All Lace is Not Created Equal

February 19, 2008

Bad Brambach, Saxony, Germany


 So here’s how it goes: Last summer, our family went on a really peaceful vacation to Bad Brambach, Germany.  It was so peaceful, we were feeling somewhat ‘lost’ without the convenience of a super center of some type.  Low and behold!, during one of our daily excursions, we happened upon a Globus, (think Super Walmart).

As we made the rounds in this huge store, I remembered why we came to Germany in the first place… to escape this hustle and bustle of our every day lives.  But then, well, let’s just say I spotted some woolen goody-ness and all was forgotten.  We walked out of the store 25 minutes later with some needed supplies and two bags full of yarn.

 Flash forward a few months to September, when my sister announced that she and her fabulous boyfriend were engaged! Can we say ‘squee!‘?  A September 2008 wedding was planned.   I resolved that I was going to knit my sister a lace stole for her wedding, something she will have forever.

Well, as with most things in life, plans change… four times.  The date was moved around to various dates in September, then to the summer, then to the spring.  Two weeks ago, my dear sister let us all know that she and fiance are going to elope, in early March.  !!!  I went from having plenty of time to knit something beautiful to four weeks!   I am a turtle knitter folks, this news was not taken lightly.

Still, I was determined.  I thumbed through every book and magazine I owned, I searched every pattern in my computer, I Googled  ‘lace stoles’ for hours.  There was just no way I could make the design I wanted in the given amount of time, not at my knitting pace.  I felt anxiety and depression as I was about to concede and join the other well wishers in sending a gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond or Williams-Sonoma.  Grump.


A few days later, as I reluctantly re-shelved my knitting books and magazines, a page fell out of Interweave Knits, Fall 2004… The Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark.  This was the one.  It was a short, sweet knit.  Easy-peasy.  Just perfect for a March elopement… not too fancy, packable, wearable.   I went through my stash and chose forgotten yarn from our Germany trip.



 I cast on that evening and finished knitting yesterday.  Last night I hand washed the shawl and pinned it to my blocking board.                                                       


FBS, center

FBS, center, no flash  FBS, r FBS, edging

The photo on the top is a true color photo, the other photos are taken without the flash, so as to capture the lace detail.

 This morning, I checked to be sure that the shawl was dry before I started to unpin it. I unpinned the center point first, it rolled up towards the top!  I unpinned three more points, each point doing the same thing, Wha!  I quickly re-pinned the points and stood, starring at the shawl wondering, ‘What went wrong? How do I fix this?  Am I going to have to start over?  Will I indeed have to send a gift cards to Williams- Sonoma?’ Then, I walked away.   Not by choice, mind you, but I had to walk the older kiddies down to the bus stop. 

 Once the bus closed it’s door, I sprinted home.  Visual: Imagine a pregnant woman, in her substitute pjs (yoga pants and WMH t-shirt), hair a mess, no make up, running down your road in the early morning.  Ha.  

 Again, I stood before the shawl.  Where did I go wrong?  I still do not know.  Now I am searching the net, asking knitting gurus this question.  I am also pondering as to whether or not I should break out the iron and steam block… but first I have to find the iron because it gets little to no use in this house.  Have any dear reader run into this situation?  Please share or I will indeed be sending my sister a gift certificate and this shawl will become a dust rag. 



  1. What is the fiber content of the shawl? Some fibers block well, some only so so, and some not at all.

  2. I’m far from an expert on blocking lace – I’ve only done it a few times – but I’m wondering if perhaps you’ve pulled it out a little too far in blocking it? In your photos, it does seem quite stretched, and that might be why it wants to pull back on itself when the tension is released? Perhaps you could try reblocking it, with a little less tension. As I said, I’m no expert, but that’s what I’d try, unless someone else comes up with a better suggestion!

  3. And I forgot to add – it looks beautiful! I’m sure your sister will love it, and it’s wonderful of you to make it for her. I’m all inspired now to make one :-)

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