Repairing Lace Shawl

Repairing Lace Shawl

The Discovery

I was showing my shawls to my aunt one day, she lives far (in Estonian standards) and therefore I had many shawls to show her. I lay them all over the room, as I showed them to her for better viewing. When she left and I started to collect the shawls I discovered to my horror that one of the lace shawls had a hole in it. It probably got caught on something when we were looking at it, we were careful but these things do happen. At first I was very upset about it but after some time passed I thought that this is the perfect opportunity to try to repair a lace shawl.


I tried to find some instructions online for “repairing lace shawl” but there were not many instructions. There were some books mentioned that might have instructions in them but as I had no intention of buying them (and my local library didn’t have the books) they were of little use. When I gathered up all that was said about repairing lace shawls I came up with a list of necessary things:

1. One lace shawl that needs to be repaired
2. The pattern of that lace shawl
3. A well lit working area
4. Needles one or two sizes smaller than the ones used for knitting the shawl
5. Crochet hook and safety pins
6. A needle
7. Time and Patience x 7 (at least)
8. Chocolate

The Process

To better manage the project (and to make it less intimidating) I divided all that needed to be done into seven easy steps:
Repairing Lace Shawl1. Find all the loose stitches and fix them so that they don’t unravel further. You can use safety pins or needles.
2. Look at the strands of yarn that are unraveled and see if any of them are broken. If some of them are then hide the broken ends into nearby knitting (make sure that they don’t unravel).
3. Add as many new strands of yarn on the knitting as you need to replace the broken ones. Make sure they are long enough so that you can hide the ends afterwards.
4. Identify the place where the hole is on the pattern and knit it again using the crochet hook to help if necessary. If you have a large hole and lots of strands then be very careful about using the strands in correct order.
5. Take one more strand of yarn and using it Craft the stitches together (also known as as Kitchener stitch).
6. Hide all the ends. Edit – try to spread them out over the knitting so that the repaired place is less visible.
7. Block

Repairing Lace Shawl

When I had written this action plan down, I got to work. I caught the stitches, there were six all, I found that there were two strands of yarn broken, substituted them and knitted the place again using the pattern. Then I reattached the two pieces and hid the ends. I was not very satisfied with the result of the hiding and so edited my plan for future reference. And finally I blocked the shawl and I was pretty happy about my first repair. Soon I was given a bigger challenge in shawl repairing, scroll past the picture showing various steps in my first lace shawl repair to see it.

Repairing Lace Shawl

Taking on a huge project

One day a friend of mine who knew I’m knitting shawls told me about a very special shawl she has. It was knitted by someone very dear to her and she had had it for over twenty years. She had used it as a regular shawl in winter (for around 5-6 months per year) and she was sad that she couldn’t any more because it was so damaged. She asked if I would mind looking at it and I said yes. When I first saw the shawl I almost regretted saying yes, but then I calmed down and decided to do it one hole at a time.

This is the shawl, it had over ten holes in it. What saved it from totally unraveling was the fact that the shawl had been washed like a regular shawl and had therefore felted a bit. This is probably what made it even possible to save the shawl and I got to work a more freely when I didn’t have to worry about it unraveling even more.
Repairing Lace Shawl

Repairing Lace Shawl

There were about 20 of these kinds of injuries where the strand of yarn had not been broken but it had been pulled out, compromising the surrounding lace pattern. I used a big tapestry needle to ease the strand back into it’s place.
Repairing Lace Shawl

I took the holes on one by one, just focusing on my seven easy steps and eating a lot of chocolate.
Repairing Lace Shawl

Repairing Lace Shawl

The repaired place after blocking, if you know what to look for, you can still immediately see the place where it has been repaired. But when someone is wearing it it will be hard to notice it (you would definitely notice the hole)
Repairing Lace Shawl

Another set of holes…
Repairing Lace Shawl
…and the same place after repairing and blocking
Repairing Lace Shawl

No more holes…I am glad that my friend loved the outcome and is able to wear this shawl that means so much to her.
Repairing Lace Shawl

If you have bought a shawl/scarf/something else from me then know that you can always turn to me if something has happened to it and it needs repair. I will be repairing lace shawl problems that take up to an hour for free!

