Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Both with the current Damn Doily, and the Long Lacy Summer knit-along, which I joined late and kind of by default (I'd been knitting lace non-stop for months and thought joining an Australian summer knit-along would make me feel warm).

Since last October, I've finished this stuff, in the way of lace:

Remember the Shawl of Doom? That one ran from October, straight through to December, knitting like a fiend the whole time. Then when it was done I turned around and threw it into a dye pot. The knitting must have gotten to me - 1728 stitches per round, that last inch or so (yes, I still remember without looking it up) - because looking back, I can't believe I had the nerve to do that. But I did, and it turned out nicely, if I do say so myself.

Then there was a brief break to finish my father-in-law's Christmas sweater (a cableknit that should have been done last July), and then dug right into the "Russian Starf" (stole + scarf = starf), based on the "Faux Russian Stole" pattern in "A Gathering of Lace".

That also turned out nicely, even though the yarn kind of sucked - though I'm told that after washing it's just fine to wear. I sent it to a friend of mine as my VERY belated half of a crafting swap. She says it was worth the wait (thankfully) and has worn it every day but one since she got it (approximately two weeks, as of this writing).

Then there's the current doily:

It's going off to a favorite uncle and his new wife, as a wedding gift. Doilies are my thing (I've knit about thirty of them at last count, but my record-keeping is sketchy so it's probably more), and I have nine MILES of crochet cotton in my stash, so it was kind of an obvious go-to gift, knowing we'd be broke after the trip to Florida the last two weeks.

This thing is a shining example of the paradox that is lace knitting: The more openwork a pattern is, the fewer stitches it takes to 'cover' an area. Which SHOULD make the pattern faster to work. But it's not, because the more openwork a pattern is, the funkier the stitches are in it, and the longer they take to work because of how much more attention you have to pay, counting stitches, working odd decreases, and the like.

So, while I chose this thing as a quick knit, I didn't do my homework and REALLY look at the pattern; I just saw the hex mesh (the openwork, sort-of-hexagonal mesh) and the stockinette, and cast on.

In a way, I was right, and those stockinette rounds (the solid white shade in the photo) really were fast and easy to knit. That's the part where I read books. I've done a lot of EXACTLY this kind of knitting - #10 crochet cotton, size two needles, lace - and so I can do stockinette by touch, or close to it. But I failed to really plan ahead.

See those honking big eyelets/holes in the outer edge? Those are worked by doing a knit-purl-knit-indefinitely into a multiple yarnover on the row below. In this case, ten knit-purl-etc into each gigantic eyelet. That's a pain in the ass. You really have to pay attention, and you have to count carefully or you're screwed. THEN when you try to knit the plain round after, you have to untwist the stitches, and if you're using a circular needle with a cable thinner than the points (as is usual), the stitches in multiple-stitch eyelets can slip out of order, jumping over each other while on the small cable, and you have to shift them back around as you work them. That can take quite a while. THEN, there were the five-into-one decreases (pentiple?) I had to work... that round took about an hour and a half, and made my fingers numb.

So. Not my smartest choice ever, as a quick knit, and now you know what to look out for when choosing your own patterns.

But it's done, it will go in the mail soon, and I can FORGET ALL ABOUT IT!! Woohoo!


In other news. My Facebook home page is HERE, for those who found four Julie Theakers on Facebook while looking for me (I only ever knew about the other one in the UK). If that link doesn't help, and it may not because I've little to no clue what I'm doing, I'm also using a Setesdal jersey (from the blog post a couple days ago) as an avatar, so find the Julie with the Dale of Norway photo and you're golden.

One of the recipients of the Baby Surprise Jackets I knit has had her baby, and I will be posting a photo of the baby wearing the BSJ on my Ravelry page soon. I'd put it here, but I promised the mum I wouldn't blast the photo out to the internet at large. If you're not on Ravelry, imagine a really little baby wearing a really big BSJ in pink and red and cream.

I'm trying to be virtuous these days, and work on gauge swatches - for the 2/3 round shawl I'm designing (still at that), and also the Christmas sweaters (I'd really like them done before we move in July). But I really want to bust out the tatting cotton and the quad-zero needles and knit another doily. For MEMEMEMEME. As was the ORIGINAL plan for what-to-knit while on vacation. Before I got that wedding announcement. Sigh.


Bells said...

thanks for that. It'll save me trawling your archives later today.

And I meant to tell you FB was crawling with Julie theakers!

Susan said...

Lace knitting ...the new "crack" of knitting...sigh...I feel a tablecloth coming on......

gail said...

Gorgeous, drop dead lace!! I'm in awe.

Amy Lane said...

Lovely-- absolutely lovely! And guys-- I don't have the heart to tell you that I can't navigate Facebook. I don't understand it AT ALL.

But the lace is awesome, and the doily LOOKS like a pain-in-the-ass.

Donna Lee said...

My kids keep telling me about facebook and how it is the place to be but somehow I can't bring myself to do it. I still think of it as a place for teens. And I think I spend quite enough time on the computer as it is.

Mandy said...

I think of MySpace as the place for teens. I got on Facebook to get back in touch with friends from high school and to share pics of the kids with my sister in Colorado.

Roxie said...

Your lace utterly kicks booty! That monster shawl still knocks my socks off.