Published: 22 May 2020
Wrap for a card player
Lace triangle I'm an avid card player - before Covid 19 appeared I used to play 500 three or four evenings every week from September to May - so I'm missing my evenings out in good company.
At the start of lockdown - as I write I'm starting week 12 of physical distancing from other people - I found it hard to settle down. My fingers needed to be busy but my creative brain was asleep. I knew that somewhere I had a pattern for card suits. I searched through crochet first, then turned to knitting books and found what I was looking for in Marianne Kinzel's "Second book of Modern Lace Knitting". My copy was published in 1972. Knitting squares is good for troubled times but I wanted something more engaging than garter stitch; I needed instructions to follow. I also knew I had a suitable quantity of Jamieson & Smith's lace yarn, shade L40. I started with knitting the four suits, then knitted filler sqares from the same project in the book, "Grand Slam" design, tea cloth for bridge party. These squares start with 3 stitches and end with 1, the best way to get lots of squares of uniform size.
Once I'd knitted a number of squares I had to decide how to assemble them. planning I pinned them onto the carpet to see how they could fit. A large triangle was really the only way to go so I knitted half squares to fill the gaps, leaving live stitches to be dealt with at the final stage. The least enjoyable part was joining the squares and I had a few tries with a couple of crochet hook sizes and varying the number of chains before I got it right. Once all the squares and triangles had been joined I crocheted a scalloped edge all the way round. By this time I was keeping my eye on the remaining yarn - once it was finished I had no more than 3 metres left.
Satisfied that I had joined everything adequately I used long lengths of cotton to thread through the edging scallops. Once it was washed I dressed (blocked) it over a jumperboard as shown in the photo. I had a coloured thread marking the centre so the first step was to ensure this lay along the top of the board. Next I fastened the long straight edge to one upright before the longer task of stretching the other sides of the triangle. It's a good way of ensuring both sides match. I made a short film after it was on the board.
Paparwark Furniture has started to make and sell this style of jumperboard as well as the kind which folds in the middle. Both types of board are fully adjustable.
It is not something I will ever wear so it will, hopefully, be sold via Shetland Textile Museum, with the option to also buy a co-ordinating pin. Like thousands of charities and businesses, the museum has expenses to cover even though they may not be able to open for visitors this year. They have started to put items for sale on their Facebook page, and also offering opportunity for people to commission one off pieces.
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Shetland is the most northerly group of Scottish islands. Apart from mainland Scotland, the other near neighbours are Norway to the east and the Faroe Islands to the north west.