11.19.2009

What is your biggest challenge as a knitter? Or I’m looking for lace knitting tips.

Is it cables? finishing? socks? gauge? color work?  For me it is lace. I love it, want to knit it, but it seems I spend a majority of my time tinking back. grrrr

Lace shawl

But if we could knit anything we wanted carelessly what would be the point? I constantly battle lace knitting, yet have so many lace projects and UFO’s it is comical. I will not be beaten down, well, ok, occasionally.  A couple of tips a girlfriend gave me:

- Swatch! Start with regular size yarn (cheap) until you get the pattern down

- Turn off everything: TV, music and distraction.

zen-garden

- Learn to read the charts, look them over, chart symbols here [good Knitty article]

Knitting-Charts-1

- Use a lot of non snagging knitting markers, and count your stitches, repeatedly. Knitting markers can be anything from bits of yarn tied in a loop, to metal or plastic rings, the open ones are nice to slip into places or move.

stitch_markers

- Use a lifeline at the end of each repeat or section of the pattern. Frogging (ripping back) in lace knitting is very difficult, because of all the complexity of the patterns, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what's a stitch and what's the space between two stitches. To put a lifeline in your knitting, finish a row of knitting and then thread a slick yarn like crochet cotton or dental floss through the line of stitches on your needle. The ends of the lifeline will hang loose on either side of your knitting (make sure to leave enough length on the ends of your lifeline that it won't pull out of the stitches as you knit). If you make a mistake, you can rip back to that row, put the stitches on the lifeline back on your needle, and start that section over. (Leave the lifeline in place, just in case you need to rip back again.)

lifeline

Make a photocopy of your pattern and work from that. If the pattern is too small to read easily, enlarge it. Write notes, cuss words, etc..about the pattern on your copy as you go.  You can also use one of those plastic sleeves to keep it clean, from any blood, sweat or tears that you may encounter.

- Keep track of where you are in the pattern, using a magnetic board or a post it note.

- Using sharp pointed needles, like Addi Turbos may help

- Wood and bamboo may easier, less slippery.

- Watch those tricky YO’s, they can slip and roll, don’t miss these, it can cause tinking, cussing, crying, and sweating.

Any tips you can give me would be appreciated.

 Knitting on my grey shawl

I found this nice blog post on introduction to lace from See Eunny Knit

6 comments:

  1. I love the name of your blog!

    I'm not a knitter at all. I tried it years back, and just couldn't get the hang of it, although I love the clicking of the needles, and envy what you can make. It's just that I couldn't seem to tell where the rows ended. I'd start with 20 stitches, and pretty soon my row would be 30 stitches! I need to give it another shot.

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  2. Well, don't know why it ID'd me as Ani (from my private blog). It's me, Coffee Pot People!

    And I forgot to say: Thank you so much for the lovely comment on my blog!

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  3. How I wish I could do the second recommendation at home, but the TV is ALWAYS ON. I come home from work and he is in the garage, but guess what? The TV is on and nobody is there. I hate it.

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  4. I have been faithfully using a life line in my latest project. At the beginning of the last repeat I was working on I forgot to move it. Of course, this is where I have started having problems because I was trying to watch a movie and knit lace work! Soooooooo - I'll be fixing that tonight!

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  5. I don't have the same reasons for lace, as I am constantly over checking. In pretty much any craft I am a double, triple, etc. checker. do I have the right number of stitches, is it the right size, etc? Mine is more because it just seems so fragile. I am always afraid I'll damage the think yarn.

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  6. All good tips, Vicki. A favorite of mine is to read the pattern in reserve on the "purl" rows to catch and fix any problems then and there!

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