Lacie Blankie, a pattern in the making

Cotswold Lace Blanket It’s been over 8 years since my Cotswold Lace Blanket (a.k.a. Lacie Blankie) was selected as one of the winners in Interweave’s Save the Sheep contest and went on tour around the country. For the many admirers of the blanket who have waited patiently for me to publish the pattern instructions for Lacie Blankie, your wait is nearly over!

It’s not that it really should take me 8 years to write instructions, but I’ll give the excuse that there have been many interruptions along the way. You know … those ‘life’ things.

I was pleased and excited that the blanket had won, but that also meant I did not see it again for several years while it went on tour around the country with the Save the Sheep Exhibit. Although I had kept some notes, the knitting had gotten quite rushed near the contest deadline and I was not confident that I had everything needed to complete the instructions without referring to the original blanket.

Over the years following the return of the blanket, I began working on the pattern instructions several times. Since the original blanket is made in handspun yarn, I also wanted to re-knit the blanket in a commercial yarn to show that option.

I think that these creations of ours have a life of their own, and sometimes when something ‘seems hard’ it just means that the right time has not yet come. I think that is what was probably happening, because although each commercial yarn I tried was ‘ok’, nothing yet really gave the excitement and pleasure I had when making the original blanket in my handspun Cotswold yarn. It’s very difficult for me to commit the great deal of time and effort there is in quality writing and layout, proofing and marketing a pattern, if I am not really excited about it. Otherwise it just feels like ‘work’. If I can have a choice, I’d rather be doing something I am enjoying, and such was not the case here yet.

THEN, a confluence of events …

Georgia O'Keeffe's mountain A vacation late last summer took me through Abiquui, New Mexico where I gazed upon Georgia O’Keeffe’s mountain. Do you see the mountain in the background to the left of this photo I took? I am sure you recognize it from its iconic flat top being included in so many of her paintings.

The colors of the miles and miles of desert southwest at first glance might appear to be quite boring – sand and sagebrush and more sand and sagebrush. But on closer inspection, there is wonderful color all around, and Georgia O’Keeffe was a master in capturing this. I gained so much more appreciation of these desert colors and they imprinted themselves in my mind as I drove across miles and miles and miles of open land.

Later in the fall, I was in touch with Laura Nelkin, the design director at Schaefer Yarns who informed me of two of their new yarns. One was Judith, a 100% Prime Alpaca yarn. Umm … the undyed version of this yarn had been one of the commercial yarns in which I had started a blanket, so I already knew the worked and how wonderful it felt.

Judith colorway Georgia O'Keeffe from Schaefer Yarns A batch of colorful Judith yarn was the motivation I needed to put Lacie Blanket back on the active list of pattern publication projects! Laura was excited, too, and we conferred back and forth about which colorway to select for the sample model. My subconscious mind must have kicked in, without initially realizing, I had picked Schaefer Yarns colorway Georgia O’Keeffe!
Lacie Blankie in process The knitting of Lacie Blankie in the Judith yarn is proceeding wonderfully and I am planning the pattern for release later this month. Stay tuned!

You can read more about my original Cotswold Lace Blanket and other collected works from the Save the Sheep Project in the book from Interweave Press – Handspun Treasures from Rare Wools.

Written by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer - Visit Website

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