June 22, 2010

lace issue

About a month ago, I read this post on YarnHarlot's blog. Since then, I have been thinking about what makes a lace knitting a lace knitting.

In one sentence, for me, it goes this way;
To knit lace, you have to take care of what you going to have.

When I make a yarn-over, it creates; 1) a hole, and, 2) one stitch width of space.
When I make a ssk (or sl-k-po, whatever) or k2tog, it creates; 1) a bump, and, 2) one stitch less width of space.
If I want don't want to change the width of my project but want to have a series of decorative holes, I need to make the same numbers of ssks and k2togs combined as the yos. If I want to change the width to make it grow or shrink triangularly, I need to make more or less ssks and k2togs, at the same rate on both sides of the project. I need to keep track of those, mindfully or mindlessly, and systematically.

A hole-y fabric produced by too-thick-for-the-yarn needles lacks those works of mind. I can see the beauty of holes of that meshy project (whew, I spelled it correctly. Didn't double "s".) , I can't call it a lace.

It's like a garden. I could grow (by just not pulling) whatever seeds the birds scattered in my backyard (uh... pots on the balcony) and find whatever weeds coming up as beautiful as the most expensive orchid plant on e-bay. But it's not gardening. If I want to "garden", I should plan and make it materialize (at least, should try to make it happen). Even if the flower doesn't bloom in a color on the package, even if the only thing I harvest is one dried-up fruit of strawberry, that's gardening.

Seeding yos and k2togs sophisticatedly, and harvesting those (when purling through the WS) carefully with love, you can have a beautiful lace piece.

Summer. It's for gardening, and lace.

June 19, 2010

Living through

My husband's grandmother, Chiyoka oba-chan, (Gramma Chiyoka) passed away two weeks ago.
She lived a long life - Survived the Great Kanto Earthquake, lost her husband in the World War II, lost a son by an accident during climbing. Had three sons (lost one), six grandchildren (three boys, three girls) and four great-grandchildren (two boys, two girls).
I only met pretty long after she moved in to live with her third (youngest) son (my father-in-law). Only she and I were in the "could you pass me the soy sauce?" league when the family have deep-fried fish for dinner (the other family members likes Worcestershire sauce over soy.)

The funeral was a sad but peaceful one. Families, relatives, friends gathered together and remembered a great lady. All the people there remembered her saying "Thank you." a lot, her smile, and her good appetite. (I remember her happily eating "just a half" of a slice of toast AFTER eating whole bowl of ra-men noodle for lunch. I think she was 85 years old or so at the time.)

We miss her so much.

Before going to her funeral, I finished this pair of non-toe socks.
fall in love finished
Pattern; Falling in Love by Anni Design (link is to Ravelry page)
Yarn; Patons Purple Heather 4ply, originally was in my mom's stash
Needles; KnitPicks Harmony DPNs US 1 1/2 (2.5mm)

What are these? Socks without toes? Leg warmers with heels? or Ankle warmers? Anyway, these are Christmas present #1 of 2010. For one of my friends at PTA. The room where our paper works and meetings happen is on the ground floor of the kindergarten chapel (built 80 years ago and made of wood). It is easy to imagine how cold it would be once the summer heat is gone. And I somewhat can't wait that weather.

After that, I casted on Ishbel by Ysolda Teague (in Whimsical Little Knits, which was sent as a part of Janet's care package - Thanks again, Janet!) with light grey lace weight. This yarn was in my mom's stash, too (- hey, I'm doing good on stash-busting!).

This Ishbel shawl is a personal prayer for Gramma Chiyoka. While I knit it, I think of her.
Grey Ishbel on the way