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Holey Lace Knitting, Batman!

Jul 9, 2007

my lacy little Summer Shawlette

OK, so I couldn't resist the goofy title. It's Monday, my laptop decided to die halfway through this post...but who cares, because we get to talk about lace knitting this week. Whoo!

Increases and decreases: That's really all lace knitting is--really! Yarnovers (increases) form the holes in knitting, decreases form the ridges and wavy lines that give shape to the holes. If you can do a yarnover and a k2tog, you can do lace...it really is that simple. But to a beginning knitter, or to someone who can't tell knitting from macrame, lace knitting is mysterious, exotic, the stuff of fairy tales. Well, OK...the truth is that lace knitting entrances even expert knitters, because, even when you know how it works, it's still just plain magical. Knit a bit of lace, and no matter how hard it really was, you still feel like you've created a bit of knitted sleight-of-hand.

By this point, you may have guessed that I adore knitting lace. Lace socks, lace shawls, lace on sweaters...give me holes in my knitting and I'm a happy gal. So imagine how thrilled I was when Pam Allen, then the editor-in-chief of Interweave Knits, called me one day to tell me that the Knits Staff project for the Summer 2006 issue was going to center around lace. I was SO excited
Blocking the shawlette
that I almost missed the part where Pam said the words handspun Mongolian cashmere.

Cashmere. Plus lace. For a while there, I think I went a little bit lace-looney, thinking all sorts of Happy Lace Thoughts at odd moments. I read every lace book in the Interweave library. I swatched and sketched and mumbled excitedly to myself. I spent a couple of weeks charting and Doing Math and arguing left-slants versus right-slants with myself. At the end of all the mumbling, there was the Summer Shawlette: a miniature Faroese shawl, light and airy, lacy, but not so lacy that it looked like I was wearing my mother's Christmas tablecloth. I laid it out to block it, and could hardly believe that I had knit something that lovely. All the mumbling aside: the actual knitting of the shawl was the easiest part. Really. (The cashmere definitely helped, but still.)

A Little Lacy Survey For You...

So now you know that I love lace knitting--but what about you? What kind of lace knitter are you? That link will take you to a little survey where you can tell me about your level of lace-love so when I talk about lace the rest of this week (and in future posts up ahead), I'll have a better idea of the type of information you are looking for.


Questions about lace knitting?

On Wednesday and Friday, I will be sharing some answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions about both the Summer Shawlette and the Comfort Shawl. If you have a particular question about lace knitting that you'd like me to answer this week, go ahead and leave a comment. And if you've already knit the Summer Shawlette, and you'd like to share a photo with us: Send us a link!


About Michelle's Yarn Bouquet: Michelle was very flattered that so many of you liked her little floral tribute to the Knitting Daily community! Here's her recipe for the bouquet, which is much easier than you might think: Take 3 skeins of colorful, fuzzy yarn. Mush each skein into the shape of a ball. Take three green knitting needles. Poke the "knobby" end of each knitting needle deep into the center of a yarn ball. Insert the needles into a flower vase, pointy-end down. Tie a ribbon around the neck of the vase and voila! Dr. Seussian Yarn Flowers.


 

Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. She is now the author of the popular Knitting Daily blog: What's on Sandi's Needles.




Knitting Lace: Knitting Daily Presents 7 Free Knitted Lace Patterns

Are you addicted to lace knitting? Or maybe you've admired some of the gorgeous knitted lace patterns out there and want to give lace knitting a try? Here are seven of Interweave's top knitted lace patterns, gathered together in one FREE ebook for you.

Whether you are a first time lace knitter, or a seasoned expert, you'll enjoy the timeless beauty of knitting lace. Get these stunning projects that will continue to inspire, and be loved for generations to come. You'll want to make every one of these lace patterns, so download your free eBook now and get started (and don't forget to tell a friend so they can enjoy their own copy!)

Download Your Free Lace Patterns Today


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Comments

left wrote
on Jun 25, 2010 12:05 PM

re:summer shawlette

Please help me understand how I can get 19 purlwise stitches on my needle from the 7 provisional stitches I cast on.  It's driving me crazy.  Thank you Left (Mary)

Kanga-ruby wrote
on Apr 29, 2008 11:39 PM
I loved the comfort shawl, and it was a great sucess for the lady i made it for.
I must admit to having trouble with casting on the nect so 'I did it my way" and created a ribbrd neck band which worked rather well!
HeatherF wrote
on Sep 15, 2007 4:21 PM
I am knitting the Comfort Shawl and am stuck on row 35. Which is the centre shoulder? Is it the first or second from the end? Either way I cannot get the row to come out roght. I see that the holes for the first and second lacy bits go all the way down the shawl. Thanks, Heather
RobinM@4 wrote
on Jul 18, 2007 10:00 AM
I am also curious about yarn substitutions. What is the best way to make an effective yarn substitute when on a budget?
knittingbox wrote
on Jul 18, 2007 3:35 AM
Hi, me again. I would also love it if specific yarn substituions were suggested, especially when the pattern "calls for" expensive fibers, like cashmere. I do sub. all the time on my own, but I always wonder if there's something better to use. Thanks again for a wonderful blog!
knittingbox wrote
on Jul 18, 2007 3:33 AM
My comment really applies to all garment patterns: sizing. Can you tell us how much ease there should be. Also, if some of the models were a bit bustier, that would help me figure out how something might look, since there is often lots of detail starting or stopping at that ahum, area, and to me it seems like all the models are an A cup at best.
thanks so much.
I read the mag. cover to cover and now I get this too! I am really enjoing this website. Thank you!!
MarieG@2 wrote
on Jul 14, 2007 9:12 AM
About lace knitting - if it doesn't have a chart, I'm not likely to make it. A swatch of the pattern is an invaluable learning experience. Once you figure out what is going on with the stitches the work becomes much easier. When it comes to life it is pure joy! marie g
DeniseW wrote
on Jul 13, 2007 10:01 PM
A few comments that might be useful to some. I'll start with the easiest: Joanna, it sounds like you are on the right track with the yarn weight, either from the heavier end of the fine (2) yarn range or possibly a sport (3) yarn.

Phillipa, patterns that change numbers of stitches from row to row can be tricky. I usually start by reading all the way through the pattern and finding the row with the most stitches to chart first. Then I try to line up the stitches in the other rows in relation to the longest one; photos or line drawings are a big help there. When I have all the stitches in a row accounted for, then I mark out the spaces where there are no stitches. There is still some trial and error involved, especially without an illustration, but this way I usually get a usable chart before the eraser wears through the paper.

Some good things to look for in beginning lace patterns: patterns that keep the same stitch count from row to row, well-defined patterns that you can see what is happening (lines of eyelets, diamonds, leaves, waves; something that doesn't twine around itself confusingly), and patterns that are plain knit and/or purl every other row. As a few people have pointed out, it takes some extra concentration in the beginning, but keep going, and it does get more familiar.

