I must be to get involved with lace knitting! Earlier this week I thought that I'd get a start on trying to work lace swatches - sort of a trial run before my KnitPicks order arrived and an attempt to find some patterns that will work for the front lace panel in the vest I'm going to be knitting for Mom. For my
, ah, make that experiments, I picked the lace patterns in Elann's new Aran Weight Victorian Shawl
. I started out with the Mini-vine. Big mistake! It looks so simple, only two actual pattern rows, but there's no place that I've discovered yet that the pattern can be checked - what I call an "anchor stitch". The Feather & Fan has one - the center stitch in the middle of the six YO, K1 sequence carries up the middle of the fan, it's easy to check each repeat and make sure that the third K1 is in line. I managed to stumble through three repeats of the pattern ok, but on the 4th, I didn't zig or zag - whichever - when I should have and the last repeat lines up with the one below. It's not a bad pattern, but it isn't the Mini-vine. I'm going to have to try this one again and see if I can puzzle it out. The second pattern, the Horseshoe lace was fairly simple - that one went ok, 4 repeats and no mistakes other than on the third & fourth repeats I changed the way I was slipping for the decrease so the center stitch was predominant. Buoyed by success, it was on to the English Mesh! The first three pattern rows were a snap, but the fourth - row 8 - didn't come out correctly. Figuring that I'd done something seriously wrong, I ripped the swatch out and started again. Lace rows 2, 4 & 6, I had the correct number of stitches at the end of the row. I started row 8 and I was immediately off. Looked at the pattern again, tried to chart it, hmm.. The last stitch of the repeat was to SL2, K1, PSSO - that's a two stitch decrease, but at the end of the row there are only two stitches and I'm one stitch off from having the centers of the lace line up at the beginning. The solution was to start the row with a K2TOG and end with SSK. Success!!
On Tuesday, my KnitPicks order arrived. Picking the easiest of the three shawls I'm planning, I swatched for the Wool Peddler shawl from Folk Shawls. The pattern calls for a size 7 needle, but with Wool of the Andes I had to jump up to a 10½ needle to get gauge. I cast on that night for the shawl and thanks to a good tv schedule the last two nights, I'm almost through a third skein of yarn (out of 9). Every other row gets longer by 4 stitches, so it's going slower than at first, but so far it's just garter stitch with 4 YOs on every other row for the increases. Once I'm ready to start the lace, I'll run a life-line so if I mess it up, I won't lose the center section. The lace pattern is fairly similar to the Horseshoe lace, so I'm not anticipating any big problems. I'll probably try a swatch of the pattern first, though, just in case. I'd rather mess up on a small swatch than find after a couple 220+ stitch rows that I'd goofed. I love the Iron Ore shade of the WOTA yarn. The Wheat that I ordered for the Highland Triangle shawl is quite a bit darker than the color shown on the website. It is close to the photos in the KnitPicks catalog, so if and when I order again, I'll rely on those photos when I choose colors. The Lost Lagoon in the Shadow yarn was also darker than I expected.
On other fronts, I finished the K4 shawl and another "dopey" hat and there's another hat done except for the back seam, ties & neck band. I can finish that tomorrow at the meeting and probably get another hat or shawl started. No photos for now due to technical problems. I just had an email from my son-in-law that his site is back on line, so I'll try to get the updates to the sidebar completed.