March 2021

Finis!Tessa updateCast OnLacisStaying sane


I’m pleased to say that, after being stalled for weeks, I’ve finally finished my entrelac stole.

In the end, everything came together just the way I wanted. I’m thrilled with the way the Estonian stitch patterns I chose for the body harmonize with each other.

I love how Tiny Edging provides a unifying frame. It was the crowd favorite after I showcased it in last month’s newsletter, and for good reason!

And I’m ecstatic that the whole thing lies flat after blocking. With all the differences in gauge and knitting direction, it could’ve ruffled, or bubbled up in places, which I really didn’t want. Bonus: at 4 units wide by 15 units long, it’s a generous 22x65". I had feared, partway through knitting the body, that the edging wouldn’t add enough width and I should’ve knit it 5 units wide... but had I done that, I would’ve run out of yarn before I hit a decent length.

with just 10g of yarn leftover!

What kept me motivated through this non-trivial project? Don’t laugh, but it was my swatches.

Every time I started feeling bored with the WIP during its “lump of fuzz” stage, glancing at the pretty blocked swatches reminded me what the FO could look like, and gave me the oomph I needed to keep going.

So here’s the big question. Do I go one step further and write up a pattern for the stole? If I were to take the time to create detailed instructions, draw clarifying illustrations, hire a tech editor, etc, etc... would you buy the pattern? C’mon, lemme know; my swatches aren’t going to provide any motivation on this count.

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Tessa update

Last week I got a message from a knitter saying they’d had difficulty knitting Tessa. In preparation for finishing the fold-over ribbing, they were unable to “unzip” the crocheted provisional cast-on described in the pattern.

Oops! That was a brain fart on my part. The pattern should’ve said to work a plain knit row after the provisional cast-on, before starting the ribbing. Otherwise the project yarn gets entangled with the waste yarn and, yes, unzipping the provisional cast-on becomes impossible.

nope, that isn’t gonna unzip

what a difference one plain row makes!

Clearly I knew to throw in that plain row myself, when I knit my Tessa. I just forgot to say it while writing Tessa’s pattern.

At any rate, I’ve updated the pattern. If you purchased it through Ravelry, you should’ve already received an email with a link that’ll let you download the update.

See Tessa

Cast On

A couple weeks back Brenda Dayne interviewed me for her Cast On podcast.

We talked about, as part of her series titled “Mothers of Unvention.” This description of the series really resonated with me:

Conversations about the process of design, beginning with using constructive discontent to identify a problem, and the deep dive of immersion needed to find a solution.

Oh, yeah. That fits with True story: I started writing the software for drawing stitch maps because I found hand-drawn stitch maps to be far too ugly for sharing with other knitters. And why was I drawing stitch maps by hand? Because they were super valuable when it came to understanding what was going on in lace patterns – so much more useful than grid-based charts.

useful, but ugly

useful, and pretty!

So. Discontent with grid-based charts led to hand-drawn stitch maps, and discontent with hand-drawn stitch maps led to writing software, which led to I’d call that a deep dive, wouldn’t you?

I haven’t heard the episode yet, but I assume Brenda has edited the interview to the point where I sound coherent. It’ll be available for patrons on March 11th, and for everyone else on March 12th.

Listen to Cast On


If you follow my Tidbit of the Week posts on the Stitch Maps page at Facebook, you know that I have a fondness for all kinds of fiber arts. In recent weeks, I’ve shared amazing works in lace knitting, of course, but also macramé, quilting, beading, and embroidery.

So it’s no surprise that I’m excited to find that the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles has a newsletter. In the past, I’ve had the good fortune to visit the museum and its shop twice. But with travel not really being an option now, it’s fantastic to think that virtual exhibits will be landing in my inbox every month.

If you want to receive these exhibits too – along with museum news, and inside info on new items available in the shop – then sign up for their monthly newsletter. Of course, if you can’t wait that long for your eye candy, you can follow them on Instagram too.

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Staying sane

You’re receiving this newsletter a couple days later than planned because, after weeks and weeks of chilly gray drizzle, the sun came out – and stayed out! For the few days that it lasted, I spent as much time outside as possible. I needed to, for my sanity’s sake. It cut into my “productivity”... but I’m starting to think productivity is overrated.

Here’s hoping that you, also, take the time to do what you need to do to stay sane.

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