Last night I cast on my fifth project using lace weight yarn. This would be a great thing if I could claim that I have produced four finished lace objects. Alas, I have not. Instead, I have four frogged lace objects. Ah, lace. So beautiful! So delicate! So incredibly frustrating…
|Lovely Lace Weight
Several months ago, I bought four hanks of Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lace. I planned to use it to knit A Wisp of Warmth by Kay Meadors out of my Debbie Macomber book. I started off with this book when I first learned to knit. It’s a shawl that is knit in the round and starts on (dramatic pause)…DPNs. You all know I only recently made friends with DPNs. In fact, it was this very early attempt using lace weight yarn that initiated my hatred of them. Needless to say, this project was frogged before it really got beyond the cast on.
After I recovered enough to stop screaming, I looked through bunches of patterns on Ravelry to find something to knit flat, thinking that might help. I came across the Celtic Knot Stole by Sarah Kendra Hughes. Gorgeous pattern. Way beyond my depth at the time. I did actually manage to complete a few rows, but once I started in earnest on the chart? Well, let’s just say we went our separate ways. This was back in August. I’m still hoping I graduate to a level where I’m able to complete this though. It is so pretty and I’m part Irish and part Scottish so I think it would be way cool. Okay, that’s corny…
The third project I chose was the Summer Blooms Shawl by Susanna IC from the Interweave Knits, Summer 2012. I even had the pretty beads it calls for on hand. I bought a little steel crochet hook to do my beading and actually understood the chart instructions. So I cast on the 417 stitches and thought I had it made. Ahem. The pattern called for an S2kp2: slip two as if to k2tog, k1, and pass two slipped stitches over. Got it. Except at the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, I couldn’t for the life of me get the two slipped stitches passed over without wrestling with it. I even tried using my new crochet hook to catch the stitches and slip them over, but to no avail. One stitch was loose enough to get under, the other was like, glued to the stinking needle, and I got perilously close to dropping half my stitches off the needles entirely. I tried adjusting tension. I tried different angles. I tried begging and pleading. I hadn’t improved any by the time I got to the repeats in the chart and decided that it would be next Christmas before I finished this thing if I had to struggle this hard with a stitch that repeats all over the blooming (pun intended) chart.
The fourth cast on was just two days ago when I once again came back to my pretty pink lace yarn and thought, “Hey, I’ve made two hats on DPNs now so let’s try the Meadors pattern again! Should be a breeze!” And it might have been. Except it’s still lace weight yarn. And with a cast on of 9 with three stitches on each 7” long DPN, it kind of looked like I was trying to knit a Barbie hat with a size 13 needle. And you know how when you join in the round, you’re not supposed to twist the stitches? Um…I could barely see the stitches. Project #4 redux – epic fail.
Which brings me back to my late night cast on yesterday. I found a lovely and purportedly simple lace stole pattern: Dancing Cranes Stole by Shui Kuen Kozinski and Benne Ferrell. I managed to do the double-strand cable cast on the pattern requires – it only took forever. I even got through two rows before I was exhausted enough to go to bed.
And so, we shall see. Perhaps this will be my first success story with lace. I sure hope so. I found a designer whose lace shawls I like a lot - Holly Chayes – and I would love to be able to knit some of her designs but I have got to get better at handling lace before I attempt something of hers. Of course, this will all have to be worked around my progress on The Husband’s sweater. I’m beginning to feel like a knitting adulterer when I work on another project. You should have seen the look on his face when I picked up the pink lace yarn. O_o
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