SUMMER OF LACE: Lace and Colorwork Wimple by Annie Modesitt
SUCCESSFUL LACE KNITTING DESIGNER NOTES SERIES DD: Annie, it’s fascinating the way you combined lace and colorwork in your wimple design. I’m always inspired by your creativity and intrigued by the unique combinations of techniques you use in your designs. Can you tell us a little bit about how this particular combination came about? AM: I love charted lace patterns, I often try to create charted lace out of a favorite colorwork. In this case I thought it would be interesting to reverse the process and use elements of a charted lace motif to create a colorwork pattern. DD: What lace pattern did you select and 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. AM: I used Dorothy Reade’s Floral Panel I motif for my chosen lace pattern. I found that it was necessary to edit the lace stitches, to use only the ones that seemed relevant to the floral motif. I also used the bias areas – the parts of the lace pattern where the stitches appear to be leaning left or right – as a jumping off point for adding larger chunks of color. 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? AM: I chose Artyarns Silk Rhapsody because I knew it would work well with both the lace portions of the wimple and the colorwork areas, too. The mohair is a lovely choice for the lace portions, and the silk/mohair blend ‘fills in’ very nicely to create a rich colorwork fabric at either edge of the finished piece. DD: Do you have any special lace knitting tips related to your project? AM: The best tip I can give when knitting a repeating pattern like this one is to use stitch markers for each repeat. The ability isolate a mistake to one specific repeat is worth any initial awkwardness one might feel when using stitch markers. DD: What kind of knitting needles do you prefer for lace knitting and what makes these needles work well for lace? AM: I love a needle with a long, sharp point. In this case I had to use circular needles and I chose Michael & Sheila Ernst’s glass circulars, which I love for worsted-weight lace knitting. I like the Addi lace, and love the Inox Express, but I’m really looking forward to the new circulars from Signature Needle Arts as their straights have become my all-time favorite lace needles in all sizes. DD: Thanks again for sharing so much of your creativity with me, and with all of the readers of Successful Lace Knitting! Annie Modesitt lives in St. Paul where she designs, writes and raises her redheaded kids. She teaches knitting around the world and loves interacting with knitters of all ages and cultures. Self taught at age 25, for the first 12 years that Annie knit she was unaware that her peculiar style had a name, and simply felt the she was “wrong but happy…” In 2000 she read an article by Priscilla Gibson Roberts on different methods of knitting and discovered her own legitimacy in Combination Knitting, which she feels is a very intuitive and easy way to create knitted fabric.