Sunday, October 21, 2012

Shilshole Lace Scarf

Since I choose to teach infrequently, I am starting this blog to share knitting information and will begin with a stitch pattern that currently is my favorite scalloping lace. I used it for the Shilshole Lace Scarf.

It always is fun to find a new stitch pattern book. Adventures in Knitting by Barbara Aytes is not new—it was published in 1968—but after discovering it in a used bookstore a few years ago, I had time to explore it again this fall. It has many variations of scalloping lace, and the one I chose to knit was Shell and Wave.

Shell and Wave repeats over 6 rows, and because there is no purling, it is reversible. Elongated stitches are created with yarn-overs on Row 1, and all of those yarn-overs are dropped on Row 2 when the shells are created by knitting 7 stitches together.

After knitting a swatch, I chose some hand-dyed Einband Icelandic light fingering weight yarn for a large scarf. With this yarn, it was easy to slip 7 stitches onto the working needle to drop off the Row 1 yarn-overs, and then transfer them back to the holding needle to knit all 7 stitches together to form the shell.

That was not the case with the Rowan Kid Silk Haze because I had trouble keeping all the stitches for the shell on the needle. Instead, I transferred the 7 stitches to a double-pointed needle (dpn) one size smaller than my project needle and then knit them together off of the dpn.

I always look for a way to read the pattern on the needles in case my stitch count changes, and the key for this pattern was that the 4th stitch in the 7-stitch shell should be directly above the stitch from the last k7tog.

I love both scarfs, and knitting them brought back childhood memories of the shell-littered beach along Seattle's Shilshole Bay. With the addition of a marina, the beach area now is at Golden Gardens Park. 

The only information I was able to find about Barbara Aytes was on the book's dust jacket. There it says she had a yarn and needlework business in North Hollywood. She taught and designed custom handknits and lived in Calabasas, CA. She wrote several knit and crochet books and created many of the stitches in Adventures in Knitting, and I am grateful for the adventure her Shell and Wave started for me.

The Shilshole Lace Scarf is a free pattern.

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