SUMMER OF LACE: Eyelet Diamond Shell and Stole by Karin Maag-Tanchak
SUCCESSFUL LACE KNITTING DESIGNER NOTES SERIES
DD: Karin, thanks so much for being part of Successful Lace Knitting. I love the way you used two weights of the same yarn to create an unusual twinset with a shell and a stole. What gave you that idea?
KM-T: Since I was offered two variations of the same stitch pattern, I immediately wanted to do a set of some kind. The yarn I got to use was definitely an inspiration, as I could make a statement with the bigger bolder stitches of the chunky yarn, and design a more delicate shell with the finer yarn. Designing a garment with an allover lace pattern was a fun challenge for me.
DD: What stitch pattern did you use and why did you choose it?
KM-T: I love any kind of diamond lace pattern, and when I saw my choices, I nearly jumped for joy. I chose the Eyelet Diamond set of stitch patterns because I was intrigued by the two variations. They immediately lent themselves to making a set – a shell, using the Outlined Diamond Eyelets, and a stole, using the Eyelet Diamonds.
DD: Did you make any changes to the chart, or use different decreases than Dorothy Reade used? If so, please explain the changes you made and your reasons behind them.
KM-T: I used ssk instead of k2tog tbl simply because I am more in the habit of using that particular decrease. It comes more naturally to me.
Eyelet Diamond Stole
DD: What yarn did you choose for your project? What made this yarn particularly well suited for this project specifically, and for lace knitting in general?
KM-T: I chose Lorna’s Laces Swirl because it comes in two weights: Chunky, and DK. Since I was using two variations on the same theme as far as the stitch pattern, I did the same for the yarn. A multicolored yarn would have been too busy, but the nearly solid, pale color of “Old Rose” appealed to me a lot. It shows the stitches, but also has some depth and life to the shading. In the end, the two pieces work well together, but can also stand alone.
DD: Do you have any special lace knitting tips related to your project?
KM-T: Simply pay attention to the rows where there is a lot going on – rows 3 and 9 in particular. Count your stitches on the purl rows to see if you’ve included all the necessary yarnovers. During decreases for the armholes and neckline, be sure to keep the lace pattern intact.
DD: What kind of knitting needles do you prefer for lace knitting and what makes these needles work well for lace?
Eyelet Diamond Shell
KM-T: Addi turbo lace needles came out just in time for this project. I love how pointy they are and do not split the yarn. The cable and the needles have just the right amount of grip. However for the stole, I used Crystal Palace bamboo straight needles. Very smooth. I went with straight needles here because the transition from needle to cable can be tricky on larger sized circulars if you have a lot of yarnovers in one row.
DD: Would you like to add any personal comments about designing this project? Perhaps you’d like to comment on any connection between Dorothy Reade’s foundation and your own creative spirit.
KM-T: First and foremost I’d like to thank you for inviting me to be part of this project. I am still considered a rookie as far as pattern writing and publication goes, and I feel honored be in such great company.
DD: Thanks again for sharing so much of your creativity with me, and with all of the readers of Successful Lace Knitting!
Karin grew up in Germany and learned how to knit there as a child. She made almost everything without the help of written patterns until she opened a yarn shop and had to sell patterns to her customers. Now she enjoys designing “officially” with yarn, has been published in “No Sheep for You” and Knit ‘n Style magazine, written patterns for Decadent Fiber. She also teaches knitting workshops.