Amazing Lace!

Challenge #1,

Or, A Very Long Post

I have indeed joined the hordes of laceknitters that have signed up for the Amazing Lace summer knitalong. After a great deal of dithering and mind-changing, I’ve chosen my trusty teammate for the summer. It was a difficult choice, as I have a multitude of lace patterns on my to-do list, and it finally came down to two:

Frost Flowers & Leaves, from A Gathering of Lace, compiled by Meg Swansen, for which I have the yarn and pattern, and have wanted to knit ever since I first saw the book.

Langsjal Johonnu, from Three Corneredย  & Long Shawls, by Sigridur Halldorsdottir.

I was leaning towards the former, as I wasn’t sure that I wanted to have to be able to spell Langsjal Johonnu for the next several months. Then my husband, ever helpful, made a somewhat disparaging remark about collecting patterns written in foreign languages which I don’t speak or read, when there are plenty of fine patterns written in English, which I do read, more or less.

That settled it. The gauntlet was thrown down. Langsjal Johonnu it is. I’ve collected all the parts of my team, and present them to you here.


The yarn is genuine Icelandic laceweight wool, purchased here (color number 9808). It’s actually somewhere between laceweight and fingering weight, and is not a sissy yarn. It is substantial, hearty wool, made to get you through those long Icelandic winters in style. The color is a little more purple than shown in that picture. And yes, I have already cast on and started. Once I got past row 3 (don’t you dare laugh, it’s harder than it looks), I am zooming right along.

The pattern book is also purchased from Schoolhouse Press (scroll down the page a bit). It has a number of lovely shawls and stoles, and though it’s a bit spendy, I probably will do more than one out of this at some point.


Next up, we have my “Learn Icelandic” kit.


Just kidding. The pattern book does come with a translation. Though it worries me a bit that the original book, in Icelandic, has 78 pages, and the English version only has 16 pages. There might be a few things lost in the translation.


The stole on the cover of the translation booklet is the chosen team member, Langsjal Johonnu (I just love that name). Here’s a better look.


I also just love this woman. She models all the pieces in the book, and has exactly that same “don’t screw with me” expression on her face in every photo. That’s the other reason I chose this one over the FF&L. She means business.

Here are some of the other teammates, gathered together to help out.


There is the photocopy of the pattern, my gadget bag, and my trusty Denise needles, which are honored to be chosen for the lace race. I have a little notebook and pencil to keep track of stuff, and my reading glasses, which I’ll surely need. Actually I may take this one to the copy place and blow it up a bit bigger. Those Icelanders must have good eyes.



I use a music stand to keep my pattern where I can see it. I have a large magnet board that has a permanent home here, and a smaller 8 by 10 version that slides right into the plastic page protector with the pattern page. The Ipod is loaded up with Icelandic music for the occasion. The second picture is my trusty clicker counter, to keep track of rows. I also ordered one of these to hold my magnet board:


because you just can’t have too many gadgets.

Because I’m optimistic that I will eventually finish this, my blocking gear is ready.


Last but not least, I have plenty of refreshments ready. First, a nice selection of fine tea from Adagio:


And just in case, a brand new bottle of the Knitting Doctor house bourbon:


Just in case.


Amazing Lace! — 28 Comments

  1. This is the best Team Intro! I love it!! Go go go!
    But yeah, I’d be a little worried about 78 pages of Icelandic becoming 16 pages of English… It’s like the thing with subtitled movies – the mouths move and move and move, and you get “you rat!” for your subtitle…

  2. Ok, I’m suitably impressed, but can you actually pronounce “Langsjal Johonnu”? And are those glasses with the bourbon? Actually glass glasses? You obviously have a very short memory!

  3. Good choice! That is a beautiful shawl and I’m looking forward to seeing the progress and the finish.

  4. i just got that book and absolutely love it, partly because of the fabulous model ;-).
    your long shawl (=langsjal) is going to be gorgeous in that colour!

  5. Bourbon and lace. Lace and bourbon. We await the outcome.
    Fine fine team you have collected, and worthy goal. I think the model in the Icelandic book say ‘CFM’. But I think you have to be a guy to truly know.

  6. i am just about to buy that book! it is such a gorgeous publication – i actually cannot wait to knit something from it. (cough cough … add that to the list)
    your shawl is going to be stunning!

  7. Loved seeing your knitting “essentials” – hmmm, I could see needing the bourbon ๐Ÿ™‚ Your fans await progress notes!

  8. oh wow that clicker sent me on a time warp back to when i worked at a theme park as an “Usher” and I always had to count people as they came in!

  9. I really like what you picked. I like the reason even more. And of course, I like that you have bourbon ready too!

  10. I love how you assembled all of the “teammates” – right down to the tea and bourbon! That stole should be wonderful!

  11. Great pattern and great accessories/teammates. I also have considered joining, but I wonder whether it is reasonable to expect that I will be into knitting complex stuff while travelling in Spain for a month. Hmmmm. I need to think some more.

  12. I am curious about your row counter. What is it? where did you get it?
    I have all kinds of them and not really happy with any. I have wondered about the 40 pages to 16 part of the book too!

  13. You can actually add LJ into your spell check in Word and it’ll automatically “correct” for the name every time (then you can delete it when you’re finished)! You will then have more time for actually knitting your project. Can’t wait to see your progress, doc!

  14. That will be an amazing knit, it’s so pretty. After I get done with this scarf, I foresee some lace in my future. Not sure which project yet though.

  15. What a beautiful shawl. I will be watching from afar. Good luck. I am not doing the Amazing lace thing, but am knitting a shawl from the Folk Shawl book with the same yarn, in red. Bonnie

  16. Good choice, it will be lovely. I am doing 2 of the other shawls in the book. If you get stuck on the translation, let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Me? I’m not laughing. I bid you good knitting. I can see already it’s going to be beautiful. And what a good idea, using a music easel to hold your pattern.

  18. I love your intro to your lace. Very exotic and that very serious model is sure to be an inspiration. ๐Ÿ˜‰