dainty lace in glossy mohair and a free gift

August 11, 2014

I recently took an "understanding lace knitting" class from visiting Rowan designer and teacher, Sarah Hatton.  To have her come from England to my lys was quite exciting and apparently others felt the same way because the house was packed.  What I like about lace knitting is that it looks complicated, but it's not, or at least it doesn't have to be.  Some of the most complicated looking patterns are actually simple to execute.  Lace is mostly some "knit togethers" or decreases, paired with some "yarn overs" that make a new stitch and form an eyelet.  There are a few tricks and once you understand them it makes lace knitting much more intuitive and less laborious.  In the next few weeks I'll be sharing some tips that I learned from Sarah. The first tip is the most obvious: every time you make a decrease you must pair it with a yarn over.  Take away one stitch, add another.  Perhaps evident, but for the beginner this can be a real aha moment.

Something else I found out about lace knitting; I've always know knitting to be naturally calming, an anti-depressant in a way.  The repetitive rhythmic motion has a soothing effect, and this is all done without drugs.  Knitting, this is why I love you.  With lace knitting you add memory and attention span, plus visual processing and problem solving.   Lace knitting is beneficial!  The brain can do all this great stuff so let's exercise it!  People, we must knit lace!  So to get you started I have a little gift for you.  This lace purse pattern is a handout exclusive to Sarah's class, but she has sweetly offered her adorable tiny lacy purse pattern as a free download for my readers (see below).  Thank you Sarah, I am thrilled.

It's just a tiny thing knit with simple lace motifs that are easy to execute and just right for the beginner.

I'm not messing with the color.  It really is this pretty.

Here you can see the pretty picot bind off.

I slipped a clear plastic bowl inside.  It may or may not stay, not sure.

The pattern starts center bottom and yarn over increases radiate out like a nautilus.
This is knit on two needles and seamed.

You're probably wondering about the beautiful yarn I used!  I had a ball of the new Rowan Mohair Haze to sample and review and I prefer to make something useful with my skein rather than knit swatches.  Knowing that night that this pattern was perfect for my sample yarn, I cast on the minute I got home.  The skein itself is soft and squishy, slightly fuzzy with a delicate sheen.  Mohair takes dye beautifully and my bright pink Caress is intense!  Mohair Haze holds color a bit like Kidsilk Haze, but I really wouldn't want to compare the two as they are really quite different in most other ways.  MH is a blend of super kid mohair and extra fine merino wool so it is extremely soft.  It knits up to a fingering weight at 28 sts. per 4 inches.  I'm a diehard fan of fingering weight and have always felt that Rowan does it best.  They understand what the tiny-needle-knitter wants from a fine yarn.  We love glamorous, but also make it easy to knit and easy care.  If we are going to knit thousands of tiny stitches the fabric must have staying power.  And then we want something that will look equally gorgeous in stockinette or patterned. 

Knitting up Mohair Haze was easy peasy, soft on the hands with an easy glide across the needles but I think it might be too slippery for anything other than wood.  I wouldn't say it has bounce exactly, but it does have give and it was very easy to maneuver the stitches into lace.  The stockinette is pretty and semi-even and looks truly lush with it's glossy furry halo.   MH is one special yarn that I'm convinced will be cherished for decades.  A garment will be lucky to be knit in this.  Yep, there's a new yarn in town and I love it.

As far as care for this yarn, it is hand wash and I think it will be similar to the care of KSH:  Gentle swishing with mild soap in cool water.  With KSH I roll up my wet knit in a big terrycloth towel then pat to shape to dry in the shade.  After washing, mohair needs a little brushing up to fluff up the halo.

The color palette consists of pastels and jewel tones and includes a pure white and a black.  I've got my eye on that turquoise Tumble and the red Kiss. 

Sarah has kindly offered her Lace Project Bag exclusively to my readers
as a free download, click here.  Enjoy!

I used approximately 100 yards of fingering weight yarn.  My mohair left a fuzz around the stitches, and while I think this is beautiful in lace, if you want to really get the stitches to pop, you can use a merino or cotton or a blend.  The pattern is really a study in lace and doesn't have gauge.  When you choose a yarn, either fingering weight or possibly a sport weight (your bag will be a little bigger with sport weight) use the smallest size needle suggested on the ball band.  Don't you think this would make a beautiful wedding purse?

I hope you can find Mohair Haze at your lys, but if not,
it's available online with these direct links:

John Lewis
Black Sheep Wools
Laughing Hens

As it's just new and absolutely gorgeous, I'm certain more and more shops will be carrying it.

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  1. oh, I dont can download the wonderful pink little bag. please can you help me? thanks
    mg elfriede from austria

  2. I clicked on your link to download this beautiful bag, but I was denied access because I do not have permission to download. Could you fix this or email me the download please? Thank you so much and Sarah too for the pattern. I look forward to receiving the download.

  3. Finally was able to download and print. Adore this bag. Love the color too. Is it possible to knit this beauty in other nonmohair yarns? Thank you very much for sharing. A definite to knit for me.

    1. Yes! Sarah used a merino with a good twist. The stitches will really show off in a less fuzzy yarn. I'll amend my post to include that info.

  4. The bag is lovely. The color you chose is stunning. However, I like the yarn that Sara chose only because the pattern is more visible. Lovely project.


    1. Thanks! If you use a high twist yarn like merino the pattern will show up much more and really show off the pretty stitches.

  5. The project is very nice and quick to knit :) Thank you and Sarah for the free pattern!
    How much yarn is approx. needed?

    1. Hi Judith, I'll edit my post above to include the yardage. I used approximately 100 yards of fingering weight.

    2. Many thanks, Kristen! That's really helpful :)

  6. Your bag is beautiful, the colour matches your hydrangea perfectly :-D

  7. Kristen, it is so beautiful! I had no idea the mohair haze would knit up so beautifully in lace. That bright pink almost glows, it is so intense, wow! Truly stunning!


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