Lace Knitting Competition – Haapsalu 4th Lace Day

Lace Knitting Competition On the 30th of August there was a very lovely event in the hometown of Haapsalu knitting – Haapsalu 4th Lace Day. This was the first time I had the pleasure of participating and I jumped right in and also took part in the Lace Knitting Competition. The whole event lasted for five hours and was packed with interesting things to do. There were study groups where you could try different handicraft styles, sellers who besides handicraft also sold the supplies needed to make them (knitting needles, yarn etc.)

Siiri Reimann the author of the books about Haapsalu knitting (If you want one then go to the official publishers store) gave a brief lecture about the history of lace knitting in Haapsalu and also talked about the modern trends in lace knitting.

At one o’clock when the demonstration of knitted items was about to start it started to rain. But the women in Estonia didn’t let themselves be discouraged by such a small thing and also the lovely lacy umbrellas could be used appropriately. Sadly I don’t have any photos of this event as I was in the lace knitting competition at the time but you can look at the pictures on the Haapsalu Handicraft Society’s page. And please do look at them, the lace knitted items are wonderful! After the demonstration there were also dancers and a circus before the winners of the competition were announced at about four o’clock.

But here are a couple of pictures from the beginning of the day so you can get the feel of the atmosphere that was there.

Lace Knitting Competition

Lace Knitting Competition

This is me knitting after all the excitement (and rain) was over. I do want to point out my earrings, beautiful corn flowers (Estonian national flower) made by the super talented Kaisa from Sylph Designs. I just love these earrings!

But now to the main topic – the lace knitting competition. This year there were 27 competitors and we were given a beautiful brand new pattern by Siiri Reimann and Aime Edasi called “Browsing Aasa’s book…” The competitors came from all over Estonia and even from Latvia and Finland. The youngest competitor was 14 years old and the average age of the competitors was 39,59 not bad for traditional handicraft.

Below on the left is my work and on the right is the work of the winner who I’m glad do say is my second cousin – congratulations Riin! I did not make it to the top three this time but I learnt so much and will definitely participate again next year. When looking at the pictures then remember that the two pictures were taken at different times and angles so don’t represent the sizes accurately (my work was actually quite a bit smaller than Riin’s).

Lace Knitting Competition

And here she is after the winner was announced:
Lace Knitting Competition

And here are the winners of the lace knitting competition through the years.
Lace Knitting Competition

I did take more pictures from the Haapsalu Lace Center but I will show them in next posts.

Summer dress knitting

Summer Dress - Artanis Wedding Lace - 8

Have you heard of the saying “the shoemaker’s children always go barefoot”, this was the situation where I found myself at the beginning of summer. I didn’t have any summer dresses to wear! As I have always dreamed about knitting a lace wedding dress in the future this presented me with the perfect opportunity to get some hands on experience in knitting dresses.

There were two things to decide, the yarn and the pattern. As it was going to be a summer dress then I didn’t choose a woolen yarn but Scheepjes’ Soft Fun Denim that has 60% cotton and 40% acrylic, 50g – 140m. The color was difficult to choose because so many of them were beautiful, but I finally decided on kind of reddish pink. While looking for summer dress patterns I found myself on the Drops design page and fell in love with the Summer Feeling Dress and it seemed to be a good dress for a first dress to knit. I was a bit worried that the 500g of yarn I had wasn’t going to be enough but in the end it took exactly 350g of yarn so the dress is also light to wear.

