A Lacy Learning Curve
Back in 2010 I decided that it would be a really good idea to attempt lace knitting. I decided that the Laminaria from Knitty.com by Elizabeth Freeman would be an ideal first project….oops! When i say oops, its not in the sense that the stitches or the pattern was too hard, it was in the sense of when you knit your first lace project you really do have a lot to learn. In my case I learnt four valuable lessons.
I started my Laminaria using a luscious skein of Knitwitches 100% heavy lace-weight Cashmere and if I’m completely honest I only chose it because it had every shade of green that I love and I only realised it was cashmere when I got it home….oops!!
I did really well with it, I made a few mistakes, but as I got to know the pattern the worst mistake that I made was using the wrong size needles. I used a size which was recommended by the pattern and not the skein of yarn and because it was heavy lace-weight, it knit up quite tight and quite small. I realised this when I chatted to a knit friend, she tried to assure me that it would block out but I knew in my mind that I really didn’t have much to go on and that it would never block to the size that I had in my mind so it was with a really heavy heart that I decided to unravel it all and when I felt better about it, start again.
Now I’ve done other lace knits in between this but I’m the kind of person who when I start something I like to finish it. so on the 26th of December 2012 I decided to give it another shot on bigger needles. One thing about making mistakes is that you learn from them and since I made so many initially, now that I’m knitting this pattern again, I feel like i know it inside out. I know that I need to use a needle size recommended by the yarn skein, I know that I need to concentrate on the purl rows more than I do on the knit rows as I’m more likely to become complacent on the purl rows and either knit into the same stitch twice, or forget to drop a stitch off the needle. I also know that I need to write everything down row by row. I also now know that lifelines after each pattern repeat are very necessary.
So its march now and I’m happy to report that I’m progressing well with the pattern. I’m not knitting it religiously everyday, I’ll pick it up and knit a few rows as and when I feel like, whats more I’m even able to take it to knit group and chat whilst knitting it, something I never would have been able to do back in 2010.
Another mistake that I was guilty of was naively assuming that I would remember where I was in the pattern….oops! So this time I’ve taken to writing everything down with military precision. Last but no least always remember to put in a lifeline after each pattern repeat.
So my lessons learnt are:
- Go by the needle size suggested by the yarn
- Concentrate on the Purl rows
- Write everything down
- Lifelines after every repeat are a good idea