When I designed the Premiere Lace Belt and Cuffs, I was thinking about a summer accessory project; something that would be an appropriate warm-weather gift. Scarves, hats, wristlets, etc., are wonderful gifts, but when given as a summer birthday present, they have to be put aside until cooler temperatures arrive. It was also important to me that the project be adjustable to fit the recipient. And, of course, whatever I decided to make would have to be something that I wanted to wear too, because the first one would be for me!
I really wanted a wide, decorative belt that could be worn over a summer dress or jeans. I started by deciding upon the finished width of the belt. Then I swatched my favorite lace pattern to figure the number of stitches to cast on. I worked straight until the belt was long enough to fit snuggly around my hips, leaving a 2-inch gap. This way I could attach ties and have some extra space to allow for stretching over time.
The idea for the lace cuffs came after I became enthralled with lace detail on clothes. The cuffs can be worn either under long sleeves to look like part of the garment, or alone as a fun accessory.
Premiere 50% pima cotton, 50% tencel
Tencel is a biodegradable man-made fiber derived from wood pulp, a renewable resource. The pulp is harvested from trees that have been planted on land unsuitable for food crops or grazing. The process used to turn wood pulp into yarn is environmentally friendly. In what is referred to as a “closed loop” system, the solvent used to produce Tencel is continually reused, thus minimizing the amount of water and energy needed to produce new fiber.
Tencel creates a fabric that is soft and silky, strong, cool, and absorbent.
When working a project in a lace pattern it is important to think about how the edges will lie. The cast on edge of the lace pattern in this project forms a scalloped edge that is used as a design feature in the Lace Cuffs. In order to make nice, neat edges that resist curling, bands of garter stitch are added along the sides of the Premiere Belt. Other options to provide straight, non-curling edges include working stitches in seed stitch or in 1 x1 rib.