Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Tag: Lace Page 1 of 5

Centered Eyelets

Several months ago (okay, close to a year ago), I availed myself to Gudrun, of The Loomy Bin, to help me out of a mess I made with my card weaving.  After she helped me sort out why the pattern wasn’t working for me (I was overthinking it), we sat down and looked at some of her latest knitting projects.  She was trying to translate some weaving patterns into knitted fabric as an exercise.  One of the areas that she wanted me to look at was lace.  She wasn’t satisfied with the way lace always leaned toward one side or the other.  There wasn’t a way of centering an eyelet.

I gave her a short lesson on the anatomy of a lace, and how it really isn’t possible to make a perfectly centered eyelet.  The only way I knew how to do it was to do a left leaning decrease, yarn over, and right leaning decrease.  But this decreases 2 stitches to the one increased stitch created by the yarn over.  To counteract the lost stitch, I told her to hide an increase either somewhere in the same row (lace knitting) or somewhere in the next row (knitted lace).

Neither options were terribly elegant.

But now, there is an elegant solution!  Thanks to Janine, I stumbled upon the answer at Schoolhouse Press.  Scroll to the bottom of the bottom of the article for “Pithy Instructions for Centered Eyelets.”  Pure genius!  So simple!  So elegant!

Okay, I’m off to re-write some of my lace patterns to center my eyelets.

Triangle Shawl Sampler

Triangle Shawl Sampler

This is the sampler I made from Evelyn Clark’s workshop. (Click for big.) It has only had a sauna treatment (steam block) because I bound off just in time for the guild meeting and I wanted to take it for the show and tell. The ends are not yet trimmed because it really needs a nice soak in a hot tub and re-blocked before I can call it finished.

Pattern: my own compilation of Evelyn’s stock lace patterns in her book “Knitting Lace Triangles
Yarn: 2 ply spindle spun yarn (Lisa Souza’s Superfine Merino in “Bird of Paradise” colorway)
Needles: US #4, 3.50 mm
Size: Depth: 22″; Wingspan: 50″. Just about the perfect shoulder shawl size for me.

I worked the lace patterns from most open to most dense, and worked all the transitions in between. In retrospect, I should have followed Evelyn’s advice that if you are mixing elements, you want to have denser patterns at the top of the triangle. But by the time she dispensed that piece of advice, I had already worked through to the first or second repeat, and I was too lazy (or stubborn) to rip back and start over.

Of course, if I were to completely do this over, I would have chosen a more solid colored yarn. I think the pattern is busy enough and doesn’t need the competition of the variegation.

I close this post with a detail of the tip, complete with the “mistake” I referenced in the last post. Can you find the mistake if I hadn’t already told you where it was? No? Me neither.

Triangle Shawl - Mistake Detail

Socks vs. Lace

While having lunch with Barb yesterday, the topic went to knitting, as it always does. (Knitting or sailing, or both.) She’s on the look out for a new lace project. For her, lace scarves, stoles, and scarves are the portable projects that she always has on hand. Socks, not so much. Barb is fairly new to sock knitting. Or rather, recently back to sock knitting. So, they still require some level of concentration.

This had me thinking. Yes, I always have one or two (or five) pairs of socks on the needles, but I’m not reaching for those as much as I used to. They are relegated to airplane knitting. At home, or at various functions, it’s my lace projects that I grab for.

I think the reason is that I’m somewhat bored with socks. I love wearing hand knit socks. But I am just plain bored with 8-9 sts/in of plain stockinette in tubes. While there are lots of lovely sock patterns out there, I don’t enjoy wearing them. I don’t like the feel of ridges or patterning on my foot. So, it’s plain stockinette socks for me.

But you would think that if I’m knitting/finishing fewer socks, I would stop buying sock yarn, wouldn’t you? Not a chance. I’m still hoping that all these lovely new sock yarns will bring the zing back to me.

I do have to say, I am loving lace. I love the rhythmic decreases and increases, and watching the pattern unfold. And, I’m less self-conscious about wearing my lace scarves and shawls these days. If my shoulders are cold, I will throw one on. If my neck is cold, I’ll bundle one around my neck. I don’t really care about scrunching up the piece to the point where you can’t see the patterning. I knit them because I enjoyed the process. And I’m wearing them because they give me pleasure. I can’t see the pattern when I’m wearing them. If someone wants to look at it while I’m wearing one? I’ll just take it off for an impromptu show and tell, and throw it back over my shoulders. I don’t need a mirror to make sure it’s “just so.” As long as I’m comfortable.

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