First Lace Project

I've jumped into a knitalong put on by my LYS involving a rectangular lace shawl. One of the fun parts of this is that the pattern is being revealed in segments, so nobody is quite sure what the finished shawl will look like. However, after starting and frogging the project three times so far, I've learned a few things.

1) Lace weight yarn is really small.

This may seem obvious, but I don't think I realized just how thin the stuff is until I started working with it. The alternative realization would be that I have really large fingers, but I think at this point I'd rather blame the yarn.

2) When you rip back lace weight yarn, it tangles very easily.

This is probably realization 1a, but each time I've ripped it back, the yarn has would up in gordian knots which have been impossible to untangle, resulting in a significant loss of yarn when I give up and break it to cast on again.

3) Lifelines are very important.
which goes with
4) I need to keep my knitting on a high surface when I'm not working on it.

After finishing about 14 rows (which was a significant amount of knitting), I left the work on the couch while I went to fix my 2 year old daughter a snack after her nap. As I was fixing the snack, I hear her happily scream "It's green!!" from behind me. I turned around to see her with a huge smile on her face gleefully tearing the stitches off the needles.

5) I knit much faster and more evenly that I purl.

The "resting" rows in the project are purled, but there are rows of garter stitch between pattern repeats. The difference between how I handle the two stitches has never been more obvious to me. I've found myself wondering if I knit the resting rows instead how much difference it would make in the finished shawl, as it would certainly make things go much faster.

6) It will be a while before I again do a project that requires me to cast on 405 stitches.

For whatever reason, getting the right number of stitches cast on is a problem for me. This is compunded by the lace weight yarn, which makes counting difficult as it bunches up on the needles. Once I get the right number of stitches there, I'm fine, but starting is hard.

7) The next project I do will probably involve bulky weight yarn and size 15 needles.

But then, who knows? I am having fun with this (despite my difficulties), and maybe I'll be test knitting something for MMario next.

someone gave me a really

someone gave me a really helpful pointer before i started my current lace project:

put the thread in a plastic bag and thread it out through a tiny hole that you poke in the bag. seal it up and pull the yarn out of the bag as you use it. this has saved me from tons of tangles, and it also keeps the dust/lint out of my thread. plus, you can put the lace in the bag (i'm using a 2-gal bag) when you're ready for a break from counting the same row 20x over to try and figure out why there's a missing stitch....

MMario's picture

WOW that's a big cast on!

WOW that's a big cast on! I've done widthwise stoles (where you cast on the length) with 300 stitches. I *hope* your's is being knit that direction (casting on the length) rather then the WIDTH being 400 plus stitches.

BTW - where are the pictures? We want PICTURES!

I'm working on the picture

I'm working on the picture thing. As it stands, I'm one of the 17 people left on the planet without a digital camera. (I thought there were more, but it turned out that hidden society in the Brazilian rain forest was a hoax).

I am, however, shopping for a new cell phone, and hopefully, if I can figure out the camera function on that, I'll be in good shape.

MMario's picture

I've found myself wondering

I've found myself wondering if I knit the resting rows instead how much difference it would make in the finished shawl, as it would certainly make things go much faster.

well - depending on the weight of the yarn versus the needle size and how hard you block - next to no difference at all; maybe.

a) the harder you block - the less difference between garter and stockinette grounds.

b) the larger the needle size compared to the yarn weight, the less difference between garter and stockinette ground.

c) some patterns look good both ways.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MMarioKKnits/

Don't go over to MMario's

Don't go over to MMario's dark side - even if he offers chocolate and cookies!

RickMartin's picture

But I've found Mmario's dark

But I've found Mmario's dark side is lighter than many people's light side!

Truthfully his patterns are great - and doing circular shawls generally has the advantage of knitting the "resting" rows!