Rene Jules Lalique was an Art Nouveau jewelry designer and glassmaker. With a name like that, how could he have become anything else? For some of us, a name is more than simply a moniker; it's destiny. A rose may smell as sweet by any other name to Juliet but in this I disagree with the Bard. Chilean Sea Bass is far more appealing than Patagonian Toothfish. Names are important. Ask any ad exec or new parent-to-be.
This is Lalique. I suppose Lalique would be just as pretty if it were named something else, say, Sarkozy. On second thought, I don't think so.
In the pictures that come along with the pattern, there is a button fastening at the front of the neck. But no instructions for a buttonhole. When I asked the designer about this, she said that the front button/pin had been an afterthought added on by The Sanguine Gryphon, who commissioned the design. I tried on my finished cardigan and found that I much preferred a fastening of some sort. The above pin is lovely but too heavy for the delicate cardigan.
For the modeled pictures, I settled on this little crescent moon pin. It will suffice until I find an appropriate lightweight button, and then I might add on an i-cord loop in lieu of a buttonhole.
Some things I've learned about lace knitting:
1. I have to knit much looser than usual. Maybe it's the delicate nature of the yarn. More likely it's the impossibility of manipulating tiny stitches wound tightly around tiny needles. Ease up, girl!
2. Blocking is absolutely necessary. See previous post.
3. Blocking is magical. See previous post.
4. Lifelines are for sissies. Just kidding. Despite the intricacy of the lace, all those feather and fan repeats made the body relatively straight-forward and I found I didn't need one. A good thing because the Tess' Designer Yarn Superwash Merino Lace felts at the slightest notice. Ripping out my mistakes was an exercise in patience.
5. I really like the way the edging at the bottom hem and sleeves is constructed. It's the first time I've encountered a vertically constructed edging. For instance most knitting starts at either the top or bottom and grows up or down. In this edging, one starts from one side picking up a live stitch from the hem on every other row. I know that probably sounds confusing - I was certainly puzzled but the end result was well worth all the head-scratching.
It's a lovely garment - as lovely as its name. The lace was just what I needed after my stockinette overdose and happily, it turned out to be one of those projects that I couldn't put down. I'm very pleased with it. I've worn it once so far (aside from modeling the pictures). It's really hot outside right now and wool lace is surprisingly warm but just the thing for overly air-conditioned coffee shops.