26 Aug 2010

SUMMER OF LACE: Day and Night Toddler Cardigan and Blanket by Debbie O’Neill



Successful Lace Knitting

DD: Debbie, it’s been wonderful working with you on several different projects, including developing the sweaters for the covers of my Ethnic Knitting books, and having you contribute these lovely designs to Successful Lace Knitting. What was your inspiration for these two adorable pieces?

DO: The Day and Night cardigan set was inspired by my daughter, who loves pretty things and to cuddle up in blankets.  The cardigan is bordered with the closed bud lace motif.  The motif also runs up the sleeves.  The end result is a practical sweater for every day wear that still looks special.

SUMMER OF LACE: Day and Night Toddler Cardigan and Blanket by Debbie O'Neill 1The closed bud lace motif is fairly large, so knit in sport weight yarn, it really works best in sweaters for toddler or preschool age children.

Try knitting the sweater with fingering weight yarn for an infant!  The blanket is knit from the center out.  Because the closed bud lace has strong diagonal lines, it is a natural fit for triangular panels.  The finished blanket looks far more complex than it actually is to knit.  The same pattern could be knit in worsted weight or heavier for an afghan project for a special teenager or adult in your life.

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?

Day and Night Toddler Set

Day and Night Toddler Set

DO: I specifically chose the Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport for three reasons.  The first is that the solid colors have subtle variations from the hand dyeing process.  This variation gives a depth of color to the project that enhances the overall appearance.  The second reason is that it is a superwash yarn and is very soft.  I wanted the project to be practical and truly used.  These characteristics are important for any project knit for a child.  Finally, the Lorna’s Laces Shepherd yarns are also available in fingering and worsted weight, so the cardigan and blanket can easily be knit in a different gauge to get a smaller or larger finished project with the same appearance.

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

DO: Use Post-It notes to keep track of your place in the chart.  A magnetic board like for cross stitching works well, too.

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

DO: For lace knitting, I definitely prefer a needle with a sharp tip.  That makes working decreases infinitely easier.

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

Debbie O’Neill is a software engineer but spends her free time teaching knitting and writing patterns. She has done sock designs for TheKnitter.com, the Loopy Ewe,  and she has published her own line of patterns under the name Nutty Creations. Debbie loves to spend time with her family, cook, read, and dabble in other fiber pursuits.

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