Recently I visited Knitting Temptations, a charming yarn shop in Dublin, Ohio. As I was checking out, the owner, Karen, asked me if I had ever heard of Reywa yarn (I hadn’t). She then proceeded to place in front of me the most heavenly yarn I have ever touched. Reywa is made with Yak fiber–which is so soft it simply must be experienced. She then explained that her shop was hosting an event featuring this yarn and would I like to design something for it? Oh My! Yes PLEASE! Once my inner sensualist stopped purring my brain got to work. What to make??
She gave me two skeins of Reywa Bloom in the natural colorway (a lace weight yak/silk blend). I knew that whatever I made with this decadent yarn would have to be worn around the neck and/or face–perhaps over bare shoulders? I quickly settled on a stole–something bridal and lacy!
I knew the experience of working with this yarn would be practically spiritual and I didn’t want it sullied by annoyances in the knitting process So, I decided to address two of my lace making pet-peeves. The first is the knitted-on border. While the knitted-on border is stunning I always associate knitting it with either with panic (do I have enough yarn???) or impatience (aren’t I done YET)??? Design challenge one was to be able to work from one end to the other (weighing my yarn in the middle to be sure I have enough to finish) and still have the look of a knitted on border.
My second lace pet peeve is uniform difficulty. Many designs are either entirely easy or entirely butt-kicking. I love the challenge of impressive, glorious, swirling lace–but I also want to be able to take my project to my knitting group and work on it while people are talking around me. Design challenge two was to create something that would give me a chance to both show off my skills and be lazy! Additionally, the “show off” sections must be able to be completed in one or two sittings to allow for fewer opportunities for mistakes to creep in and they must be positioned to give maximum “wow” factor when worn.
Knitted Temptation addresses both these self-imposed design challenges. It is worked from one end to the other with a modular construction. I manage to achieve that modular construction without casting on or picking up stitches so it’s hard to tell where the sections join. The ends feature the Dayflower stitch pattern–which is definitely something you need to give your full attention to when knitting But, the middle portion has easily memorized leaves on the sides and a two row variant of feather and fan in the middle–totally easy!
The experience of walking into Knitting Temptations and being handed Reywa Bloom –and then using it to create a piece of lace completely free of my knitting-angst issues– will be one of the highpoints of my designing career for quite some time.
Techniques Used: lace, charts, working modular construction