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Leah's Lace ~ Design Diary

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Leah's Lace is a crescent shawl that seeks to highlight the spirit of the different dye methods used to create yarn. The the iconic Inua Wool Shoppe Lace Pattern is highlighted on a gently speckled color-way. The glorious chaos of a highly variegated yarn is grounded by a deeper tonal yarn with striping between the two.

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I wanted to play with three differently dyed yarns in one project: Tonal, variegated and speckled.

Leah's Lace Shawl is a perfect opportunity to explore and work with the different ways yarn can be dyed. The stripe sections pair that variegated hand painted yarn that brings us such joy in the hank with a more tonal or solid yarn to ground the color changes. Be sure to use two yarns that are different in tone or depth of color to really let each stripe do it's own colorful thing. Lace seemed like the most appropriate place to let each speckle pop while the delicate stitches show their best selves in a light colored speckled yarn.

Of course to each maker their own! Check out the many different color combos my testers pulled together in the Look Book! The greatest magic of design is getting to see how each person brings their own personality and inspiration to a pattern.

My desire to explore the different dye styles was deeply influenced by Bad Sheep Yarn and Marcie's eye for color. Check out Bad Sheep Yarn by tapping the image above. Bad Sheep Yarn was a must for this project beyond Marcie's color genius. Both Marcie and I dove headfirst into our passion while working with Leah, the owner and maker behind Inua Wool Shoppe in Fairbanks, Alaska.

For many years Inua Wool Shoppe was the only LYS in Interior Alaska. As a vocal advocate for Native rights Leah supported Native artisans, and ethically sourced the qiviut she sold in her shop. Leah created a space for crafters to come together in a dark and cold land and graciously shared her knowledge and passion for fiber arts.

When I was a young knitter she patiently taught me the foundation of what I know now. I spent many hours on her couch trying to get that smooth edge in garter stitch knit flat or find that dropped stitch while she sorted and sold yarn to those who came into the shop. To find myself as her employee many years later was an honor.

Many Alaskan knitters know of the simple lace pattern she generously gave away to those looking for a project for that special skein they felt drawn to bring home with them. This shawl honers Leah, her gifts to the community and all the lives she touched.

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