Looking forward to the days ahead. There's always something new to learn.
PatriciaS wrote
on Jul 13, 2007 5:57 PM
I have been knitting to over fifty years but had never done what I thought or as real lace. That is fine yarn and airy fabric. I decided to make the Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Knits for my Grandaughters wedding. It was a struggle , with unknitting sometimes several rows. It turned out beautiful and she wore it at her wedding and I am ready to try another when I have lots of quiet peaceful time. I would like to see weights of yarn given in the patterns,such as wraps/inch. It would make it easier to sub. yarns. Pat 7-13-07
PhilippaB wrote
on Jul 13, 2007 9:29 AM
I would love some help with writing out charts from worded patterns. I can print out graph paper and start entering symbols in boxes, but I have great difficulty knowing where to include no stitch boxes. For example, by row three I might find that I should have included some no stitches in rows one and two, and I can go back and rewrite these two but then at row four I find I need more no stitches and have to start over *again*. Is this just a hazard of charting or is there an easier way? Thank you!
TexasL wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 11:06 PM
I thought the shawlette was smaller than the comfort shawl...You describe them both with the same measurements. Is that right?
Please let us know the exact measurements of each one.
Joanna wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 11:07 AM
Andrea - I looked up the the yarn on Jade Sapphire's website (http://www.jadesapphire.com/). They give the following gauge info for the 4-ply: 4.75 - 6 stitches/inch on us3-5 needles. I'm pretty sure that describes a sport weight yarn (or a 2 in the little yarn skein icon you see on some yarns).

Can anyone confirm this? I'm also looking into substitutions from my stash. :)
JulieM@4 wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 9:18 AM
Juliann, the Pi shawl is an "unvention" of Elizabeth Zimmermann (aka EZ when evoked reverently by knitters everywhere). I'm sure I've seen the instructions in several of EZ's books - check "Knitter's Almanac".
Andrea@2 wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 4:26 PM
I have a question about lace knitting - I've never knit lace, but am hankering to knit up a lacy shawl (I very much like your summer shawlette). But how do I figure out substituting yarn, and what weight to use? Is the summer shawlette pattern out of lace-weight yarn? Usually I would just look at the size of needles and figure out the weight from that, but with lace it seems like larger needles are used with finer yarn. So would I base it on weight/yardage? Help!
AmyLuvsYarn wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 3:49 PM
To Denise R: The 2 stitches in the K2tog slant to the right and those of the ssk slant to the left. By slipping the 2 stitches knitwise for the ssk your are turning the stitches around to face the other direction and then by knitting them through the back the stitches will slant to the left instead of the right, as in the k2tog. They are mirror images of each other. Hope this helps!!
LauraS@2 wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 2:27 PM
Miriam of Mim Knits did a FABULOUS tutorial about various lace knitting stitches and how they look and how they affect the shaping of your lace knitting. Her blog is http://mimknits.com/wordpress
DeniseR wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 1:22 PM
How do k2tog and ssk differ from one another? When I look at the two in my knitting, they don't look different. I knit with the yarn woven through the fingers of my left hand. Does that make a difference?
AndyS wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 12:18 PM
Combination knitters need help with lace knitting especially. I always have to remind myself that some stitches may need to be twisted in lace, some fall apart when slipped without their twist, etc. I usually give up and do Continental purl consistently, rather than trying to keep track of the stitch mount angle!
CorcoranC wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 10:15 PM
I agree with Ivy and Kate. I can read stitches that have been knit, purled, K2tog, but wraps or YO and then decreasing without a knit or purl row inbetween is really tough to rip back to before an error. Can you help us to better "read" the stitches in a lace piece?
VictoriaN wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 7:11 PM
About lace knitting, please give some tips about measuring gauge for lace and needle sizes. I've knit a lace shawl and had to fight myself to keep on a needle size close to what was called for in the pattern. Mostly I knit socks and sweaters - lace is fun but the fabric feels every so different... :-)
Yngvild wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 6:48 PM
I love lace, especially Icelandic lace shawls from the book which is once again available. My current project is the Mystery Stole 3, not sure how I got sucked into that so quickly. It's even my first beaded lace project and I'm enjoying it immensely.

The Charm Wrap looks nice and quick. My question would be about how to modify that style for a curvy woman figure. You know what I mean.
DENISAM wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 6:18 PM
Is there a special way to weave in the ends of the lace so that the yarn (esp. the really fine ones) doesn't show? Or is there a special cast-on/cast-off method used to eliminate the need to weave in ends?
CatherineM wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 5:26 PM
No problems with the YO's and K2tog's, but when something goes wrong and I have to rip the thing back, that's where I have the trouble. How do you get it back on the needles and figure out where you are? I have started 2 lace projects but abandoned them due to frog-phobia (which I don't have with other types of knitting, just lace). Any tips? Thanks!
CiciMarie wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 4:24 PM
While you are planning your series about lace, could you please add one about how to block your finished project? Thanks.
IvyH wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 3:43 PM
K2tog and YOs are easy. What's not always easy is staying with the pattern and not messing up. And when you mess up with lace, I at least find it very hard to rip back and repair.
LynnM wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 2:29 PM
Just had to share....
I went over to the Interweave Press Hurt Book Sale and was paging through the list of books. I started to think, "Holy moly, these people must have something against beading books!" because it seemed that almost all the books were about beading. Then I realized the books were arranged in alphabetical order! I see now that you folks like to beat up on knittng and crochet books too! :)
DenetM wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 1:21 PM
I went to the questionairre, but hit a problem: What level am I? Could you give definitions or examples?

I love how lace is simple math--add a stitch, subtract a stitch; subtract a stitch, add a stitch; it's just a matter of organizing the additions and subtractions; then there are those which don't subtract on the same row!

