March 21, 2011
Knitting Lace is a wonderful experience and the finished product is even more rewarding. Lace has been a prized commodity for centuries and as a hand craft its lessons have been passed down for just as long. Knitting lace is not difficult only challenging. You need to have a few tricks up your sleeve to successfully knit Lace (by successfully, I also mean with low frustration). Here are 5 of my Lace Secrets:
1) Lace Cast On. For a gorgeous lace shawl or scarf you need a beautiful cast on, the lace cast on is easy but adds that certain detail to give your lace something special. Bonus: you do not need a long tail for this cast on. The lace cast on adds decorative loops in the form of yarn overs to blend in beautifully with the yarn overs of your lace. This is a seamless cast on. Caution: you will always cast on an odd number of stitches
2) Lifelines. We have discussed it before but lifelines are so important I would be remiss if I wrote a lace article without emphasizing the importance of lifelines again. Please use them. They will save much heartache especially when knitting with difficult yarns like Mohair, Angora and Cashmere (the fluffy yarns are trying to rip back). It is good piece of mind to always have a safe place to rip back to where you KNOW your stitch count is correct. In addition, for those of us who like to check items off their To Do lists, you get a warm, similar feeling each time you move up your lifeline. Another section well done!
3) Consider lace knitting as "Me Time". You need to concentrate so no TV, movies, kids playing, knitting in public (maybe later but not to start) or with friends. There are plenty of projects that you can knit while distracted, lace is not one of them. Think of it as a good excuse to pour a glass of wine, sit on your porch and get inside your mind. You deserve it and your lace does too. I don't knit lace often now because of my daughter but when I do, I revel in it because for an hour or 2 that is all I am doing and it feels so good.
Invest in Lace. Lace is a fine art so treat it
as such. Buy yourself (or
make) a great knitting bag to keep all your tools organized or easy to
hand. Your bag will protect your lace, make it easy for you to knit and keep it
Spend time on picking your yarn. Consider the fiber, color and feel of your yarn. Knit a swatch. Don't just go with your budget. Consider that you will be spending significant time with this yarn while knitting and after. You want to love it always. Knitting lace is a luxury with the time you spend and the yarn you use.
5) The Devil is in not thinking of the details. You've already bought the yarn and committed the time, so think about the details. As your start your project, pack up all your tools and books you may need to complete your lace. Get your bag organized and wind up your yarn. Get everything in order before you start. If you set aside the time, get organized and use the right tools, lace knitting will be awesome. I remember my first time with lace. I just sat down and had nothing planned. I was jumping up every 5 min to grab something, would soon lose it in my lap and was frustrated so much I may have drop kicked my needles a few times. Now, I am committed to the planning and I love knitting lace!
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