A meditation on lace

If you asked me: “Ariane, which techniques do you prefer to knitting? “. I will answer without hesitation: Lace. A lace knit is often stunning, sophisticated and elegant. But, every princess is guarded by a dragon… This beauty has a price: a small initiatory journey before reaching its goal (at least the first times…)

For my part, I restarted my first lace shawl at least five times. At the end of the fifth attempt, after an ultra melodramatic email sent to Céline (" I think lace is not for me, the B section of the Ishbel is wrong….for the fifth time!"), I dropped the shawl with enormous grief. I was in love with lace.

A few months later, I arrive at Céline and I see her from afar, her back covered with a beautiful shawl worn with pride. She had finished her Icarus in Haiku. It was so, but so magnificent that I gave Lace a second chance.

I bought myself a beautiful skein of silk to make the HARUNI . With lots of encouragement from Céline and the advice that changed everything: “you have to know how to cheat (!)”, I got to the end of my shawl, without tears and without heartache.

With this renewed confidence I felt ready for a more ambitious project. WHY NOT AN ICARUS IN HAIKU ? WHAT IF I MADE A SECOND ? AND A SWALLOWTAIL ? AND AN ISHBEL ? WHAT IF I GET STARTED IN ESTONIAN LACE IN HAIKU? I had become a fan of shadow and light...

Message sent to Carô, the day before my birthday: "I think the Laminaria is the most difficult project I have ever embarked on, I did a huge mistake, I stayed awake until 3am to fix it, oh la la we deserve this shawl”. But I don't think any of my shawls compare to the beauty and exuberance OF MY SECOND LAMINARIA , I wear it around my neck like a gold medal, the ultimate prize for all those sleepless nights battling against rows that do not reach the right number of stitches and those forgotten yarn overs...

Lacework is a technique that requires hours of practice. Like a music theory, you have to know how to read the notes on the charts and recognize the music and the refrains on your knitting. You have to know how to READ our knitting. For centuries, women learned lace without written support. Their patterns consisted of carefully guarded samples that they deciphered to
to be able to reproduce the drawing.

Many cultures practice knitting lace. Generations after generations, new points have been added to this silent library and we inherit real treasures of inventiveness.

Do you know the history of this leaf? It comes from India, from a very large and ancient fig tree in the city of Bodhgaya, the place where Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment and Buddhahood. A friend brought it back to me from her trip to India. I look at it every day, and I think of Buddha meditating at the bottom of this tree and it brings me a little comfort every day. One day Céline said to me: “Lace is the meditation of knitting. And if that's true, after how many shawls could one attain enlightenment like Buddha?

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.