SUMMER OF LACE: Time for Tea: Tea Cozy and Table Runner by Ava Coleman
SUCCESSFUL LACE KNITTING DESIGNER NOTES SERIES DD: Ava, thank you for being part of the Successful Lace Knitting Team. Without the participation of so many wonderful designers, there’s no way I could have showcased the work of Dorothy Reade so bautifully. What inspired you in the creation of your submission? AC: A few weeks before four generations of my family last got together for afternoon tea, Donna told me about her plans for the Reade book. During that special tea, I thought it would be fun to have a tea cozy and table runner that each of us could knit using a Reade design. Our two generations in the middle are advanced knitters. Great Grandma Bonnie and Great Granddaughter Ruth aren’t quite as skilled. This is a project we all can enjoy making. It’s not boring for the more accomplished and not too frustrating for the novice lace knitter. DD: What stitch pattern did you use and why did you choose it? AC: I used SOLID AND OPEN WAVES. It lends itself well to the visual effect I wanted to create between the runner’s simple garter stitched center panel, used to accent the lace patterned, cozy covered teapot, and the fancier areas to compliment plates of goodies. 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? AC: The chart was not changed. I did use the knit two stitches to the back decrease rather than the more traditional skip, skip, knit decrease. This use is more for efficiency than anything else. 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? AC: “Adagio” 100% wool Fingering Yarn distributed by Yarn Place was used for this project. I like the water-colored effect it produces. This product is wonderful to knit! It is soft to the touch, but has enough body to enhance lace patterns well. Yes, this is a “home decorating” project, but the yarn could certainly be used for a scarf, shawl or garment. On larger needles, it has a nice drape. DD: Do you have any special lace knitting tips related to your project? AC: No special knitting tips for this project. I wanted it to be something that could be accomplished with basic skills. DD: What kind of knitting needles do you prefer for lace knitting and what makes these needles work well for lace? AC: I use the tools that make knitting easiest for me personally – that’ about anything that isn’t wood based, as the heat from my hands, warps it and more critically the stitches don’t slide properly. Almost always I use Boye Needle Master for needles sized “2 and up” swatching. The industry consistent needle sizing and the ease of changing up and down are the primary reasons. Once I have the effect I want, I’ll usually move to the appropriate “addi turbo” for the project construction. For lace projects smaller then “oo”, I use INOX steel double-points. 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. AC: I hope this project inspires others to share their love of lace knitting with the special people in their lives – no matter what their ages. These patterns, our interpretations of them, and the inspiration for others to create from them will allow Dorthy Reade’s beautiful work to live for many generations to come. Donna, thanks so much for the opportunity to contribute! DD: Thanks Ava, I love the way you combined the interesting colorway in the yarn you chose with the waves in the lace stitch. The results are lovely and your lacework is definitely an inspiration. Ava Coleman began knitting at the age of three. By the age of sixteen, she was marketing her knits in Snowmass and Aspen. That same year she began teaching knitting to her fellow Girl Scouts. She has designed, edited and knitted for CRYSTAL PALACE, WINDY VALLEY MUSKOX , YARN PLACE and SKASKA. Her knitting history articles have been published on-line, in books, magazines and leaflets. Her knitted pieces have been featured in numerous fashion shows and as vendor booth models at STITCHES, TKGA and TNNA. Ava has a unique perspective of the yarn industry. As a Certified ASI Wool Classer, she spent eight years teaching wool processing techniques, quality control, and knitting in Central Asia for the United States Agency for International Development. Selected as a COLORADO STATE HERITAGE ARTIST in 1997, her knitted lace designs have been showcased in numerous museums and galleries, including the Premier of Denver International Airport’s Public Art Gallery. Her work was awarded a first place in the WOOL FESTIVAL AT TAOS. She has been profiled in THE ESTES PARK TRAIL GAZZETTE and AMERICAN WOOL GROWER MAGAZINE. TCI Cablevision and the DISCOVERY CHANNEL (HOMEMATTERS) have produced and presented features on her knitted lace work.