Sunday, July 19, 2009

Knitting Lace Without A Net

So, this is my year of lace. There is actually a club you can join where you get 4 lace kits a year. This is the second shawl. I didn't end up knitting the first shawl. Lovely yarn, but the pattern didn't really grab me. No worries, though, I'll find another lace shawl pattern for that yarn.

Accepted wisdom when knitting lace is generous use of stitch markers and life lines, but I've never been one for accepted wisdom. I tried to place the stitch markers when I was establishing the pattern, but they just got in my way. Instead, I studied the chart, trying to understand the pattern and how it evolved. Getting through the first chart was the trickiest as that is when you are establishing the pattern. I did have to rip out my work twice. But once I got the pattern established, things started going very well. I was a bit worried about the second chart as you have to repeat that chart 6 times, and they only show the first repeat. Okay, fine, but each repeat you are adding more of the central motif. I was afraid that I would have to chart all of the repeats by hand. Ugh. Too much work. I studied the pattern. Understanding dawned. I could see how the pattern was going to evolve through each repeat of the second chart. I dove in. So far, so good.

So, for me, the key to knitting lace without a net is learning how to read the pattern and how to read the lace as you are knitting. If you can do that, the knitting will lead you and you shouldn't have too much trouble keeping your place in the chart.