I prefer to work from charts, so I can see what's happening. It makes it easier to memorize, too, as I can look at it and know what's coming next.
JuliannB wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 12:43 PM
I am hunting for a shawl pattern named PI (pronounced Pie) that is supposed to be easy for a beginner. I have found the kit, but want to try the pattern first so it doesn't become a UFO. Anyone able to help? coldpsring17082@yahoo.com
Zaz wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 12:27 PM
about the test, i've gone there just now and was disappointed, i would have liked specific questions. i read in a blog that someone was asked questions like: "what is the stitch that you do that makes a decrease slant to the right?"
i've been looking for such a questionnaire because reading the answers and seeing diagrams of them would have helped so much in understanding lace...
please sandi, is it possible to either have a questionnaire like that or a whole part of instructions explaining the whys of ssk or ppso or whatever instead of k2tog? etc? and then having the drawings for what does what all in one paragraph? thank you very much, this elletter thing and the community here rock.
i am also impatient to see what you do in your darst PDF for the tomato, will not attempt it untill you do that because i want it to be my learning project for skimming down knit pieces and buying less wool!!! hushhh, don't tell the yarn shops, na just kidding, if i skim on shaping then i can use that yarn to make longer sweaters, maybe add a collar... etc.
thanks again to all that gave advices i especially remember the post that talked about looking visually at how the holes go diagonally and then making it up... and also i remember the one that talks about the yarn over that will become a knit stitch th row after, makes sense!!! this will help me LOOK and see what am doing instead of parotting the stitches, thank you all!!!
Zaz
Zaz wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 12:11 PM
the wrap is more my thing. i am a french parisian, no sock, shawl, afghan for me. i do love lace, started on it because i wanted to knit a cross and bones sweater for me, so i designed it. knit it with bulky hardly spun wool so the chart repeat was 3 in width three in height. i made straight sleeves, a crewneck and shoulders button up with the back. the sleeves have a few row repeats from the chart every 10 or so cms, they are a different colour too while the charted part of them uses the body colour. i just finished designing anothor thing in lace, my second ever lacy thing and this time it's a side button cardigan. this one has a LONG row repeat (maybe 24 rows and more stitches). anyway, this one is far more complicated all in all i had to learn to do kitchener stitch to join the lacy bomber upper part of the sleeves with the ribbed part because the sleeves start as flary lace. i think it is very victorian in the style. i first sketched a shape i thought looked nice on paper then did the maths for it. i really like the challlenge of designing something that is truely very personal, i definatly believe that wanting "THAT" DEFINITE LACE STITCH is my motor. i do not design lace yet, i would though be interested in something... hm... maybe one day.
i just am SURE there is a way to design lace easily. i am still getting used to multiple stitches entwined together over so many rows, yikes, will i ever be able to design that?
also, i am thinking of recreating part of that lace stitch using a different colour yarn by the embroidering technique, has anyone done that?
AmyLuvsYarn wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 12:05 PM
Fairly new to knitting, but want to learn all I can, including lace. My question is concerning gauge - do you need to block your swatch before you test your gauge against the pattern's?
JenB wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 11:51 AM
I've never tried lace before, but I would love a hooded poncho with a lace trim. I noticed there are no ponchos in the poncho section. It's all shrugs. shawls, and capelets, which are all very nice, but I'd like a poncho please.
Anonymous wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 11:42 AM
Ann L:
If you are having problems downloading, make sure you are logged in! Click on the Log In Link at the top of the screen, on the right hand side of the teal bar. If you have changed your password, you will need to log off and back on. (This also helps if your 'cookie' has become corrupt :)
Cheers, Kat (Knitting Daily Techie)
DebbieO wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 11:33 AM
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE getting the daily e-mail - can't wait to open my e-mail in the morning!
Debbie
Fairfield, CT
PaulineL wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 11:31 AM
I love lace and want to join the chorus of enthusiastic commenters. I'm not so good on finishing my projects, but I love lace anyway. I have discovered my eyes aren't up to using lace weight yarn, sob, because I love the cobwebby effect, but fingering weight will work. Love your shawls and will knit them next.

The link to the poll doesn't exist in your email, but I found it here in the on-line version.

Thanks to you and IK for starting Knitting Daily.
CherieM wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 11:28 AM
I love lace knitting! But I have trouble figuring out how to keep the lace pattern going in shaped patterns, ie sweaters with the side and armhole shaping. Also, how would you adjust lace for those all important bust darts!!! I've done an allover lace sweater from a Jo Sharp book, but finally gave up and eliminated the lace repeat an inch inside the armhole shapings. Any other suggestions?!!!
Thanks for all the great info--everyone has wonderful ideas, and the column is the first thing I look for when I log on!!!
I've used markers to mark my pattern, and break down the lace pattern into component sections that make it easier to remember. I've never heard about the lifeline idea before, but will incorporate that into my next lace project. Makes great sense.
Carol Dietz wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 11:18 AM
I am about a third done knitting a lace shawl out of the fine gauge mongolian cahmere. The pattern is from the Folk Shawls book. It is so fun to work on(as long as I'm not sleepy!), and is really turning out to be beautiful, if I do say so myself! Love lace! Carol Dietz
MaureenS wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 11:16 AM
The PDF for the Charm Wrap does not open for me. :-(
LouiseP wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 10:54 AM
So (blush) can you give us a primer on yarnovers. I have a really hard time making my holes consistently sized.
Say, for instance I have a P2 K3 P2 pattern, with YO before and after the knit group (which is double decreased to 1 knit stitch), and then back to the P2 K3 P2 pattern on the next few rows. How do I make the 2 holes roughly the same size when one YO is before a knit stitch and the second one is before a purl stitch? If you have time in your discussion of lace this week, could you go through yarnovers before/after knit/purl in all the various combinations? I love knitting lace, and I love a good challenge, and I love winging it, but I get tired of the trial and error thing after I've ripped out over and over and over :-)

PS: I really enjoy your blogging style. It lights up my morning. Thanks!
RosalineC wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 10:31 AM
each time i try to download a patternn itn asks me to subscribe whivh i have already done.n do you have to
on Jul 10, 2007 10:09 AM
WOW - there's a lot to read. :o

CrafyGryphon and spinndiva - great pics and lovely work!

Meg B - I hope you are fully recovered. :)

Lace... Hmmmm - well I'm a beginner knitter - haven't got much past plain scarves with a rib or two, but I knew I wanted to try lace. I bought the Fall 2006 issue of Interweave Knits to try the Swallowtail Shawl. I got it home, fondled the lace weight alpaca read the instructions (crochet??? provisional cast on???? And there were charts and picture thingies, but NO WORDS! eek! Holy Moly, it's all in CODE!!!! ;)) and put the project down.

Recently my hubby was away on a trip, so I thought I'd have time to tackle it, so I pulled the project out again, staired at the cast on instructions (flipped to the back of the mag many times) and thought "Right, I'm off back tot he store, she said if I had questions...." (And boy, did I have questions! ;) )

I felt the triumph of my first pattern repeat, the defeat of my first ripping out, low and behold, gradually over the week my shawl grew to 8 pattern repeats - there was the proof I was knitting more than I was ripping. Wooohoooo!

Alas, that was over a month ago - I gave up counting after the 17th rip to the beginning. However, I'm now INSPIRED by you ladies to PICK UP MY NEEDLES and FINISH this project.

For all the ripping, I actually really love the process of lace knitting. Maybe I just like talking to my self "slip one, knit one through the back, pass the slip stitch over, yarn over..." :D

The lesson is: if I can do it, anyone can do it.

