People who know me know I love knitting lace. Shetland lace specifically. I love the geometry of Shetland patterns. I’m fascinated by the endless combinations of patterns that make up the most complex Shetland shawls, each created by a very few simple stitches, really. I read everything I can about the women who made the old lace shawls, and I love knowing I’m carrying on a tradition steeped in history.
So you can imagine how I felt when I entered Lacis, a lace museum in Berkeley, CA. Berkeley is a couple of hours from Sacramento, and my knitting guild sponsored a trip there last weekend. 38 of us went to Article Pract (a v. cool yarn shop) and Lacis. As they say a picture, even one taken by me, is worth 1000 words, here’s what left me breathless and a bit giddy.
Shetland shawls of awesome beauty
There is much to see at Lacis. They have hundreds of books and patterns, lace gowns, snippets of old, old lace edgings, lace making tools for tatting and shuttling and who knows what. Me, I kept coming back to these glorious shawls. I felt inspired to knit such a masterpiece myself one day. Perhaps the Unst Bridal Shawl from Heirloom Knitting, or a Wedding Ring Shawl. I’m already working on a couple of pieces; a fairly straightforward one called the Sheelagh Shawl, designed by Gladys Amedro, and a more complex piece, the Shetland Sampler stole from A Gathering of Lace, but I know I will never have enough time in my life to knit all of the beautiful patterns out there for our pleasure. Not to mention the designs I’ve been creating in my head. As I said, it makes me giddy. And so with my Heirloom Knitting book in my hand and dreams of designing lace in my head, I’m off.