28 May 2008

Lacy Stuff

First of all, look at this yummy lacy yarny goodness:

and repeat after me: "Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm." :)

I'll even tell you what I'm making, where it came from and how to get your own. Soon. Right now it's stealthy. Very very stealthy. I can tell you that it's laceweight alpaca and it is totally and absolutely scrumptious. Mmmm hmm!

And now I have a question for all of you who love lace or would love to love lace but haven't knitted it yet. What would you like to be taught about lace in a class? What would make it seem easier? What do you have problems doing? If you were to attend your dream lace class, what would it entail? Inquiring minds would love to know. :)

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Blogger Carole Knits said...

I'm trying to think back to my early days of knitting lace. I think a class should teach how to read the stitches. Knitting lace gets so much easier once you can see the pattern emerging. I'm not sure if that's something that can be taught or if it just comes with practice.

3:20 AM  
Blogger purlpoet said...

I'm going to assume that's a real question and not merely rhetorical ... I'd LOVE a class on the many ways to knit together (K2tog, ssk, k3tog, etc.). What are they? How do they change the appearance of the fabric? How does one choose the best way for a particular pattern, to achieve a particular look? Design lace one's self?

Now I'm going to go fondle yarn from my stash .....

3:38 AM  
Blogger sophanne said...

Any tricks for maintianing concentration as one travels across a row would be most beneficial. That's where I lose it. I put my rows separately on index cards and do o.k. until I start feeling confident then the mistakes come. Also how to "read'' the lace to make it easier to see where the mistakes are so I don't have to frog and start over.

4:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I'm repeating: Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. It's absolutely luscious!

I love lacework, but I'm always nervous about messing up because I can't tink back as easily as I can with non-lace projects. I can't "see" what to fix.

4:42 AM  
Blogger Iris said...

Lace Tricks I wish I had learned early on:

Liberal use of stitch markers (even adding them when they aren't called for) as tactile reminders of pattern repeats.

Use of visual aids for keeping track of progress in the pattern (my daughter just started doing lace and her favorite is the index card notebook with each line of pattern pasted on a separate page. I use several versions of a magnet board using a highlighter to cross out done rows.)

That it's all about the yarn overs and how easy they are to add in on the next row if you've forget one (in fact, in Muir, I count the stitches between my markers in the purl row - written right onto my pattern - to check my work on the lace row, and thus can make corrections without ripping back.)

Singing the rhythm of a pattern as you knit (a little lace number I made the other night went to the tune of "Kiss me once and kiss me twice and kiss me once again, it's been a long, long time." - if I'm in a hurry I just make my needles sing a little faster!)

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to take a lace class. My biggest struggle w/ lace right now is maintaining concentration. I'm not sure you can teach that in a class, though. The yarn is, indeed, yummy!

5:50 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

One of the most helpful things I've discovered/learned about knitting lace is looking at an entire pattern/chart and breaking it into parts, and understanding how the parts/repeats build on each other. Once I understand how the increases work and where they come in, and the sections of the repeat that make sense to me, it's easier to keep track of the pattern.

6:29 AM  
Blogger T said...

So excited to be signed up for the Summer of Lace. I've selected the Swallowtail with beads of course, but have a question.

How does one maintain their palce within the row of a chart? I have a magnetic board that I keep the pattern on and the row is easily found but my problem lies in finding my place within the row. when I look up from my knitting to refer back to the chart. I need to have all this mastered so I can begin my great Summer of Lace challenge!


Tora in Chagrin Falls, Ohio

7:41 AM  
Blogger Beverly said...

Oh, you tease!

My dream lace knitting class would cover cast ons and bind offs, knitting on lace edgings, and an exercise to really clarify to me how different decreases slant different ways...I "sorta" know that, but I think a lesson with clear homework would do the trick. Maybe I need to give myself homework! Oh--also, understanding different laceweight yarns and what to expect from them (silk, alpaca, merino, etc.)

7:43 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Rosemary- I'm a lace newbie. So some things that would have been helpful- YO's on the back side, reading charts (a written pattern is so much more difficult because you can't see the pattern), and of course, fixing mistakes.
I frogged and tinked for 2 hours last night- there must be a better way.

