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I created five lace designs for Field Guide No. 15: Open. Each began with a swatch. But often one swatch just isn’t enough . . .

Rib Lace Scarf, Tumbling Block Lace Scarf, Clerestory Shawl Swatches

This collection of designs could be refined only by exploring stitch patterns on various needles to get the right handle and drape. It had to be just so. And, given my awful memory, you’ll see each swatch is carefully labeled with details such as needle size, number of strands used and the number of stitches and rows.

1 Design, 2 Weights, Rib Lace Scarf

This design gently introduces you to lace knitting with a 2-row pattern that sneaks into your memory. The rib structure is a little twist that makes the scarf reversible.

All done . . . in just 26 rows: Tumbling Block Lace Scarf

A design pushes your lace knitting knowledge onwards with a tumbling block lace pattern that’s a little different, as the lace is worked on both right and wrong side rows. Sure, you don’t get any “rest rows,” but focus for just these 26 rows and it’s all over. Then you can sit back and congratulate yourself.

We eased you in with scarves, now it’s time for Clerestory Shawl

In the design story of Field Guide No. 15: Open, the Clerestory Shawl actually gave birth to the scarves. It brings together the motifs of the Rib Lace Scarf and Tumbling Block Lace Scarf into a trapezoid knit from end to end. Choose Aran weight for a wrap with attitude, or work in a light fingering for a shawl that is a little less punchy, but airy and exquisite.

The Aperture Stole is a joyous adventure in lace for many reasons. Sure there are the two lace patterns that appear random at first (actually one long repeat), but there’s also a stripe sequence that plays with texture and color in equal measure. As part of the adventure, and in keeping with the concept of being open, you can choose to work the stole in stripes as instructed by the pattern or work it in a single color, allowing the lace patterns alone to shine through. And shine they do.

Knit It in a single color. Knit It in colorful textural stripes. The choice is yours.

I think for me the Mood Cardigan is really where this collection started. Inspired by a machine-knitted cardigan I wear constantly throughout the summer, my design is a curiosity-sparking but simple construction that can be worn either of two ways. Worn “rib up,” the cardi hangs low below the bum, with the mitered corner details visible at the neckline for all to admire. Worn “rib down,” the silhouette is more cropped, with the rib sitting on the hips and soft folds of fabric draping around the neck.

Rib up or rib down. How will you wear yours?

With different yarn weights, needle sizes, color and styling options, this collection of modern lace designs invites you to be “open” in a variety of ways. So enjoy!

I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Aimée Gille of La Bien Aimée for allowing me to design with her beautiful yarns.

Kay and Ann, thank you so much for inviting me to design a collection for one of your legendary Field Guides. Huge thanks also to Melanie Falick for her fabulous creative vision. I’m so happy we were able to meet up earlier this year to work on this guide together, although given everything that’s happened since January, that seems like years ago.

I hope these designs bring a little joy into your crafting life. Stay safe and well everyone.

About The Author

Jeanette Sloan is a British knitwear designer who lives in the city of Brighton and Hove, on the south coast of England.

With more than 170 designs in her Ravelry portfolio, Jeanette has been working at a peak of imagination and skill for a very long time. Along with many contributions to The Knitter and Knitting magazines, she has recently co-edited a collection with Kate Davies, Warm Hands, a delectable collection of 15 designs for gloves, mitts, and mittens.


  • I have enjoyed selecting my first project from this guide, although I have loved knitting lace shawls from time to time. Jeanette has a variety of lace patterns and I intend to knit each project in the guide!

  • Thank you for the great article and wonderful patterns in Field Guide 15, they have been a bright spot in Avery bleek year! have made the Rib and Tumbling blocks scarves and now you have inspired me to get my lace needles out again and try my hand at the Aperture Stole.

  • I just opened this post and scrolled. Such a pretty thing it is! Now, I’ll go back and do the words, but just had to say thanks. I’m nuts for colors. And for these patterns. And for these yarns. Lovely way to start a day. Thanks.

  • These patterns are all so lovely…and inspiring. But more than that, I have enjoyed meeting you! If there is an upside to this dreadful pandemic, it’s that it has given me time to spend in places like this and with people like you. And then when I am by myself, I am making beautiful things. Thank you.

  • Jeanette, you are inspiration itself. MDK, you are motivation itself! It is difficult not to just sit and knit all day after reading any of these daily posts.

  • I can see that a designer would want to keep swatches for reference, but what do ordinary knitters do with them?

    • Put them in the to-be-made-into-pom-poms pile in your closet, forget about them, panic when you’re just a couple of yards short at the end of a big project, remember them, rejoice. Or – order more yarn / re-knit to eke out an ending, and rediscover after the fact. I am also more correctly described as an “occasional knitter” but when I’m excited about (or trying to figure out) a thing I’m swatching, I will hang it some where in the house to admire and contemplate.

  • Hi beautiful how do I get this book please thankyou

    • Yasmin – click on the link in the first sentence, it says Field Guide 15:Open. That will take you to the book in the MDK store. Happy knitting!

  • With all the talk about wearing the Mood Cardigan in different ways it would be helpful to see two images side by side where this is actually shown please. Loving the designs!

  • This is very interesting. Not a lace knitter myself, but much in admiration, and v inspired by the knitting by the women of the Shetland Islands.

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