Did I ever tell you how incredibly sensitive I am to mosquito bites? The way people’s skin blows up when a bee stings them, that’s how my skin reacts to a mosquito bite. One innocent little prick, and the thing becomes its own municipality – the size of a softball and pulsating, throbbing, emitting heat, demanding attention… alive! Needless to say, mosquitoes like biting me best of everyone I know, heh.

So, this thing about being “bitten by the lace bug” – yeah, and it’s definitely a mosquito ;).

On Friday I could hardly concentrate at work, I kept thinking about what lace thing I want to knit next! Mom and grandma are taken care of for a while, so I kept coming back to me, me, me. What lace thing would I like to knit for myself? A rectangular scarf or stole? A triangular shawl? Maybe a big square?

I could daydream all afternoon long, but the reality of the situation was that I had no patterns to dream about! I mean, I have patterns – stitch dictionaries and the entire Internets are enough to keep any knitter occupied for years – just nothing that was compelling enough to cast-on then and there. On a whim I stopped by my local library, and picked up the only lace knitting book they had on the shelf – First Book of Modern Lace Knitting by Marianne Kinzel.

Wait a minute… isn’t that the book with all the knitted doilies? Why yes, yes, it is, but would you set your lunch tray on one of these?


Hell no!

And so an idea was born – why don’t I knit a little scarf-ette using one of the patterns? I only need to select a pattern with regular repeats so I can size it at will, such as the leftmost one above called Azalea.

Ah, Azalea, such a simple 6 row repeat, but so mesmerizing. I had to have it.

Understated and lovely, don’t you think?

The yarn came from my stash-ette. It is Malabrigo laceweight merino in the colorway vermillion, incredibly reminiscent of poppies, if you ask me. I’m very deliberately not linking to the website because you cannot buy the merino laceweight there: the stuff online is pure wool, the stuff in my stash is LYS-purchased merino.

I’m very happy with the pattern/yarn pairing – this single-ply yarn is ridiculously soft, perfect for next-to-the-neck wear, but it does not tolerate any frogging or tinking as a result. Conveniently, the pattern is incredibly simple, nearly mindless, so I hope I don’t have to unknit at all ;).

So simple, in fact, that as soon as the scarf is big enough to fit on one circular, this will likely become my “on the go” project – post office, subway, bus, S ‘n B, here we come! Right now, however, it’s just a baby, supported by two circs and two dpns (size US 1, in case you’re curious). Predictably, the dangling, clinking circs are making me very unhappy and I’m knitting as fast as I can to get past this awkward stage. Then I want to keep knitting until I have a scarf that’s no more than 30 or so inches in diameter so that it won’t be bulky under my jacket. And then I’ll need to bind off, a topic of discussion in and of itself (‘cause you know I am not going to do that funky-ass crochet mambo-jumbo loopy bind-off thing like in the photograph).


64 thoughts on “Mosquitoes

  1. Sheila Mayhew

    Lovely – I remember being mesmerized by the knitted lace doily thing a few years ago – It was knitted – placed on a table the exact circumfernce of the knitted lacey circle and had glass placed on top of it!! I really like the color you chose – soft – but you are right – the yarn does not tolerate frogging. Not one little bit. The stuff resembles a piece of chewed string if handled to much. I wonder if it pills if worn nect to a coat collar??

  2. Irene

    It’s beautiful…I absolutely love that color. Perfect for Spring, I think. Oh, and I’m sure you’ll come up with something clever and gorgeous for the edging.

  3. Carolyn

    ok. Those damn bugs do the same to me. Big, red, hot, giant ass lumps. It wont be long!

    Love the lace. Love that yarn…the colourway is beautiful. Can’t wait to see it done…and the bind off, of course.

  4. Becky

    Oh man, now you have me thinking. hehehe I just ordered 5 skeins of alpaca/merino fingering yarn for a shawl. I’ve got a few knitted doily patterns, but most are crocheted. Don’t think those will work though. Damn it all. hehe

  5. Carrie

    That is a beautiful color. I haven’t been bit by the lace bug but I know exactly how you feel about the mosquitos, I get the same big welts. Ewww.

  6. janna

    That’s so gorgeous! My library doesn’t have the book, so I just ordered it from amazon (yes, yes, I know they could get it through interlibrary loan, but…..)

  7. Michelle

    I have this book too, I love it! I have the second one too, I will try to find it and bring it along if you want. I have always been really attracted to the idea of knitting and crocheting for my home. Or a home, anyway.

  8. Corrina

    My 6yo son has the same mosquito issue. Poor baby looks like he’s been hit by the baseball bat when he gets bitten.

    And having just finished the leaf lace shawl, I can honestly say I have also been bitten!

  9. claudia

    Mosquito bites are a very big deal for me too. I’m thusly not a big fan of the hiking in the woods thing.

    The azalea pattern is very beautiful. I’ll be interested to see how you change the edging into something…not ugly.

  10. gail

    Yes, I love that book and have dreamed of doing just what you have done. Meg Swansen says that she regularly takes doiley/tablecloth patterns and uses larger needles and wool to make shawls. In her book Gathering of Lace she shows the wedding shawl that she made for her daughter doing just that.

  11. Laritza

    Once you get one of the Kinsel books you are at the point of no return from lace knitting!

    Welcome! I have been knitting lace for 30+ years and love it.

    Check out: heirloom knitting from the UK, just Google for that….then you will know what lace is 🙂

    Kinsel book look for the Rose of England (jijiji) I can see you knitting it already!

