Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Shetland Lace Triangle

May I present: the Shetland Lace Triangle from Wrap Style. It's Wollmeise superwash merino sock yarn in Veilchen (Violets), dark dye version, knitted on 4mm Denise interchangeables.

The work of a week of evenings plus an afternoon.

This is my first ever lace project and I have to admit I was scared! The fear of dropping a stitch and not being able to retrieve it without leaving a ladder? Shudder! I read about using a “lifeline” of dental floss but I didn’t really understand how or when to do this (thread it through a chosen row and keep knitting?). So I just knitted. Big needles and thin yarn seemed like an anachronism to a confirmed sock knitter! The family scoffed when I said I only had 4 rows to go and had what looked like a facecloth-sized, egg-carton-textured ball of knitting hanging from my needles. “Is it for a doll?” asked my daughter. Just wait and see, I said (fingers crossed!)

It was easy! If you have never knitted lace before this is definitely a great project to start you off. The stitch pattern is easily memorised row by row, and even block by block. I made mine 10 repeats large rather than the suggested 8, because Wazz did this and hers looked about the right size. I used about 100g of yarn. The hardest thing was the casting off. I changed up to huge points on my Denises and they were incredibly slippery because I had never used them before – oops! So there was a lot of shrieking as giant loops skidded off the points and threatened to unravel. (Sorry, dear daughter, for shrieking in your ear.)

I soaked it for 20 minutes in warm water, rolled it in a towel, and then set about blocking it. Not for one minute did I think it would be this big! And the lace-iness was a revelation. See the swirling fir cones? There was no clue that these would appear while the shawl was in its freshly-knitted state. I actually thought I might have got the stitch wrong when I compared my unblocked knitting to the photos in the book.

It was pinned out on my exercise mat when my son came in.

“What’s that?” he blinked. And then it dawned on him. “You crocheted that?” No, I knitted it. “What - today?” Well, over the week. “You are getting better aren’t you?” Then: “So… have you knitted my hoodie yet?” Boys!

P.S. Yes I love it, and yes I will be knitting lace again – woo hoo!

P.P.S. I offered my daughter the choice: model or photographer and unusually she chose model. This is her "Tess of the Durbervilles" pose!


RooKnits said...

It is gorgeous and so quick! Isn't lace amazing? Isn't blocking lace even more amazing? I love the Tess photo! What's next?

Twelfthknit said...

Lifeline - I usually use a strand of different-coloured yarn. Thread it onto yarn needle. The best row to do is one which is plain, with no YOs - in this case after any one of the purl rows. I think it is easiest if you can do it after a repeat, or in the case of a huge pattern repeat, mark it on your pattern. That way if you do have to frog, you know which row you finished on. Push the stitches back off the needle since this gives you a gap that you can more easily slip the needle through and off you go.

Did any of that make sense?

ambermoggie said...

absolutely gorgeous:)

wazz said...

lovely! What a fantastic colour. I also like the T of the D pose.

blue hands said...

that is so beautiful. right, i've definitely got to give this a go..

Bryony Ramsden said...

Stunning! :D And your daughter is the spit of you too :D

Pat said...

Great shawl, love the colour. So what's your next lace project going to be?

Kyoko said...

Gorgeous shawl! Can't believe you made it in a week. I bet you are hooked on lace knitting! ;)