Here's a few things I've learned:

Count regularly (I know it's a chore)

use yellow stickies (or other colours as is your preference) to mark the pattern/chart and to count repeats

photocopy the page(s) for ease of use

if you've got a pattern forming, no matter how many times you rip, you're moving ahead

LACE IS ADDICTIVE

you don't have to be crazy to talk to yourself (you just have to knit lace ;) )

Take care all - I'm looking forward to reading more tips from everyone. :)
KayE@2 wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 10:00 AM
I am an advanced beginner when it comes to lace. I love the beauty and delicacy of lace. I stumbled upon the Comfort Shawl and want to make it for a friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer. My question comes not with the knitting part of the shawl but with the construction. I am having a hard time visualizing how this comes together at the beginning. Are there some diagrams that might help me see the construction? Thanks so much!

K.
Joanna@2 wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 9:58 AM
Last summer I knit my daughter & soon-to-be sil their chuppah (wedding canopy) for their wedding. Of course it called for lace! I was so thrilled with the "magical" way it turned out, and you're right, lace-knitting isn't that hard, you just have to pay attention and take it one step at a time! Written directions worked out better for me than the graph and even though I sweated getting it done on time (I finished weaving in the ends ON THE WAY to the wedding!), I am so glad that I undertook such a project! If you're in doubt, try knitting lace-- there's nothing quite like it, and the oohs and ahhs make it well worth the extra effort.
Julius F wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 9:57 AM
I have a question - does anyone have any advice about weaving in ends securely and invisibly in lace? And should it be done before or after blocking? Thanks!
KristinaP wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 9:55 AM
I would love a tutorial about fixing lace mistakes - how to put a double decrease back on the needles properly if I've got to frog back - that sort of thing. I know I can use lifelines, but we all know that there isn't always one where you need it!
Kristina
Spinndiva wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 9:44 AM
Here are some pictures of my lace... Not everything I have made but some of it!
If anybody wants to see...
http://whatgivesblog.blogspot.com/search/label/lace
Spinndiva wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 9:42 AM
Found it! Sorry!
I should stick to knitting and spinning!!!!
Violet
Spinndiva wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 9:39 AM
I am not the greatest genius on a computer, so this question may be a bit silly, but where is the link to the lace survey? I could not see it...
Thanks,
Violet
MargaretJ wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 9:32 AM
I forgot to mention something else I'd really like to know: how on earth do you increase (or figure it out) a lace pattern in pattern? I know you can just knit in stockinette until you have enough stitches for a repeat but when it's a wide pattern, I don't like having a swath of stockinette in the middle. So PLEASE, teach us how to increase so it looks pretty!!
PrisKnits wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 9:29 AM
I love knitting lace except for the times I make a mistake. Dropping a stitch can be disastrous. How do you deal with mistakes? A lifeline? I've never used one, or are there other methods of dealing with the problems we create in our knitted lace? Priscilla
PrisKnits wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 9:27 AM
I love knitting lace except for the times I make a mistake--dropping a stitch is disastrous. How do deal with this? A lifeline? I haven't actually tried one, or is there another way? Priscilla
MargaretJ wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 9:19 AM
What I'd like to know is this: if you aren't a sweet, young thing, like the models, how do you wear lace without instantly aging yourself 20 years?? Any tips? Limit the amount of fru-fru? Keep it away from the face? No all-over lace? I just love it but I feel like my grandmother wearing it.
MegB wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 9:07 AM
Last year I was really sick. What got me through it was knitting lace with 13 skeins of lovely multicolored merino. The rhythm of the patterns and the beauty of the colors kept my mind of all my aches and pains. The shawl became a wedding/graduation gift for my best buddy in school. I couldn't keep it as it reminded me of how sick I was when I was knitting it. Last month I had to have extensive dental work that knocked me flat for a week. I got the ?lace? craving, dug into my lace yarn stash, and started a lacy patterned ?Pi? shawl. Some think I'm weird, but I say, ?Don?t knock it 'til you try it.?
sulitk wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 8:41 AM
This is definitely timely since I am working on the MS3 (mystery stole 3) KAL. A good lace project to keep your mind agile. My advice to new lace knitters is to use lifelines. It will keep you from having to start over at the beginning should you have to frog a mistake you can't recover from. Lifelines are essentially quilting thread or dental floss run the length of a finished row using a blunt needle.

marguerite - if you are using animal fiber you can split splice the yarn or you could use the Russian join method which is cool. You can find good instructions from knitting help just google it with Russian Join.
JeaniY wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 8:26 AM
Re blocking boards - Wendy at Wendy Knits had a great idea for this. She used something made for yoga but if you go to your local large home improvement store (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) they should have interlocking rubber mats in 24" squares. I've seen them in black like the ones used say in a wait station at a restaurant or colorful with numbers and letters on them for a kids playroom. You can link them together in a big square or a long rectangle or whatever shape you need and they are only about $20.
Marguerite wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 8:21 AM
I am in the midst of my first real lace project - a stole for my wedding in September. I'm really enjoying it! Originally I thought I'd be able to get through it with one skein of lace weight yarn - but it doesn't look that way anymore. Is there any special technique for joining a new skein of laceweight yarn? I usually just knit with double yarn (the end of one skein and the beginning of the next) for a few stitches. That just doesn't seem appropriate for this, though.
on Jul 10, 2007 8:07 AM
Could we discuss blocking boards?
on Jul 10, 2007 7:50 AM
I'm not sure *what* kind of lace knitter I am! I tend to use worsted-weight silk/cotton (as I'm a knitter-with-wool-allergy)!

I also tend to wing it as I go - usually starting shawls in the center-back of the neck and working down (that way, when I run out of yarn, the shawl is finished).

Pics of my last one here(http://craftygryphon.livejournal.com/87762.html#cutid1) if you'd like to take a look.
amann323 wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 7:47 AM
I love knitting lace! I would like to see a write up on the different types of blocking supplies out there - I need to stock up and I'm not sure where to start.
SuzanneH wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 7:25 AM
I love Knittng Daily! It is great to have contact with other knitters. No one else in my life really knits except my 9 year old daughter!

Anyway, I love the look of lace and fun of knitting lace but I rarely see a proect where I what to use it. I don't like tops with lace do to the see through factor and most baby blankets etc. lose warmth due to lace. Help me see new uses for lace!

Thanks so much for a great website!

Suzanne H. Townsend, MA
GeniaP wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 7:09 AM
The shawl is truly lovely! And as much as I love cashmere, it's a bit beyond my budget (think 3 college tutions at once). Could you possibly give more yarn information for those of us who need/want to substitute yarns for the projects? Like the gauge of the yarn?

Thanks much. I'm really enjoying this new magazine!

