Saturday, June 13, 2009

Take From Me My Lace

Today, I got to take Franklin Habit's lace knitting class at The Knitting Nest. So cool. I was fortunate to get to see him a little over a year ago when he came to Austin for his 1,000 knitters project, and it was good to see him again.

I'd dabbled in lace a bit -- see this pair of socks and this baby blanket -- but didn't have much of a context for it. No "big picture," if you will. This class helped with that. Franklin covered the basics and the ground rules -- and then told us when we could break them. I found his presentation of three different schools of lace knitting (Orenburg, Shetland and Estonian), intriguing from a history point of view. He also talked about how shawls in each of these traditions are constructed. He passed around pictures and examples from his own knitting. I even got to try on his 1840 Nightcap! Sadly, I didn't get to keep it. But it did fit my ginormous head.

While he talked, we got to work on a scarf pattern that he had created. The pattern (blurred by me) and swatch, along with a few of my notes, are to the left. It wasn't so complicated that we couldn't follow the chart while he talked. And I really liked that he introduced us to the pattern, but didn't read us through the whole thing. Franklin is a natural teacher and it was a real treat to see him in action. Oh -- and on the flip side of the pattern, there was a bibliography of essential lace knitting books. Be still my librarian heart!

If you have a chance to take this class, do so. I suspect even if you know quite a bit about lace knitting, you'll learn a thing or two. And that's always good. Thanks, as always, to the Nest for bringing him here. And thanks, Franklin!


  1. Sounds like a great day - I hope he comes around here someday - would love to take the class. What is the lace project - looks like its knitted in the round?

  2. It is a joy and a privilege to learn from a gifted teacher. It sounds like you had a great day. So ... will there be more lace knitting in your future? Are you going to start whipping out shawls?

  3. No picture of you in the nightcap:-(
    Look forward to seeing your lace work.

  4. This class sounds fantastic! I hope that I get to take it some day!

  5. Wow. I had no idea he was such a small guy. Or maybe you are tall...

    Does this mean it's time fo ryou to make yourself a pair of lace socks?

  6. Say, whose the giant standing next to the ... oops. Never mind. ;)

    One of his fave movies is "Angels and Insects." That's pretty cool.

    You should make antimacassar. And I only say that so I could write "antimacassar." LOL

    Uncle C