Despite the fact that it served as inspiration for maple leaf lace the malabrigo was clearly not the right yarn for this stitch pattern. So, I looked around to see what else I had, and discovered that I brought a surprisingly small amount of generally useful swatching yarn to Germany.

I brought the malabrigo. I brought some handspun alpaca. I brought some super-fine tencel, some fingering weight alpaca, and some super-heavy handspun. Nothing plain and simple, really.

But, I had some sock yarn left over from my very short socks, so I tried the pattern in that.

Can you see it this time?

The center tip was a little too long, and I wanted to try to open up the area around the leaf a little more. I also wanted the base of the leaf to pull in faster so that there would be a little more curve in the pattern. So, I did some more tweaking, and came up with this:

I really like the lines in the leaf in this one. I love how the ssk edges make a kind of saw-tooth shape for the leaf, rather than absolutely straight outlines. It looks a little more like an oak than a maple leaf to me, but I can always come back to maple later, and for now I really like this shape. The base still needs a little bit of work, and I made a mistake right at the beginning of the stem, but other than that, I’m pretty satisfied with this central motif.

But in lace, it’s not the central motif that matters. It’s what you put around the motif, the graceful negative space that makes it sing, or makes it weep. I’m still working on that one. Right now, it’s leaning a little more toward the weeping, I’m afraid.

How do you create good negative space?