Posts Tagged ‘Photosynthesis’

What to get for the Lace Knitter

Friday, December 3rd, 2010


It’s certainly that time of year again and everyone is wondering what to get for the knitter in their life. Or perhaps you are the knitter wondering how to tactfully suggest some items that would fit in a Christmas stocking or under the tree. Well, here are a few of my suggestions for a special type of knitter: the lace knitter, perhaps you could pass on the post if you are subtly hinting to family or friends ;-)


While knitters are rarely only one type, we  all know knitting can come in waves, perhaps you were a sock knitter last year, an accessories knitter the year before, or the brave sweater knitter the year before that, but if you are a lace knitter this year you probably have a few lace specific knitting traits. You probably have pretty good attention to detail and enjoy the process of knitting (as opposed to being more product oriented) because boy do those yards of yarn start to go slowly by the final few rows of a shawl! You probably enjoy working in some finer fibers and are currently digging some lighter, airier knits.


My favorite yarn to knit up some lace has to be SweetGeorgia. Subtle hand dyes make any shawl just that much more beautiful and both the more vibrant colours and the more subdued look stunning in the skein and knit up. There are 2 choices in SG for lace: Cashsilk (my personal indulgent fave) and Merino Silk Lace. The Cashsilk is about 400 yards and has that cashmere softness to it. Perfect for a smaller shawl or scarf size. The Merino Silk Lace has that silky shine and is a very generous 765 yards. You could knit anything up with that kind of yardage!


If you have a newer lace knitter on your hands perhaps some sock weight yarn would be nice. It’s a little thicker than the lace but remains light enough to do the job. I’ve knit up a couple of Ishbel shawls from Ysolda Teague in sock weight and I just love it. There is lots of sock yarn to choose from (we call it the sock wall) so you can come on in and pick your colours.


Shawl patterns aren’t particularly hard to come across in the shop but I have to say, in my wild summer shawl-a-thon, one of my favorite patterns had to be Emily Wessel’s Photosynthesis. This pattern is hugely popular on Ravelry and around the shop. It goes rather well with a skein of SweetGeorgia, hint hint hubby!

GCC: Photosynthesis

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010


Just when I thought my little lace obsession was over, it wasn’t. I still had 1 precious skein of CashSilk Lace in the stash from Christmas and Emily’s Photosynthesis pattern calling my name! I also feel that I have found the perfect recipe for the shawl size I desire and the ‘laciness’ I am looking for. 400 yards of laceweight yarn and 4mm needles = the perfect scarf sized shawl for Alexa. It’s Goldilocks territory.

The laciness factor is hard to describe. It has to do with the amount of space between the stitches. I knit one shawl on 4.5mm needles and while it is a bit bigger than the others it is a smidge too open for my liking. I knit Emily’s Sunflower shawl on 3.75mm needles and the Brandywine Shawl on 3.5mm needles. It’s not that the shawl’s didn’t turn out on these needles, they just might have been better on 4mm.


The needle size conundrum is somewhat unique to lacework. It’s another one of those purely preference things that drive newer knitters up the wall. ‘What needle size should I use for this?’ a newer knitter will ask. ‘Any needle in this range, depending on what you want it to look like’ the ever helpful UY gals will answer! The pattern usually has a recommendation on it, but with lace you really don’t have to follow that recommendation at all. I would say knit yourself up a swatch but I know almost no one will do that, especially when it comes to lacework. So, if you are kicking off some lacework of your own just try out a few different needle sizes until you find the one that works for you.

The Photosynthesis Shawl is a lovely leafy pattern that I will definitely be making again! There are 2 different charts to add a little interest and the mesh edging is lovely. To make a Photosynthesis of your very own you will need:

1 Skein SweetGeorgia CashSilk Lace

4mm needles (I used Addi Lace 24 inches)

The Pattern: Photosynthesis Shawl by Emily Wessel