similar to the Robin jumper, and I have already added this to my ‘in the pipeline‘ page (although I think I will opt for a DK instead of a 4ply, and will probably make it slightly oversized with a larger neck)!

I love each of these patterns, and can see me making mittens, an Aran cardi and the mohair jacket (although maybe not in mohair as it drives me crazy!) in the very near future!

I hope you like them too! I’d love to see your vintage pattern finds, it’s really exciting to know what’s out there!

Have a great break, I hope the Easter bunny leaves plenty of chocolate treats!