Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Happy contrasts

I had a pleasant breakthrough last night whilst half-watching a nature documentary. For some reason these things always work out best when I'm not quite paying attention. (Contradicts everything I assume about my work! Perhaps I work best when I'm not consciously deciding things, and getting in the way of my real understanding?)

Anyway, I digress. Yes, I managed to find a nice resolution to a lace border I've been working on for a few days. It just popped out of nowhere - an increase in the last row, then immediately after a firm purl-wise chain bind off created a neat, sculpted edge that fans very crisply.

This piece is a neck-scarf, quite short and soft, designed to be fastened at the front with a brooch like a dressage neck-tie or the high lace collars of Edwardian ladies. It is also designed to be worn under another, tweedier scarf or at the neck of a cardigan, so the middle section is plain and all the attention is on the outside edges. I like the firm, slightly pleated lace of Edwardian collars, but they must be very uncomfortable to wear; by giving this a stiffish cast-off I can have a ruff that slightly stands without grating the chin of anyone who wears it!

Now that the larger scarf is done, this lace will go into a smaller 'collar' with pearl buttons at one side, and a pair of matching undersleeves.

The partner piece for this is the tweedy cashmere scarf I mentioned before - without giving too much away, here's a peek. These buttons are my favourites, by the way - Bakelite, and all different!

I love the contrasts here - the rough tweed with the foamy soft lace, the structured edge of the underscarf with the soft, stretchy centre, the dark outer piece with the lighter inner. And the chipped, mismatched green buttons with the new, slightly severe tweed. Mix and match, borrow and add - that's the way to do it!

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