I took pictures after I knitted every 50 grams so you can see how the dress took shape. This was also the first time for me to start from the shoulders and knit down from there so I was pretty exited to see how the tress would end up. And I’m very happy with it and will wear it a lot this summer (if the weather permits it). The only problem is that when I’m wearing it then it is very hard to take pictures of the dress. My husband took about twenty and only a few were normal, on all the others there was an optical illusion where there appeared to be lines on the dress that are not actually there (maybe you have seen sometimes roof tiles can do the same on a picture).

And here are the pictures of my new summer dress:

Summer dress - Artanis Wedding Lace

Summer dress - Artanis Wedding Lace

Summer dress - Artanis Wedding Lace

Summer dress - Artanis Wedding Lace

Summer dress - Artanis Wedding Lace

Summer Dress - Artanis Wedding Lace - 9

Summer Dress - Artanis Wedding Lace - 10

Spring is coming to Artanis Wedding Lace


I’m so happy that spring is finally coming!

February was as usual for our family filled with different illnesses, all three kids had their share and so did I. Even my husband, who is usually very healthy did not escape this time. March has been a time to catch up on all the things that needed to be done in February. Luckily I have managed to find some time for knitting but I have not yet gotten to taking pictures (at the very top of my to do list) so I have only a few to show you.

As I said – spring is coming and I’m knitting a beautiful light blue scarf with flower pattern. Why light blue? Because my two favorite flowers are blue – cornflower and anemone hepatica.

Flower field scarf

Another flower shawl is this lily of the valley shawl that my friend has cherished for many years. She wore it daily and now it has become a little tired and has several holes. She really likes the shawl and so she brought it to me so I could see if I’m able to mend it. I really hope I have time for this before the end of March!

Resque project

And finally I want to share my joy. I recently got two sets of KnitPro blocking wires and they are so good to work with 🙂 Here is a picture of the blocking of four ring bearer pillows, before the wires I used pins and my fingertips were so sore afterwards.


Baby Alpaka Yarn (Piura) from Lamana – Christmas Present for Artanis Wedding Lace

baby alpaka yarn_wedding hair flower_artanis wedding laceLast time I wrote about Christmas presents I made for other people, this time I am writing about a Christmas present that Artanis Wedding Lace got. And, what else can it be but luxurious yarn :).

To start at the beginning I have to tell you about a wonderful craft store/pattern maker/online store called Woolmint. Although it has been around for a while now I found out about it sometime during this summer. They specialise on quality natural materials and patterns that are modern, but at the same time traditional. Traditions and quality yarns are things that are also very important to me and I take steps to venture more into that direction. That is why I kept an eye on Woolmints doings.

In November Woolmint announced that they would order from Lamana for the first time and I opened Lamana’s home page. I immediately fell in love with Piura – a yarn made in Peru from baby alpaca wool (800 m in 100g). While it is not the right weight for Haapsalu shawls it is still an excellent yarn for luxurious wedding shawls. It had sixteen fabulous colors and it took me ages to pick only two, but finally I decided on white (natural white) and carmine for my first order.

The yarn arrived on the twenty third of December, right in time for Christmas and it is everything and more that I was expecting. Now, I should not be able to tell you how it acts while knitting because I still have two shawls to knit before I can officially start to knit from Piura (I promised to finish my half done projects before starting new ones). But, I could not resist the call of the yarn, and wanted very much to know how the yarn holds form that I knitted a hair flower. And, here it is photographed in a spontaneous photo shoot approximately an hour before the year 2015 began in Estonia

baby alpaka yarn_bridal hair flower_artanis wedding lace

It is wonderful to knit and while some of my previous yarns have been caught sometimes on my bamboo needles, Piura never got caught and it slid along the needles beautifully. To my joy it also holds the form nicely and is very soft. I can’t wait to start knitting a truly luxurious wedding shawl out of it.

baby alpaka yarn_bridal hair flower_carmine_artanis wedding lace

baby alpaka yarn_wedding hair flower_carmine_artanis wedding lace