Love the yarn. Mmmmmm!

8:03 AM  
Blogger Tiny Tyrant said...

How to read a chart.

Tips and Tricks to keep track of your place in the pattern.

How to attach borders like on Shetland lace.

How to repair mistakes.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

How to shape lace in a garment - how to increase or decrease in pattern to shape armholes etc.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Romi, I agree with PurlPoet - the varying increases/decreases and how they change the look would be right up there. So would different ways to start a circular piece, how to attach edgings, and a basic for any knitting class, how to substitute yarns.

Seeing as how it's lace, how to block, and to use markers and lifelines is essential, too.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that Lisa Souza's agua fresca color? It's beautiful. I love knitting with her baby alpaca, and you can use size 6 needles with it--the fiber has a lot of energy to it spun in that weight.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have loved to know how to do a "life-line" early on... and how to fix mistakes without ripping out inches of knitting.
Basically anything that made it look less difficult and/or less stressful. :)

11:13 AM  
Blogger qwerty said...

My dream lace class would include:

1. How to chart a 1/4 of a circular shawl.
2. Different bind-offs.
3. Different methods of attaching/adding lace edging.
4. How to knit the edging as you go, rather than adding it after.
5. How to chart mitered edging corners.
6. How to chart a lace pattern from looking at a photograph or sample.
7. How to fix a mistake without ripping back several rows. For example, how to fix a dropped stitch that incorporates a double decrease, etc.

Things I wish I'd learned earlier:

1. Put in lifelines often!
2. Learn to 'read' your lace - i.e. if the chart shows a decrease above a YO and your stitches are off by one, don't keep knitting to the end of the row, find the error now.
3. Always block your swatch!!! Unless you've used that yarn before, each one blocks differently.
4. Knitting through the back loop above a yarn over produces a much neater, 'tighter' and more defined pattern, rather than big sloppy spaces.

This is what I can think of without repeating all the other great comments :-)

11:15 AM  
Blogger Cookie said...

Romi, you are an evil temptress and a tease.

I wish I had figured out how to read my lace sooner than I actually did. That was a huge help.

I would love to learn how to do knit-on edging in a class. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how one does the corners. Also I would love to learn how to take a square or round pattern and make it half the size for a shawl. I swear I'll figure it out sooner or later, but a learning how to in a class would be lovely.


12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh-oh-oohhh....I know what the lace is (said in a sing-songy voice)

But I'm not gonna tell.....I won't spoil your fun...


p.s. and yes, it is dreamy......

1:36 PM  
Blogger Yarnhog said...

I didn't read all the other comments, but here's what I'd like to learn:
1. tricks for memorizing/reading lace patterns so that I don't have to keep looking at the chart
2. how to fix errors without tinking back multiple rows
3. how to add shaping without losing my freakin' mind (I know shawls don't need it, but I prefer to knit garments)

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It depends on whether it's a beginner's class or advanced. I think for beginners they'll need to know how to do a provisional cast on, the slanting decreases, how to know which way to make your yarn go over the needle for a knit or purl, how to read charts, keep tension, lifelines, reading the charts, understanding how to make mirrored images if the pattern doesn't spell it out, how to block. I think having small samples of how a lace pattern looks in different yarns would be good info, as would a before and after blocking example.
Is that enough??? :-)

Will you have a contest for that yarn that only I can win???

4:19 PM  
Blogger Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

I love knitting lace. The most important thing I found I needed to learn ... and did, was to read the previous row as I knit the next. The 2nd most important was to find out that adding or taking away a wrap is so easy once you know how.

M-m-m-m-m, alpaca lace is sooooo soft!

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dear,

Loved your post. What lovely yarn.
I have been remiss in my attention to knitting lately. I am going through a blahh...thingy.

You are a joy.


11:47 PM  
Blogger Leisa said...

I am a new lace knitter, and I have problems adding a new skein and also with weaving in ends. I know there is a simple solution to both, but show me how please!

8:46 AM  
Blogger Dr. Steph said...

Pretty. Reminds me of orange sherbert.

11:50 AM  

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