Friday, November 19, 2010

Midnight Scarf

When I decided to design Midnight Scarf, I had in mind the idea of a garden at midnight - something dark and tangled and mysterious. There was also a favourite lace stitch that I wanted to use. I altered the stitch a little, to get the shape of a creeping vine and away I went!  The combination of the deep blue and purple colourway of the Fantastic Knitting Zephyr lace weight yarn and the trailing vine stitch worked perfectly.  Something very mysterious was evolving. Now, I needed a "finish" to the scarf.

The lace stitch had a two stitch "panel" in the repeat which could be "opened-up". As a result, I ended up doubling the stitches towards the end of the scarf, which created a loose ruffle. Think of a vine that covers a wall. It starts from a thin trunk and spreads everywhere.

In my mind, as I was knitting the scarf, I had visions of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", a book that I actually read while vacationing in Hilton Head - about an hour outside of Savannah Georgia - the setting of the story. There were lots of mysterious happenings in graveyards covered with vines throughout the book.

I also had the lines of a poem by Tennyson - "Come into the garden, Maud...." running through my head.

The absence of light or the presence of just a hint of light, creates an eerie feeling. I wanted to capture this sense of the darkest of light - lace at midnight in Midnight Scarf.

In spite of its mysterious overtones, Midnight scarf is very easy to knit. It begins with a provisional cast on at the centre back. The scarf is knit down to the ruffle and then cast off. Repeat for the other half of the scarf.

Night in a November Garden
Unravelling the mystery of lace.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Midday Scarf

I am fascinated by sunshine. The song by John Denver describes the feeling perfectly - "Sunshine almost always makes me high." Midday Scarf is the sun at high noon! The description "midday" actually comes from the line of another song, this one, by Noel Coward - "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun." I was trying to capture the intense heat of midday in lace.

Why? Yes, I know most people retreat to the shade or their air conditioning when it gets so hot that the earth shimmers as the heat rises. But I have visions of the desert or the tropics that need that heat to be what they are and the intense red-yellow-orange colourway said it all.

The picot edge captures the trails of rising heat - the energy of the sun bouncing back from the earth. The diamond design with the double yarn overs is the "eye of heaven." It is the persistant presence of the sun, beaming, radiating, glowing as a many faceted diamond directly above us. Wear it on a cold day in November and feel the heat!

Midday begins by making 5 individual picots and then joining them together. The diamond motif is then worked to the centre back. Repeat the process for the second half of the scarf. Join the two sections with a three needle bind off or by grafting and you have Midday Scarf. It is knit with one skein of Fantastic Knitting Zephyr lace weight yarn in the colourway - Midday. It's a very striking colourway and the bands of hot red, orange and yellow suggest again the heat rising from the earth. Go mad!! Knit a hot summer's day in lace to wear on a cold day in winter!