SUMMER OF LACE: Revelry in Bloom Top by L’Tanya Durante


Successful Lace Knitting

DD: L’Tanya, thank you so much for taking the time to share some extra information with us. The yarn you chose is my favorite color. I love the way you used such a bright color for lace, which is sometimes thought of as being more appropriate for pale, neutral colors.  I also love the way you used a simple all-over pattern with the more complicated lace floral pattern by Dorothy Reade. What was the inspiration for your design?

LD: My project was inspired by the Indian tunic, with its richly embroidered yoke and hemline.  The lace in this project mimics the detailed embroidery of the traditional tunic.  A diagonal eyelet pattern is used throughout the body to add interest and a little eye candy.

SUMMER OF LACE: Revelry in Bloom Top by L’Tanya Durante 1DD: What stitch pattern did you use and why did you choose it?

LD: I chose Dorothy Reade’s lace pattern #21, Floral Panel II.  I was attracted to this particular stitch pattern because of its interesting visual effects.  Immediately it reminded me of a woman standing with her hands outstretched in triumph or celebration.   Later I could see the floral pattern, with leaves poised and awaiting the bud’s opening.  So for me this beautiful lace pattern was about celebration and renewal.  Therefore, it was a “must-knit.”

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.

LD: I made the following changes:

I lifted out a 7-stitch, 6-row section of the chart to create the eyelet pattern that is used throughout the body of the tunic.

For the center panel, I repeated a section of the chart to be a border around the center flower pattern (see “Floral Panel II_36 chart jpg).

Note: There were three discrepancies on the chart that I changed:  (1) row 7, stitch 31 should be a “\” {k2tog-tbl}; (2) row 13, the first 7 stitches weren’t the mirror image of the last 7 stitches. I changed them to be the same as row 17; and (3) the “^” symbol’s explanation in the key should be changed to sl1, k2tog, psso (instead of p2sso).

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?

LD: I chose Jagger Spun The Maine Line yarn in fingering weight (2/8 weight in Marigold).  I wanted it to be lightweight and airy.  In other words, I didn’t want it to feel as if you were wearing a heavy sweater.  Although I had never worked with Jagger Spun, I chose it based on yarn reviews and because of the vibrant color selections. Once I started working with it, I was convinced I’d made the right choice for this project.  It is soft lightweight wool that knits up beautifully.


Revelry in Bloom Top
Revelry in Bloom Top

DD: Do you have any special lace knitting tips related to your project?

LD: Only having done a few small lace projects, I never considered myself much of a lace knitter.  I thought it would be too difficult to recover from any mistakes that I’d make when knitting lace. Fortunately, I found a flow to knitting lace and reading charts; a point you reach where the knitting begins to make sense.

I also appreciate Reade’s method of knitting in the back loop of a yarnover on the previous row.  It seems to give a uniform appearance to hole.  I’ll continue to use that method in my knitting.

DD: What kind of knitting needles do you prefer for lace knitting and what makes these needles work well for lace?

LD: I used Inox Grey needles.  These needles have long, pointy tips that make stitch manipulation easier, especially the double decreases you often find in lace knitting.  Instead of stabbing at the stitches to knit through the back loops of fingering weight wool, these needles just slide right through, which makes your knitting smoother, quicker, and more enjoyable.

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.

LD: I prefer to make things that I’m drawn to or connected to in some way.  I saw a triumphant woman in the lace. Although the lace is more of an accent in the tunic than the main feature, it still makes a statement.  I can only imagine what someone else’s experience will be while knitting and wearing the tunic.  I hope it is powerful.

DD: Thanks again for sharing so much of your creativity with me, and with all of the readers of Successful Lace Knitting!

L’Tanya Durante has been knitting and crocheting since she was a teenager.  She loves all things crafty, cultural, historical, and ethnic.  She is the author of the blog, Craftnicity, and has most recently designed for the Yarn of the Month Club and Creative Knitting Magazine.

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