Genia Planck
Annapolis, MD
KeriS wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 5:56 AM
I can fix, vertically, most knitting mistakes that I or my knitting students make, but I can't fix lace! Is there a way to do that or do you just have to rip out? Also, I highly recommend addi lace needles - I can't tell you how much easier they are to use when knitting lace! I look forweard to your answer-
AnneL@2 wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 5:18 AM
ARGH!This is SO annoying. I click on the pattern link (Charm sweater) and I'm prompted to sign up for the newsletter. Is there something I should be doing to skip that step??
PatA wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 4:53 AM
I've been a lace knitter for years, but with the recent popularity of patterns using lace techniques, I'm reviving my skills. When I first began, all the patterns were written out. Now they are charted, which I find hard to get used to. Are there standard symbols for knit, purl, yarnover, etc? I am currently working on a scarf pattern in Arctic Lace by Donna Druchunas using quiviat yarn. Soooo soft but quite pricey! Could only afford 1 oz this week. I love Knitting Daily. Keep up the good work.
LucyH wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 4:31 AM
haha - the first thing I knitted was a lace scarf & I used to twist all my stitches. Nothing like throwing yourself in at the deep end, eh?
Give it a go, there's nothing you can't do :)
Cinders wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 3:56 AM
I Love lace knitting, but IO still regularly cock it up and dp plenty of tinking!!. I'm working on the lace shirt from Beads< Buttons and Lace at the mo. Then I want to tackle Euny jangs Shole of the waves wrap.
BTW Your link to the lace survey didnt work on my 'pooter.
SueB@5 wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 3:19 AM
The Charm wrap is lovely (but the yarn is called 'Charmed') but at an approx. cost of over $400 it is way out most knitter's league.
JoanieB wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 2:57 AM
I love to knit lace as well. I enjoy firmer lace fabrics that have the pattern knit only on one side and the other side is straight knit or perl. Repetitive patterns appeal to me most and I would rather knit something in an Orenburg style rather than Shetland.

I recently purchased "A Gathering of Lace", this book is so beautiful I can't stop drooling on it. My favorite project in the book is the Magic Circle. It is so simple yet absolutely stunning.
AlixM wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 1:20 AM
Right now I'm obsessed with knitting lace. It is so much fun!!! I hope that the website creates some new, innovative and challenging lace projects. On a slightly different note, as much as I love this website I have a problem with the photos being to small. None of the pictures have enough detail to completly see what the project looks like.
SandraW wrote
on Jul 10, 2007 12:22 AM
I love this post, and can get totally lost in it for long periods. Thank you enormously for something so interesting and informative.
Maryb@2 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 11:57 PM
Please, oh Lace Goddess, tell me where to find the pattern to make the lovely mohair lace sweater worn by Kyra Sedgwick on "The Closer". If anyone can find it, you can.
KristieR wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 11:38 PM
I love lace knitting. The patterns for the three lace projects are gorgeous; I can't wait to knit them. I'm looking forward to Wednesday's addition of knittingdaily. Thank you so much for all your hard work.
LynnM wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 11:29 PM
I love the look of lace, but I don't wear shawls and don't knit sweaters. Is there anything else for me besides scarves?
Also, how can I keep from getting lost in the long patterns?

Lynn M.
DigitalDurga wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 11:27 PM
Love the Charm wrap!

I have a very visual brain, so I knit lace by "reading" my knitting and comparing it to the chart... as an example, if the chart shows a diagonal line of yarn overs, I know that when I get to the hole in the row below it's time to yarn over again. That's how I get around the 14 stitches between these two decreases thing... where was the last decrease in the picture, below, left or right of the one on this row?

And once I assure myself that the designer is using relatively sensible symbols I just make the picture with my yarn - does the chart shows a line leaning right for this stitch? Time to work a right leaning decrease.

Probably a little less than helpful, since if you have a visual brain, you can probably read charts!

Oh, and Pati - no stitch usually means just that, there's no stitch there anymore! You decreased it away as part of the lace pattern, usually to make a little scallop or wavy edge. For example, one of my favorite borders starts off with 12 stitches, increases to 14, decreases to 7 and then increases to 12 again. So where the row has 7 stitches there's also 7 "no stitch" marks to show that you shouldn't expect anything to be there. It's a way for the designer to mark up an existing grid so you don't think there's a bunch of knit stitches where really there's nothing, and to keep everything left or right aligned properly.
Donna H. wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 11:20 PM
I've wanted to do the summer shawl, but the slightly larger version of the comfort shawl would suit me more. BUT, I worry that I'd need to make it even a bit larger, maybe. My clothing size is 18-20. If I need to enlarge it, since it's shaped, how do I do that? The lace intrigues me, since I love doing lacey blankets and socks, but I wouldn't know how to increase this one! Can you help? Donna
SarahT@2 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 11:16 PM
I have knit two summer shawlettes and have yarn for two more. I used Lamb's Pride worsted with great success. My only question is regarding how my shoulder shaping came out- not nicely rounded, but with slight points. It's not terrible, but could be better. I'm too novice to know how to fix...
annekaelber wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 11:00 PM
I just finished my first "lace" project--- the Huck Lace Shawl in the Morehouse Merino book (page 41). I used KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud and Czech glass beads (in size 8/0, I think). This pattern gets high marks from me----I have received so many compliments on it just from my husband and son, as they watched me finish it. It's a gift for my sister and I can't wait to hear what she thinks!

I'd recommend this pattern to beginners of lace because I have never knit lace before and this was a very easy pattern, with a graphic explaining the special stitch that made the "huck lace".

