I am not a big fan of knitted lace. I think it's a bit clunky, and not at all airy or ethereal, as lace should be. This is too bad, because knitting lace is actually kind of fun, what little I've done of it. I like yarnovers. I like it better than I like cables, which require too much fiddling around with a little cable needle that I'm always misplacing.
So, not being a fan of knitted lace, I have completely ignored most knitted lace patterns I've seen. Yeah, I thought, it would be fun, but it's ugly.
Then I saw this.
Now, I know that I am by no means the first or the only person to be impressed by the Yarn Harlot. I am very late to the party. And much, much praise has been heaped on this shawl, and justly so. It's stunning. It is so stunning that it has inspired in me a fierce desire to knit some lace.
Here's the problem: I have no use for a shawl. Lace knitters seem to knit lots and lots of shawls, and for the most part when I admire a piece of lace knitting, it is usually a shawl. They're pretty amazing. But my life is not a shawl-wearing life. I can barely keep the pashmina I have in my office to guard against the arctic air conditioning off of the floor long enough that I don't roll my chair over it more than three times a day. If I knit a shawl, it will lie folded up in my closet, to be admired on occasion but never worn. And even though that is the fate of a lot of my knitting, I just can't accept starting out a project with that understanding in mind. That's a lot of knitting for art's sake.
Unfortunately, last weekend I bought a sweater at a thrift store in a lovely cream 66% wool / 34% silk blend. As is my wont, I am the process of unraveling this beauty to have a sweater's worth of yarn for a mere $4.50. The yarn is thinner than I normally go for--it looks like sport or even fingering weight--and so, naturally, it has become the focus of my lace hunger.
And so, with my better judgment in full protest, I have been looking high and low for a top with a lace that is sufficiently pretty to feed my idea of what lace should be, yet not so over-the-top that it looks ridiculous, and have been having real problems. For a while, it looked like I might win the battle, Finicky Taste uniting with Better Judgment (not to mention a few things like WIP Baby Dress and WIP Mom's Socks) to fight off the lace urge long enough to let it die, as so many of my knitting urges do. Then, I flipped through the Winter Vogue Knitting again, and came upon this:
Mind you, I have flipped through this issue several times already, and never paused on this. It's ridiculously girly, and the stupid model's pose makes it impossible to tell what it looks like. But, but...look at that sleeve! I love the lace, and I love the way the end of the sleeve flares, and I love, love, love the geometric hem of the sleeve, which kind of reins in the floral fantasy. As for the rest of the thing....well. I like the ruffled neckline well enough (I actually am in a ruffle period in my life right now. I know: I need help), though it's a bit aggressive for my taste, and, frankly, combined with the lace it's just a little too much. I don't like the length--I'm not sure I'll have enough yarn for it, and I think it will look dumb.
But the major problem is, am I going to wear a lace top? In white, no less? Am I that princessy? Is there any way I could conceivably modify this that it would be wearable? Do I care?
Or, to put it more simply...what do I knit for?