Sunday, March 04, 2007

Musings on difficulty.

I'd probably save this for the lace article, but someone mentioned in the comments they were thinking of knitting the half-round shawl I'm working on from "Victorian Lace Today" (page 72 for those who have the book), and so I'll make a few quick comments here. Well, I'll brood and ramble here and neaten it up into something coherent for the article. (Aren't you thrilled to be beta-readers?)

This is what I've got after about an hour of late-night knitting. (I'm still struggling with that Civ IV addiction or I'd have a lot more done.) It's two pattern repeats.

It's what I call one-row, or every-row lace - as opposed to two-row or every-other-row lace, where you do one action row full of increases and yarnovers and decreases, and then knit or purl one row plain. This one has action every row. (In formal terms, one row lace is 'knitted lace' and two row lace is 'lace knitting'. Personally I think anything with an eyelet is lace and the whole controversy between those terms is juvenile and annoying.) One row lace is more difficult to work because there's no plain row to 'reset' the stitches and have them all nice and neat on your needle. With this method, you're trying to work k3tog and other craziness into the yarnovers and twisted stitches and who-knows-what of the previous row.

I think all one-row lace should be considered 'Experienced' knitting. It's just trickier to work, and there's no relaxing plain row to give you time to zone out - you have to pay attention at all times.

That said, the pattern repeat on this is very small and easy to remember, and there aren't a host of strange stitches - it's just knit, yarnover, k2tog, and k3tog. The wrong side rows are worked in knit, too, so it's like lace garter stitch with no curl. So this is like an easy project in the experienced level. Does that make sense? If you want to really challenge yourself and try one-row lace, this is a good pattern to try it on. (I suppose that's why it was marked 'intermediate' in the book, but damn it, that term is misleading.)

And did I mention, I really love the pattern. It's clever and doesn't hardly look like knitting at all (after umpty-million doilies, I'm all for something different-looking). If you want a project that makes your knitting friends go "What IS that?" and ask if it's crochet or even bobbin lace, this is the one.
I suppose saying I freaking love the yarn would be gilding my own lily, but damn, I love this yarn.

And have I mentioned, The Baby is cute? We gave her a bath last night and now her hair makes her look like a dandelion gone to seed. And check it out! That lower left tooth that has been missing for a year has finally decided to come in.


Amy Lane said...

that is one damned cute baby! (love those smiles!)

And honestly, you're the first person I've ever met who could give me a coherent explanation for why some patterns should be experienced and some should be intermediate--of any type, lace, intarsia, or fair isle. That could be an entire article all on it's lonesome, and it just confirms my over all admiration for your brilliance. I can't wat to see that as a FO--the yarn is gorgeous (go ahead...brag on yourself a've worked hard for the rights!)

Catie said...

beautiful baby, beautiful yarn
I like the way you phrased the difference between the two types of lace "reset the stiches" that makes total sense and gives a good mental image
I look forward to more lace information

NeedleTart said...

Wonderful sunny yarn! Wonderful sunny smile. Thanks I needed that!

Anonymous said...

bI've been a fan since I read your comment about chennille yarn. I SO identified with that - got a skein on sale, made (and re-made and...) simple evening pouch things for all 3 gr. daus. for xmas. I don't know crap about signing up for a google acct. My public e-mail is -- My name is Deborah ... my baby bro set up the email and said he had a little trouble with the name... I really enjoy your blog and positively drool over your dye jobs (most anyhow), haven't tried sock knitting yet. I also crochet and other ndlecrfts too. Enjoy Fla. Deb

Barb Outside Boston said...

That's just what we want to know!
And The Baby is just what we want to see!

Miss T said...

Very helpful comments on the lace pattern, thank you!