I'm for lace designs for the collar/v-neck, the cuffs of sleeves and the hems of shirts. (Both for knitted "shirts" and added on to store-bought shirts.)
MarciaC@3 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 10:51 PM
I'm doing the Clementine Shawlette, too. It's about l/2 done, very pretty. I love the pattern. I recently purchased Victorian Lace Today, a beautiful book that I'd recommend to all who love lace.
Esh wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 10:50 PM
ya know, I responded to the survey before I looked at the Charm Wrap. I'm not a big fan of real lacy things and a the moment I'm contentedly working on afghan squares and stuffed animals. I said that I'm not that interested in lace (though if I was I'd be a beginner). Then I clicked on the link for the Charm Wrap. And I think that it has just the right hint of lace to not be "too lacy" or "too frilly" and yet still be very pretty! Thanks for providing that very cute pattern, I'll stash it away for when I'm brave enough to knit big things!
Sjgill wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 10:27 PM
in a different life, i knit a tablecloth on a fine bed knitting machine a completely different way of doing the pattern but fun looking forward to trying it on regular needles love your site!!
AnitaM wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 10:09 PM
I've only been knitting for 6 months after giving it up as "too hard" 20+ years ago as a teenager. But I too have discovered the lure of lace!
In 6 months I've knitted 2 lace shawls and 1 lace scarf, and if I can do it, anyone can!
Lifelines are an absolute MUST for anyone starting out. It gives you the confidence to move ahead, because you know that you only have to rip back to the lifeline if you can't fix a mistake.
One of the shawls I made was the Beginner's Triangle in Meg Swansen's "A Gathering of Lace". This is a great pattern for a beginner, as the repetitive diamonds make it easy to get into the rhythm of the pattern. There is also a fabulous tutorial included for that particular pattern - it's like having someone sitting next to you showing you what to do next!
And if you need any more inspiration - have a look at Victorian Lace Today.
DebbieP wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 10:04 PM
I know this is not the intent, but could this be knitted using worsted weight wool. My aunt would not hand was and re-block, this I know for sure.
krazyknitter wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 9:56 PM
I have never knit lace before (actually up until a Yarn Harlot sock a month ago, it was pretty much blankets and scarfs - nothing that I HAD to figure out gauge for!) But I decided that I'm in for the long haul and have started the Mystery Stole 3 from Pink Lemon Twist as I do nothing by halves! :) So I'm excited to see this coming weeks info on lace knitting, another level of addiction! Yea!
AlewineL wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 9:49 PM
I've tried doing a ripple shawl as my experiment in lace-sort of- before I was truly ready for that level. I had a hard time keeping up with where I was. What I have is a half finished random pattern lacyish thing. What should I do. I hate to rip it all out. It was SO much work. Should I just finish it and use it to see how far I've come? Any suggestions are welcome!
CayenneD wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 9:47 PM
The front of the Summer Shawletter is open. It was really fun to knit and because there is a lot of stockinette in between the lace it was easier to keep track of where I was in the pattern. I loved knitting it. It really is lovely and stays on my shoulders nicely. I have a picture of mine from the front at www.windybrook.blogspot.com.
SharonB@2 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 9:39 PM
I just finished the Rona Lace Circular Shawl that I knitted using handspun single silk & merino. When I first started knitting, I thought "what have I gotten myself into?", but once I got going and viewed the piece as a whole while I knitted instead of row by row, I finished in no time and really enjoy the beautiful results. I believe that I am hooked on lace knitting and am anxious to spin and knit some more!
Tammy@2 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 9:29 PM
I'm just branching out in lace knitting. I made a pair of socks, and I have a bit of lace edging that I'm working on now. I really want to make a shawl soon!
AnneB@2 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 9:21 PM
Never knit lace before but had already printed out the Summer Shawlette. This past weekend, I picked up some Classic Yarns
KarenG wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 9:18 PM
I made a baby blanket from one of the Vogue Knitting on the Go books that was a leaf lace pattern. By the end of it I could knit that pattern in my sleep!

One more request on the Summer Shawlette: I read the pattern and haven't started to put it on the needles, but I'm a little confused about the direction of the knitting and the picking up stitches. A diagram showing how the shawlette grows as you knit would be worth a thousand words to me!
LizF wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 9:10 PM
I am curious about the pros and cons of say ssk vs. skp or k3 vs s1, k2t, psso, it seems like sometimes you can decide for yourself which stitch to do, but I don't feel I have enough experience to make that decision.
SaraJ wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 9:09 PM
Oh, and THANK you SO very much for the great tips, hints, advice, examples, and personal experiences, methods, and "systems" you have used for tackling and remembering lace, mentioned above. Thanks to the commenter, early on, who asked the question about remembering the pattern! The following comments have had excellent info, and no, my brain pan doesn't hurt after that one comment, it makes sense to me!
SaraJ wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 9:04 PM
I've had the yarn for about 6 weeks now, Elann Sonata Incan Clay (variegated in beautiful colors) for their (Elann.com) free pattern, Pacific Waves shawl.

It's supposed to be an easy pattern, it's a feather & fan/wavy type . . . . I've been meaning to swatch for it . Thing is, you have to cast on 500+ stitches for this (but this one has no borders, edging, etc., the rows get shorter from there). But it has you mark with a stitch marker, every 18 stitches. For the whole huge cast-on. I figure that will help me keep errors to a minimum, as well as Knit Picks Options needles make inserting a lifeline into your work easy!
Any way, this is the first lace I'm attempting (other than feather/fan type waves on a dolphin dishcloth, but funnily enough, that project has been hibernating right where that part starts), and I can't BELIEVE I'm trying this!

I like the Summer Shawlette, although the intermediate rating scares me a bit. The new wrap posted today looks AWESOME, and I want to make it (will need to make or create a plus size for it, but some of that's been covered recently!) Not sure intermediate is something I can do, yet, though.

