Saturday, August 26

There are universal truths

Knitting lace is all about repetitive motion. Knitting and knitting and knitting. The grand collections of our grandmothers were not the result of this practice though. These piles of doilies, tablecloths and bedspreads came way after knitting and knitting and knitting. The knitting and knitting and knitting was that first project because before getting that done, there was knitting, ripping, and knitting, ripping and knitting, ripping.

I bought 2 skeins of lace weight yarn at Stitches Midwest. This seemed like such an economical buy. A whole project from such a small investment. Wind it into a ball and knit the thing up. I thought I would try Khmeleva's sample shawl first. I cast on my brand new gift, bamboo needles, squinted at the instructions, looked at the picture and knit. Then I ripped. I tried again and got to the end of the first side. I showed Galina in my class, because I found "too many" stitches to pick up. She peered at it pulled tight on the table and said I knit too many rows. The really gifted, experienced knitter can count the "holes" in this pattern, the yarnovers, and see the number of rows knitted. Oy. I contemplated adapting but I ripped.

Sitting at a table next to the Stitches Market, I tried again. I cast on, knit away, kept making mistakes so ripped again, but finally got back to where I started. At home, I decided the sane path would be to practice this pattern on big yarn on big needles. I pulled out the SNC and size 7. Phew! Even though I had to finish the last edge in a different color, I found the magic of knitting the sample shawl all in one piece (it's really magic! Try it!). I might send it to a daughter because it's a fabulous wash cloth.

I felt like my first project should be a shawl in the Aut Interweave Knits. I tried it. It beat me up. I couldn't see the picture. Lilies of the valley? Huh? Then I took a look at Icarus. Wow - straight knitting over and over on bigger needles with a little sompin, sompin at the end. This was still hard. I knit, ripped and knit again. Then I ripped it out while sitting in the (almost) solitude of the park on Lake Michigan Rd and I found my stride.

I continued to knit through the 6 hour drive home listening to Arthur and George and I have been knitting again today, watching Tiger fall apart but pick himself back up.

There are some truths about lace knitting:

- there will be ripping
- write down the pattern row you have finished. Pencil and paper are knitting tools
- the lifeline marks your progress and just might save your sanity

- practice makes perfect
- it's not if you make a mistake but when you make a mistake

More gems of wisdom from my classes with Maureen Mason-Jamison and Galina Khmeleva as I encounter problems and remember that I have been warned.

Nice post.

I will strive to bear these truths in mind as I feather and fan my way along.
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