We were so excited to announce our contest winners today on our newsletter. The contestants had to tell us in 250 words or less why they loved to knit lace. Since lace is not one of my favorite types of knitting, I found it extremely interesting and quite inspiring to read their stories. Congratulations to you all.
#1) Over 50 years ago my grandmother taught me how to knit and crochet. Born in Ireland, she created magnificent tablecloths, bedspreads, even afghans using time honored techniques of Irish crochet and lace knitting, many of these pieces I still cherish today. The hours she spent knitting lace without reading patterns, while having tea and talking with family and friends, seemingly unconscious of the continual graceful movements of her fingers and hands, I remember affectionately.
I was eight when she taught me to knit, a great age then, bright and dexterous enough to learn, not distracted, yet, with boys and being like the popular girls.
In the past 10 years after successful career and taking care of family, lace knitting has become my favorite past time. My husband cannot understand why my knitting goes everywhere with me. If he weren’t the pastor of our church, I would even knit in church. I have joined a knitting circle at church and hope to encourage others to undertake lace knitting too.
The design of lace knitting, the intricacy of the pattern and the delicacy of the drape make a lace knitted garment my favorite to wear. Not only does it attract tons of compliments, it is always unique and I am quite proud to know that the tradition of my grandmother, and her grandmother continues.
Thank you for the opportunity to enter this contest.
#2) Dear Cynthia,
I am profoundly drawn to lace knitting for the same reasons that I am fascinated by human beings: from the same building blocks -- whether knit and purl stitches or genes -- are created an infinite variety of pattern, texture, soul.
No two lace patterns are precisely alike, and their small differences can make all the difference is the look and feel of my finished object. A traditional lace pattern like feather and fan evokes the past, calling to mind the youth of my always-decorous grandmother, while a loose, loopy contemporary stitch pattern is more suited to my hipster niece.
Stitch patterns invoking honeycombs, leaves, and vines are among my personal loves, especially when knitted in the kettle-dyed variegated merinos I love best -- the combination of flowing shapes and subtly changing color creates a sense of mystery and shadow, and brings to mind the sometimes-hidden sides of a person. Some parts of us are stockinette, some parts are cables; but some parts -- those wonderfully individual, quirky, often private aspects -- can only be revealed in yarn through stitches that increase and decrease like the tides, that leap over and tug under and chase each other across rows.
I never tire of seeing how the directions for a lace pattern I haven't yet tried turn into an image that then becomes part of a greater whole, just as I never tire of looking at the faces of my fellow beings in their wonderful samenesses and unfathomable differences.
#3) Dear Cynthia,
Here is my entry for the Leaf Lace scarf kit:
For me each piece of knitting becomes infused with a memory of my life as I created it. A crocheted blanket made during a road trip to Maine, a flowered silk scarf assembled while watching Bette Davis films, a hat made during multiple craft gatherings with friends. This last year I learned to knit lace. One of the lace projects was an alpaca/merino shawl I knit while my husband's Aunt Pat passed away. I worked on it during the visits to the nursing home and eventually the long drive to and from the funeral. I call it Anut Pat's shawl and think of her fondly each time I see it.
This summer my husband & I are traveling to Italy to celebrate my 50th birthday. Knitting this colorful scarf as I travel would be a wonderful way for me to bring home memories of driving through Tuscany, kayaking off the coast of Elba and visiting the the great works of art in Rome.
Thanks for your consideration. My name on Ravelry is monbert if you would like to see some of my lace and other knitting.