Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Lace Lessons

I finished my hubby's Slipped-Stitch Rib socks--I think they look great, if I do say so myself! I hope they fit him perfectly, I may have to stretch the foot of one of them just a bit. Now we just need some cooler weather so he'll want to wear them (not that I am in a rush for cool weather--I'm LOVING the warm October we're having!)

But the real reason for today's blog entry is to discuss the lessons I've learned since starting Branching Out, which I'm knitting in doubled Misti Alpaca laceweight (which is stil pretty darn thin, even doubled!) in a mossy green colorway.

The project has been growing on me, and I'm actually looking forward to the "magic" that happens with blocking.
However, I made one mistake about 10 rows back. I thought I'd just keep going and no one would notice. But alas, I couldn't stop thinking about the error (the stitches weren't lined up right on either side of a center stitch that remains throughout the 10-row pattern). Last night, in a rush of bravery, I ripped back to the mistake. And here's what I learned:
1)I understand why people who knit lace use a lifeline. That would have helped me a great deal. As it was, I kind of held my breath and ripped, and I was very lucky that I didn't lose more stitches than I did.
2)It is much easier to "read" lace by using a chart than by reading written-out instructions. Although the pattern gives both, for some reason (I've read lots of charts before...), I chose to follow the written-out directions. That was fine until the mistake was made. Three rip-outs later, I decided to consult the chart to identify where that center stitch should be and what should come before and after it. Once I used the chart, I had the problem fixed in no time flat.
3)I'm still not sure if I like knitting lace, but I can see the addictive quality of it (just like socks, and other things that have cult-knit status). I have a feeling that by the time I'm finished with this scarf, I'll be hooked on lace.

We have a long car ride coming up this weekend--I've decided that rather than casting on for my next set of socks (possibly Monkeys...we'll see), I will just take Branching Out and Gatsby Girl and make much progress on both of those, before starting my next pair of socks. Let's see how that strategy works.


Amanda said...

Those socks look great, and so does the beginnings of your Branching Out.

I woke up last Saturday with the unstoppable urge to learn to knit lace. (It's always eluded me so far.) I hope that mine turns out half as good as yours!

Riggwelter said...

The lace is looking beautiful, as are the socks.