Lace is actually what inspired me to learn to knit, although recently I've been relaxing in an easy groove of stockinette, for some felted pillows (in stripey Patons SWS).
MichelleL@4 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 8:59 PM
I'd like to see more photos of the Summer Shawlette, please! Much like the Chanson en Crochet pattern, where you have different views (front, side, back) at different levels of zoom (stitch detail, part-of-outfit). I'm trying to decide if it would be something I would regularly wear, as opposed to the little wrap bolerothings I go for. More pictures would REALLY help -- and on the internet, unlike on a book, they're practically "free"!
BethT wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 8:55 PM
I'd like tips on blocking lace please.
LauraS@2 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 8:54 PM
Beautiful lace patterns DO exist that have easy to follow charts, written instructions for chart haters, and even shawls knit in one piece that you don't have to pick up hundreds of stitches along the sides to knit on a border!! You just have to look around. Do some internet searches. They really are out there. And finding just the right pattern is very personal depending on your skill level and the kind of challenge you want! I personally find the narrower pieces like an all-over lace scarf about 25 rows wide with a 10-14 row pattern repeat the hardest to follow. Yet I'm having a BLAST with Ene's Shawl from Scarf Style. Lace is fun and there's something for everyone.
BeckaKnits wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 8:51 PM
Kangamomm, I just finished the Ribs and Lace Tank from Spring IK, too..I love, love the pattern! I'm with you, the lace was much more fun!
pennyalb wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 8:47 PM
Is there any way to correct slipped yarnover stitches that you discover later on in your project? I see from the comments above that it's easier to prevent them in the first place but hints on correcting would be appreciated.
ArundathiJ wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 8:38 PM
the thing that prevents me from tackling "real lace" is the prospect of picking up hundreds of stitches for the edging, and most patterns don't allow us knit things in one piece. maybe i'm just lazy, but even with "vertical lifelines," it seems pretty daunting, so anything you could say to help allay my fears or teach my how to go about doing it is appreciated.
JenniferH wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 8:37 PM
I am terrified, yet drawn as if to a flame, by lace knitting. So, I'm spinning for the Icarus Shawl - thankfully, this is going to take awhile - & will be knitting up the Summer Shawlette in handspun from my friend, Becky. Thus, I can get my fingers in synch, I hope, prior to the Icarus Shawl! ACK
I don't knit lace, did I mention that?
BonnieS wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 8:35 PM
I knit almost always with alpaca, so lace patterns look particularly lovely in this fine fiber. I've made several lace shawls, but would like to do a faroese type shawl - the type that wraps around and ties, rather than just drapes. Many faroese patterns are quite plain overall, so I'd really like one more open and lacey.
I really like Knitting Daily - thanks!
Elisabeth wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 8:34 PM
Oh, and others are completely correct about Using Markers: Mark each repeat in lace patterns, esp. if you have a lot of stitches on the needles! Then you'll know if the repeat has, say, 8 stitches and you've only got 7 between your markers, something has gone wrong! Then you can fix only those 8 stitches instead of the whole row. I also use Post-It notes to read lace patterns (chart or written), and find it very important to Cover Up any instructions other than the row I'm currently working. One of my most-frequent mistakes as a beginner was simply reading the wrong row. Cover it up, and ignore it! And a Lifeline: Must Have! Use a yarn needle and fairly thin yarn, and when you're sure the current row is right, thread the new yarn right across the row on the needles right now. If you must rip back, you only have to rip out to your Lifeline. I usually place one at least every 10 rows. And another bit of advice: Make sure your Lifeline is a really long piece of yarn! I use both charts and written instructions: I dislike charts because I must count stitches myself, but I like them because the pattern looks a lot like what?s on the needles right now. If charts had little notes saying ?14 stitches between these K2Tog?s,? I?d be a very happy camper!
Elisabeth wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 8:11 PM
Oh, Knitted LACE! I simply adore it. I've been knitting for 6/7 yrs now, and have become quite addicted to lace. To begin, I made several lace bookmarks (free patterns on the Internet!), which are small and relatively easy to complete. Then you might want to check out the book "Lace Style" by Interweave Knits (yep, same folks!) which has lots of lovely lace patterns worked on larger needles (check out the lovely Feather-and-Fan cardigan on the cover, a lovely lace in bulky weight yarn!). The back pages of this book have a "Design Notebook" with great explanations about the formation of knitted lace, reading charts, and even designing your own lace patterns. Also Meg Swanson's "A Gathering of Lace" has great instructions and advice for lace newbies. I personally used Barbara G. Walker's excellent explanations of knitted lace in her "A Treasury of Knitting Patterns," Book 1, to make a lace "sampler" scarf, using thin yarn and large needles (Size 7) to make about 12 different little sections, to teach myself lace-knitting basics. And I still wear and adore this scarf, even with the many errors I made on my first lace attempts! Now I?m knitting ?Mystery Stole 3?, an Internet (Yahoo Group) lace knit-along where you don?t know how the stole will look until you?re almost finished? Great Fun, and FREE on the Internet! AND there?s tons more FREE lace knitting instructions on the Internet? check out ?See Eunny Knit? and her ?Majoring In Lace? course, from here: http://www.eunnyjang.com/knit/2006/03/majoring_in_lace_introduction_1.html. Great free stuff: Try a Google Search for ?Free Lace Knitting Instructions,? and start knitting away! But a warning: Lace Knitting is terribly addictive! I can?t stop myself!
ReveD wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:58 PM
how do you fix/find a mistake. the last time i tried to knit a lacy thing, i had to frog the whole thing because somewhere along the way i missed a stitch.
MaryP@8 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:58 PM
Oh, I love lace so much - but I'm still new enough at it to be a tiny bit intimidated. I've been thinking/planning/dreaming of knitting one of those gorgeous circular shawls to show off the lace, but I'm having trouble starting a pattern that requires only 8 stitches (of laceweight yarn!) to be knit on three needles. Any tips for how to do that?
Marianne@2 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:54 PM
thank you for this lovely, interesting and useful little pattern. I have saved it and I'm trying to finish my last projest very quickly so i can move onto this one!
FranM wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:53 PM
I had a fairly large herd of cashmere and angora goats, so had lots of Fine Fiber to play with. Also spent a lot of time talking with "scared" people at fiber shows who came to my booth to admire but where afraid to try it. Everyone says they are not good enough to knit lace. It is a universal belief.
There is ONE, and only one, secret to lace knitting....MARKERS! Mark every repeat....! Then constantly count the stitches between your markers, if you are off you will find it immediatly and have only that repeat to redo.
I use little white plastic curtain rings as markers. I store them on large blanket pins and always have a pin full of rings handy to replace those that somehow magically disappear. You must have a row counter, sometimes 2, depending on the pattern (one on the needles, the other by my left hand).I also only use circular needles, easier with fine yarn.
The other plus with lace knitting and cashmere or mohair....it travels well. I can fit everything (8 skeins of yarn, needles, counters and markers) into a zip lock bag. Photocopy the directions, slide them into a plastic page protector and use a heavy duty paper clip to mark your place as you work down the page, backing up with your counters.The paper clip is for an easy visual as you knit. You don't have to search for your place and accidently read the wrong line.
Have fun!
FrankieV wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:49 PM
I love to knit lace and remind myself to "name" my stitches. For instance if I have yo, skpsso, yo, skpsso, I have 4 actual stitches. If there are 10 stitches in a repeat, I count each "process" as 1 number. 1-10, and place a marker between each repeat. If you get to the last skpsso and you only have 9 you know you skipped something, usually a yo. And a magnet board is the most important thing to me to keep my place.
EmB wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:44 PM
Could you show a photo of the front of the Summer Shawlette, please? Thanks!
MariaH wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:44 PM
Well, I for one, LOVE knitting lace. I plan on knitting the Shawlette 3 times (once for me, once for a great aunt and once for the fearless leader of Socks For Soldiers). Here is my latest project on my blog ~ http://knackfulknitter.blogspot.com/2007/07/orenburg-diamond-triangular-shawl.html

I enjoy reading "Knitting Daily"!
Sincerely,
Maria
ElizabethR wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:38 PM
I too love lace! But one thing that I still can't figure out is how to fix yarn overs. Oh I can do them if I catch them in the next row but if I miss one a few rows down (or like doing the Syrian Shoulder Shawl in Victorian Lace Today where you make a diagonal of yarn overs) I can't recover and I have to frog. Pictorial tutorial perhaps? :) Thanks! -Elizabeth R
NatashaH wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:31 PM
Re: The post asking how to remember stitch sequences.
I will apologize now for any brain pain I cause to readers but I'm going to attempt to give an answer to this using an actual example from my own grey-matter.
I actually end up turning patterns into number sequences rather than trying to remember sepcific stitches. This number pattern doesn't emerge until I've (struggled) through the first few rows of it, and doesn't usually match the exact sequence the pattern is listed in either.
By seeing the sequence as a loop of steps - step 1, step 2, step 3, step 1, step 2, step 3, step 1... and so on.
If I havne't lost you yet, here's an example from Sivia Harding's "Variation on a Frill" stole (which, incidentally, I turned into a very cute 40's style skirt by breaking it in two and adding some shaping, but I digress).
Pattern as stated: K3, *drop 1 loop off of needle, k2, YO twice, k2tog, K1. Rep from * across row.
Ok, so once you get through that set once, you "loop" back to * to repeat. My brain would take for granted that when I get to a YO I would knit into it only once and pull the whole thing off the needle, so I would eliminate the need to remember that step specifically. Once I do that, the "K1, (from the end of the sequence), drop 1 loop, knit 2 (from the beginning of the sequence)" becomes a simple "K3." Then I get into a "step loop" like this; K3, Wrap 2, K2tog, K3, wrap 2, k2tog... much easier to remember.
In fact, eventually I would reduce that even further to "3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1" because to me the k2 created one stich and thus the 1 made sense.

