Thursday, August 25, 2005

Spam and knitting lace

OK, so blogger is working out well, but I've been getting a lot of comment spam. Why anyone thinks I really want to read that stuff, I don't know. I turned on word verification, so hopefully that will solve the problem.

In knitting news, I did manage to get home in time to take down my shawl. It is now all blocked and ready to wear. I'll take some modeled photos the next time I'm home alone for a while. There probably won't be too much knitting progress in the near future. My wrist has been hurting, so I think I might need to go easy on the knitting for a few days.

Also, Angie asked if I had any suggestions for an easy first lace project. I know there are a lot of people out there who want to try lace for the first time. So here are my suggestions. If any of you more experienced lace knitters out there disagree with any of this or have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. There are probably as many opinions as there are knitters.

1. If you have never knit lace before, I would suggest NOT starting with a shawl that uses lace weight yarn. It's easier to get used to sorting out all the yarn overs with thicker yarn. Something around fingering weight to sport weight makes a nice shawl.

2. Make sure that the lace pattern is only worked on right-side rows, with plain knit or purl rows for wrong side rows. You'll be able to see what you are doing more easily, and you'll also have a bit of a rest between lace rows.

3. It's easiest to knit lace patterns that have a short repeat (both stitches and rows). That way, you will probably have them memorized before long and you'll be able to knit without the chart.

4. Speaking of charts, it is much easier to knit lace from a chart than from written out directions. If you aren't comfortable reading charts, I definitely recommend learning how. It's not as hard as it looks!

5. As with all knitting projects, you should like the pattern you are making. It will be more fun to make, and you'll also be happier with the final product.

6. Don't be discouraged if at first your lace doesn't look like you think it should. Knitted lace is not particularly pretty while you are making it. It needs to be stretched out in order to show the pattern. After you've finished a full pattern repeat, use your fingers to stretch out a portion of your knitting. You should see something that resembles the pattern.

So, what patterns fit this description? The good news is, a lot of them! Start looking around and see what you like. Or, design your own. A rectangular shawl is just a rectangle of lace (cast on a multiple of the stitch pattern and knit for a while) with a border around it. The border can be as simple as garter stitch that is knit on as you go (knit a few rows of garter stitch to start, keep the first and last few stitches of each row in garter stitch, and knit the last few rows in garter stitch) or a more complicated lace border that is knit on afterwards.

The great thing about knitting lace is that it isn't nearly as hard as it looks. The same principles apply to lace knitting as to any other kind of knitting. If you can knit, purl, and work yarn overs and decreases, you can knit lace. Have fun!


At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Angie said...

Thanks for the great advice.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Bethany said...

I wish I'd read this before I started my shawl! As it was I learned it along the way.

At 8:38 PM, Blogger haze said...

good tips. i'm looking forward to tackling some lace.


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