Saturday, March 03, 2007

Lace it is.

I spent last night cruising Knitty to make sure no one else has ever written a lace basics article. No sense writing something that already exists (not to mention it severely reduces the odds of this article being used). There is a very nice article on reading charts (in the winter '04 issue) but nothing in particular about how to choose a first lace project, what yarn to use, how to block, or anything. So that's what I'll write. I'm also going to add a little bit on charts, but won't get into it much since that other article is already there.

So. What do you guys want to know about lace?

In other news, I got some kickass photos e-mailed to me the other night. Theresa (the blogless one - we've got two Theresas in the comments) decided to knit a pair of socks, using THE STEEKED JACKET PATTERN.

Aren't they great? Excellent job, Theresa! You've made me think I should try this, myself.

Otherwise, I'm trying to gear up for this trip to Florida on the 7th. The husbeast keeps trying to turn it into a safari - "You should take the baby gates/high chair/pack and play/kitchen sink." and I want it to be a simple, quick, throw-in-a-suitcase-and-go visit. We'll see who wins.

The Knitty Project, for those who asked, wasn't almost finished. It was barely half done, and the other half included charting and intarsia and felting and lots of finishing. I still plan to finish it - it was a felted bag, designed to use up bits of leftover wool - and sell the pattern in my shop. But it's not happening this week. Instead I'm gonna work on the shawl. Heeheehee.


Rae said...

Skipping the rest of the post to write my questions about lace --

- I don't like doilies. What else can I knit?

- How do I choose a lace-weight yarn?

- How do I keep track of the repeats in a row? I've heard of using stitch markers every X number of st, but does that really help?

- Some lace patterns end/begin with a YO. How do you make sure you get it right and don't drop the st?

- What are the best needles for lace weight yarn? Bamboo? Addi Turbos (metal)? Plastic?

- I've heard that some yarn can be stretched tight when blocking, but other yarn can't. How do I know how tight to pull the yarn when I block it? Do I need to use pins? Special pins, or will my silver metal sewing pins work? Do I need a cutting board with a grid on it to block it to the right proportions and evenly?

- How do I care for lace FOs? Do I have to reblock after every wash?

I hope these aren't dumb questions. Or too rudimentary. Or boring. I've knit some lace, actually, but I always just did it on my own. I'd love to learn some tried and true tricks and rules to follow.

OK. Now I'm going back to read the rest of the post.

Rae said...

OK. I love saying f-you to whatever project I committed to but lost interest in. If it doesn't really hurt anyone to put it on the back burner, better to save my sanity.

As for the trip, well, I hate overpacking and often underpack. Same for DD. As for gear, my rule is if there are enough hands to help care for DD, then less gear. We quickly learned what gear was essential and what wasn't.

In the future, say in a year or so, you may want to get DD a sleeping bag. Even when DD was in a crib at home, I could rely on her using the sleeping bag when we travelled. Made packing so much easier, and she LOVED her special sleeping bag. Just a thought.

Bells said...

I second Rae's questions. You asked us this stuff a while back, I remember and I said some stuff then that might still be relevant.

Kari said...

Wow, those socks are awesome! :-)

Bells said...

oh and those socks, I totally forgot to say anything.


Very, very impressive. I want to make some too, after the jacket is done, if i can stand to look at the pattern again! LOL!

Sandy said...

Bummer I love me the felted bags. oh well always good to learn a new skill.

Amy Lane said...

knit on, mighty samurai...I'm sort of an in between packer, myself...I only forget the shit we absolutely need and end up going to target for so we end up with two porta-play-kitchensink-bandaid-toys that we will never use again. Those socks rock out loud...

Barb Outside Boston said...

I think Theresa should give those socks to your FIL to coordinate with his jacket!
I would like to know with what kinds of lace you want to use a non-stretchy (ie silk) yarn and when a 'regular' stretchy yarn is needed.
I would also like to see a finished blue & black Innisvingit (ok, I don't know how to spell it!) which I think will look fabulous on you!

NeedleTart said...

Fabulous socks!
Lace questions:
Rae took most of mine
-About those gauge swatches, Blocked, or can I just stretch it and guess?
-In regular knitting I have to go down at least 2 needle sizes. Will this still apply in lace?

Amy Lane said...

Yardage--about how many meters for a doily, how many for a shawl, how many for a kerchief...

It's a wierd sort of translation when you're used to doing sweaters and suddenly you're buing this one skein with 8 X the yardage of worsted weight...

MrsFife said...

Is there a rule of thumb about what size of needle to use with what weight? Other than the fatal swatch!
And yes, do you re-block every single time the thing gets wet?

Rae said...

How do you weave in the ends?

These blogger verification words are not for the valium-induced.

Camille said...

How about how different knitting techiniques affect the lace, such as combined knitting?

I normally do combined knitting, unless I'm doing lace, then I do english because I can't be bothered trying to adjust the pattern