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Archive for June 7th, 2009

A Different Sort of Scribble Lace

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

I like a sort of knitting that Debbie New introduced. She calls it “Scribble Lace.” Basically, you knit on large needles, alternating several rows of very thin yarn or thread and then one row of a notable, dominant yarn.

The effect is that the thin yarn almost disappears to the eye, from any distance. The thicker yarn looks like a wool scribble suspended in air. Or this is how it usually works, anyway.

I did a project with a sticky, mohair-blend purple laceweight yarn and a wooly thick-thin multicolored yarn, several years ago. First I wore it as a shawl (see photo above) and then I put it on my front door as a curtain. I show two photos and tell that story in this blog entry.

A New Look with Scribbles

Rae and I are doing a series of short Tuesday-night sessions called “Technique Tuesdays.” We spent time thinking of possible interesting techniques that we can teach in either one or two 2-hour sessions. One that came to mind was scribble lace, and we put it on the schedule for June 23 from 6-8.


I realized that the example piece I already had, was a bit on the extreme side. I figured some folks might want something a little more wearable in Lansing (I wear mine on stage, where extreme is good).

I also was feeling a real need for a turquoise shawl or stole, as turquoise goes with all the clothing I own, and the only turquoise wrap I have right now is woven rather than knit. (I got in in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, in January of 2001. It’s a lovely piece, but I like to wear knitted items when I work.)

SO: I picked out a Malabrigo lace yarn, very soft merino wool, in dark turquoise. Then I chose a solid turquoise Louisa Harding Kimono ribbon to use with it, as the “scribble.” Now I have a set of yarns which match in color, where the main contrast is texture (smooth/fluffy to shiny) and to a lesser extent, size. The laceweight I am using this time, is puffier and more visible than the mohair was, but I think it looks great in this combination.

Now the shawl is more about texture than anything, and it can work well with many garments. What is interesting, is that in the photo I seem to have unmatched yarns. In real life, they are nearly identical in color.

Since I am using yarns that are not sticky, particularly the ribbon, this piece is a little more on the luxury side. It’s soft, gorgeous, and not as indestructible. It needs to be treated like the special item that it is, where the first one I made was made with all feltable yarns that sort of fight back when they are treated with rough handling.But, oh! The Malabrigo lace yarn is like butter. It’s thick enough to be warm, not at all scratchy, just incredible.

The new piece is not finished yet, but it stays at Rae’s shop these days as an example of one possible version of Scribble lace. It is really creating a lot of interest. I am looking forward to the class. I love comparing student projects in classes like this! The yarn choice makes a huge difference, and all choices are worthy.

(For the non-knitters out there, the white line in the middle of the piece is called a lifeline, a place one can rip back to without a lot of hassle, if one makes a knitting mistake with tiny yarn. I did make a mistake that did require me to use that line and knit the top part of what is shown here, a second time. Totally worth it!)