Whether or not the above made any specific sense to you or not, the main point I'm trying to say is to "struggle" through the first few rows, but still remember to relax with it so that you start to see the stitches in groups and then you can pick up the flow and rythm of those groups of stitches. However your brain translates that rythm may be completely unique to you and completely unexplainable (see above) but it's yours!
SharonC wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:30 PM
I must admit, though, that blocking is the part that intimidates me.
SharonC wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:25 PM
I think I'll just sit back and learn something this week! Other than a hat, scarf, wrist warmer set for my niece, I've never done lace knitting. Y'all have fun!
PamM@2 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:21 PM
I love this topic. I have knit 4 shawls so far, ranging from easy to very difficult. I also like to put lace into cardigans,scarves and socks. I have so many ideas for designing shawls, but I don't dare to try it. I wish someone could help me!
diherbert wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:16 PM
What does the front of the summer shawlette look like? Is it open, or is there just a hole for the head?
NathaliaH wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:16 PM
Tina, I am a dedicated index card girl, I like being able to flip through the cards and know just where I am when the charts get wonky. While I can memorize some patterns, there is only so much brain power going on. Thalia
GeorgiaP wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:15 PM
I love how lace looks and I can do all the increases and decreases..BUT despite 40 yrs of knitting experience ( I learned when I was 4 from my grandmother)...the sad sad truth of my lack of lacy knitting ability is that charts confound, confuse, and cause great consternation..I am lace chart reading and therefore lace impaired !!! :( Help me, please...I need somebody to teach me how to read those blasted charts with all the funny little lines. Georgia
conib wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:13 PM
*Love* the topic -- perfect for summer knitting. But -- I agree with Amanda: Please-please-please do lace charts! IMHO knitting lace (or any pattern really) from written instructions is soooo painful compared to knitting from a chart.
NinaT wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:10 PM
I made up my own graph/chart in Excel, showing exactly which stitch I was doing, not one symbol for both K & P depending on whether I was on a right or wrong side row. If I don't have to think too much, it goes faster for me.
Kelly wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:07 PM
Hi...I love the looks of the summer shawlette - for a lace newbie like me, the larger gauge makes it look doable. My first attempt at lace was a lace-weight scarf...I got so lost in the pattern, and didn't know how to successfully undo my mistakes, that it's sitting in a basket OTN over 18 months later. Recently I read somewhere (maybe here?) about using a 'lifeline' inserted every so often, so that you can rip out to the lifeline if needed, and you'll know where in the pattern you are. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds like a good idea....
seayorks wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:05 PM
When knitting lace, I am always at a loss as to what size needle should be used. What are some guidelines?
Kangamom wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 7:04 PM
I am finishing up the Ribs n Lace Tank from the Spring issue of I. Knits. It is so lovely. I really preferred the lace knitting over the ribs, although fixing the mistakes was much more difficult! I will be very happy and proud when it is finished!
SilvanaS wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 6:53 PM
Lace! Oh my goodness. I can't wait to hear what you're going to say about lace. I've been collecting all kinds of lace patterns ever since I started knitting and love to make them up into washcloths, shawls, shrugs, you name it. Right now I'm studying Austrian sock patterns from the 19th century. Knitted lace is magic and the only thing I do that garners oohs and aahs.
Romi wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 6:51 PM
Eeeeeee! I *love* lace! :D
AmandaG@2 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 6:47 PM
I love knitting lace, but I'm not a huge fan of working from written instructions. Would it be possible to get the lace pattern for this shawlette in chart form?

Thanks!! I really enjoy reading Knitting Daily!
Pati wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 6:46 PM
wow! how right-on is today's topic!! i was looking at the lace pattern in the peapod baby set and i noticed as part of the graph pattern a square that was designated "no stitch". exactly what does "no stitch" mean? is it the same as "slip stitch", by chance? my peabrain sure would like to know!! thanks so much, pati
btw, your blog on bust darts was extremely interesting. as a person who has never been in need of a bust dart in her life, it was interesting to discover how one goes about adding such an accessory!
LynnC wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 6:44 PM
I have been knitting for 57 years, since I was 10. At age 16, I tackled a knitted sampler afghan with 49 different patterns, many of which were lace. I have knitted lace socks, sweaters, scarves, etc. But recently I tackled a lace shawl with a rose pattern. After taking out the first 6 rows of pattern three times, I gave up and made up my own simple garter st lace pattern. It is lace weight yarn on size 5 needles. Using garter stitch makes it reversible but harder to knit, I think.
slgjeg4 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 6:38 PM
How I work with lace or lots of YOs and K2tog.

Presently I am working on the Alphabet Blanket by Debbie Bliss. It is a charted pattern with lots of different YOs and Ktog. I printed off the charts, taped them together, and am using page markers under each line of knitting as I go up the rows. I also am using stitch markers for each section (or repeat) on my needles. If I make an error, it is easier to find in 36 sts than 187 sts. I am sure if I had not created this system for myself, I would probably lose it.

Jean
DeborahH@4 wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 6:38 PM
what is a good lace for a beginner. i have done scarves and some hats..but that is about it...but i want to do lace!
StaceyD wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 6:38 PM
I, too, love to knit lace. Have made some very pretty shawls for gifts, and people are in awe! After a few rows
I seem to be able to "memorize" the pattern and just fly along, it's a visual thing with me. I find lace a challenge that is very fulfilling when the final product is so gorgeous!
TinaK wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 6:29 PM
I'm an intermediate lace knitter----- at least I guess that is what happens when you have done several beginner projects. My problem comes from remembering the stitch sequences....... it just all makes me kind of wonky. I would love to hear how other knitters keep it all flowing along. (If I hear that the rest of the lace girls 'just remember it' I'll be very sad!)
NinaT wrote
on Jul 9, 2007 6:15 PM
I'm working on the Clementine Shawlette from the Spring issue of Interweave Knits now. So far, it's been easy, but we'll see when I get to the grafting part.