Lacey Love

September 15, 2007 at 12:14 pm | Posted in knitalong, knitting, lace | 7 Comments

In the last week I have discovered two things. The first thing I discovered is that I love lace. I may even be bordering on lace obsession. I recently joined the Secrets of the Stole KAL and thought that before I jump into the stole, I should practice a bit on some beginner lace patterns. I bought the Spring Things and Forest Canopy shawl patterns to try out and so far I’ve cast on, and ripped out the Forest Canopy shawl 4 times. Which leads me to the second thing I’ve discovered which is that knitting lace has been the single most frustrating thing I have tried since I learned to knit. The skills required aren’t difficult (at least so far). All I’ve had to do is some knit, purl, yo, ssk and s1k1psso….easy right? The learning curve for me has been in trying to keep my stitches even, but even more so, concentrating on not losing my place. You also really have to swatch to test your gauge so that you get a fabric you are happy with.

I finally went to my LYS and picked out the yarn and beads for my Secrets Stole. I’m using Lane Borgosesia Cashwool in a forest green color on size 4 bamboo straight needles. Chris had to sand down the points of the needles so they were nice and sharp for getting under this teeny tiny yarn. The beads were courtesy of my sister and are a pale pink size 8 seed beed.

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When I first tried out the swatch for the stole, I just couldn’t believe people knit with this size yarn! My fingers were fumbling all over the place. After a few attempts I decided I would double strand the yarn and made it through my first swatch.

swatchdouble.jpg

You can see the beads on the swatch a little in the picture but they stand out a lot more in person. I really like the pink with the green. But you have to stretch the swatch a lot to really see the pattern. I could go up in needle size but then fabric just wasn’t as light and floaty as I wanted either. So, I restarted the swatch and decided to stick with it and knit it single stranded. This is where the frustration really kicked in. I would start to knit, the phone would ring, I’d answer the phone, get to the end of a row, and be missing a stitch. Grrrr. I think I ripped back the swatch at least 8 more times and was about to give up, but on the last try it all came together.

swatchsingle.jpg

I think I definitely like the single stranded swatch the best and now I’m really excited about starting the stole. One thing I do have to practice is casting off. I used a regular bind off and it came out really tight and cinched the yarn a bit.

Even after all of the frustration, I loved knitting the swatch and have since picked up 3 or 4 more lace patterns to try. My LYS has a yarn shipment coming in this week and there is some fingering weight yarn in that shipment that would be beautiful for the Forest Canopy Shawl. Plus..this past weekend we took advantage of an end of summer sale at Lowes so now I have a new, favorite knitting spot.

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7 Comments »

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  1. Lace always gives me fits. Especially in triangular shawl patterns,which I find are harder for me to diagnose my mistakes on. For example, I seem to have a flub on my swallowtail shawl near the centerline right now. I usually fudge it and don’t attempt to rip back, because I’ve never been smart enough to use lifelines.

  2. Ooh I really love that color you chose – it’s gorgeous. I’ve not made any real attempts at lace yet. Because of how I knit, I think I need to learn more about decreases and increases and directions and how to modify my knitting if I have to, lest I be learning that at the same time as attempting the lace and have the sheer frustration mean I never want to try again LOL

  3. The single strand swatch looks the best, in my opinion. I really like the beads and think they will be just perfect for this stole.
    19 days and counting…

  4. I love your choice in color!! I think the green yarn with the pink beads will be gorgeous. I too like the single strand swatch the best.

  5. I love that nice green. I am having a heck of a time with my swatch too. Urrghh.

  6. I joined too! I don’t have the yarn or beads picked out yet, though. Do you have back issues of IK? Eunny Jang has an article about casting on/off lace.

  7. I’m glad you joined! I only have a couple of back issues of IK but it’s something I’m trying to start a collection of. I’ll have to look up the Eunny Jang article because I definitely have not casted on or off properly on my swatch. Thanks and I’ll look forward to seeing you on the yahoo group!

    Thanks everyone for the nice compliments! I can’t wait til October 5th!


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