  12. Darinka

    Ahh—dear Gumperina!!!! Your creativity gives me the courage to go forward with some of my goofy ideas (and they don’t turn out half bad!) Yes Malbrigo and lace are two pretty heady things (just finished some lace scarves in the Amoroso colorway for my 9 yo daughter and I.) As for the skeeter bites, both my son and daughter are like you—BAIT–and as they heal they threaten to leave nasty scars.

    Can’t wait to see what you have for us next!

  13. Arielle

    What a lovely pattern! I’m really curious to see the FO. The yarn looks beautiful too–and all your lace knitting has been making my fingers itch!

  14. Leisel

    Ohhhh… the first one was my favorite, so I’m glad you chose to do it so I can get a pretty color image in my head for something lovely I want to do.

  15. jody

    really pretty! i’ve been a big fan of that book for a while and i keep putting it down. i think it would take over my knitting life for a while and i’m just not ready for it (maybe this summer?). that color is great and the malabrigo “nearly solid” is just enough color variation.

    ps – i love the idea of making them into mini-scarves. i’m just not a lace girl when it comes to decorating!

  16. Judy

    There absolutely are azaleas that color! I love azaleas, and the SC/NC area is famous for them in the spring…

    Gorgeous yarn, great idea. I can’t wait to see what you come up with to finish it off!

  17. ChiaLea

    As soon as I saw the leftmost lace doily picture I said “hmm… that would make a great shawl, and it should increase easily.” Perhaps I should read to the end of your post before thinking of things I could do. On my hunt for a pattern goes!

  18. Mary D.

    I am working on this very same project only mine will be a white tablecloth for a small round table in my guestroom where hopefully nothing more treacherous than a glass of water will come in contact with it. It’s absolutely gorgeous in the color you’ve chosen.

    As you said, the pattern is surprisingly simple than it looks so that I am not using lifelines as I normally would with lace knitting.

    I agree that the crocheted edge just doesn’t do it for me, but I haven’t come up with an alternative yet. I look forward to seeing your solution to this problem which I’m sure will be much better than mine.

  19. Laura

    I really like the edging. Perhaps I am not looking closely enough at the picture. Doing a little crochet (*cough* again *cough*) won’t hurt you, I promise!

  20. Melissa

    I just purchased that book to make a shawl from the Springtime dinner cloth pattern. In red. The doily patterns make lovely shawls. I already did one from the Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting. Loving your Azalea. And you just have to do the crochete bind-off, because you won’t believe how simple it is, and how much it adds to the finished edge! I despise crocheting, but I do the crochet bind-offs because they work so well. Mull it over before you just toss the idea 🙂

  21. Stephanie

    Gorgeous! I love the pattern, the yarn, the color, the concept…everything. I’m glad it’s working out and you’re loving it. There shouldn’t be any massive pattern rewrites on this baby. And as an aside, mosquitoes love me that much too.

  22. Beth S.

    Red, red, red! Oh, it’s going to be glorious. 🙂

    Beware of the lace books. They will expand to consume all your shelf space (and your bank account) if you let them.

  23. heather

    Yummy yummy! I LOVE those lacy things. The black and white photos make them even more inviting!

    I love the color you are using for your scarf-ette, it’s going to be so pretty!

    My daughter has the same reaction to mosquitos as you. The bites get GINORMOUS and they’re just…um…not pretty.

  24. ajoursteek


    First my compliments about your knittingwork. I just discovered Odessa on the Magknits site and checked this blog. It will be my next project (the Odessa). And about the lace knitting: check my blog for another book (in Dutch, the title is something like: “the techniek about art-knitting” by Henriette van der Klift-Tellegen.

    Bye, Ajoursteek

  25. TracyKM

    I’ve had some postings lately on the knitting forum, looking for ideas for a baby blanket, knitted from the center out like a doily. I did that a while ago. Took a square doily and made it with worsted weight. But I still had to enlarge it. It’s a great way, if you don’t know how far your yarn will go. I like the square picture you show. Would make a fabulous baby blanket!


  26. Angelia

    Oh hell! Now you have me thinking that maybe I want to knit lace. Yours is so beautiful – and you said it’s a mindless pattern (so I can talk while knitting). And, having seen your other work, I’m sure that however you decide to finish that piece, it will be stunning!

    By the way, any light colored socks for your Dad yet? 🙂

  27. amaryllis

    How funny! I bought this book (and the second one also) just yesterday.

    What you have so far looks absolutely lovely!

  28. Darinka

    Hmmm—this is sort of house keeping (& pretty irrelevant) but my previous post has someone else’s name on it. (& their’s has mine I presume.) How does the cyber world make that happen? Still inspired though 🙂


  29. knitnana

    OH! You’re so right – That’s EXACTLY what being bitten by the lace bug is like! I’m welted up all over the place! 😉

    Love your choice, love Azalea, oh geez now I’ve got to find that book…thank you for feeding my addiction (again).


  30. Laura Neal

    Very nice. As for your mosquito issues, get yourself a bottle of hibiclens and wash the bites with that. One of my many nieces has the same problem with those nasty bites and her dermatologist suggested the hibiclens to clean the bites with, it heals them up nicely. Oh, on the malabrigo, I must have been lucky since I have lace weight merino from the website. It is so soft and lovely. I bought it last year sometime so, you know it could have been a fluke. I know now that you can’t even get their worsted weight merino on the website, only bulky weight merino. It is such a bummer! I am not going to haul my cookies into Houston for yarn…nope not this girl. 🙂

    Anyway, I love the color, it is so pretty!

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