Lacy Sweater for sis.

hello all,
You've all inspired me to give lace a try. I mean, I've done smaller projects like edgings or scarves, but I've never done a large lace garment at all. So I thought I'd give it a try.
My sister is just a little too comfortable wearing her sons clothes (or my sweaters) and so that seemed like the perfect opportunity to work some women's patterns. Mainly to clothe sis in gender appropriate clothing, but I also get the added benefit of learning a wider array of stitches and more advanced fabric shaping techniques that you don't get when doing most men's knitting.
So I found this really pretty six-row lace pattern with a 10stitch repeat in Knit n Style magazine. All was going well for the first few times through, then it somewhere i lost count or so, and the design was messed up. so I started over (I will tear out a boo boo at the first sign of trouble). And then I started again and again and again. Im on the 7th restart when a friend told me to use a lifeline. Duh!!
Im usually pretty good at figuring out easier ways to do things, but that never occurred to me. At any rate, im now further than i have been and will push through to the end. Luckily this pattern has panels and I'm working on the biggest panel which when finished should be 14" long.
Will post pics as I finish the panels. I'm really excited about it.


davidUK's picture

Good luck. I gave up on a lace pattern jumper for my mum!

cacunn's picture

Will makers work for the repeats? Place a marker at the beginning of each repeat and that will give a reference point. I have found that some repeats do not lend themselves to markers.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I agree with Tim that markers are a good idea, especially since this is your first major lace project. Still, it is great that you are pushing the boundaries - for you and your sister. ;-) Looking forward to pictures and progress reports.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Tallguy's picture

There are two things that are essential when working lace. Because lace is a very simple technique of making holes in plain knit fabric, and because the patterns are very short repeats of the same thing over and over and over and over, you need to provide yourself a kind of grid to divide up whatever you are making into smaller sections of individual patterns. Then you simply work in these little sections! Lace is usually so boring to do, you need to do something to make it more interesting!

You need a lifeline. I think this has been discussed many times here so there is no need to go over how to do it again. But use them!!!

And secondly you will need to use stitch markers. I like yarn markers, but you can get those cutsey things you hang on the needles. Or you can just cut a colourful soda straw into small little rings. It doesn't matter, as long as you mark the end of any pattern repeat. Yours is a simple 10-stitch repeat, so you will need a marker after every 10 stitches. Yes, after EVERY ten stitches. It may be a lot of markers, but use them!!! They will save your sanity. You NEVER ever have to count stitches!! When you come to a marker, you will be at the end of a repeat. If not,... go back and fix it right then.

And you have a 6-row repeat. So put in a lifeline after EVERY 6 rows. Yes, you will be glad you did. As you get more experienced, and braver, you can do it after 12 rows.

I guarantee that if you do this, you will never have a mistake, and will never have to rip anything out! So why use them? Because they prevent you from making mistakes. Put them in and you won't have to rip out. That simple. Be sure to use contrast lifelines and markers. Your knitting will be very colourful, and muggles won't understand why you are using garish colours in an otherwise beautiful piece of knitting, but that is their problem. You don't have to explain a thing!

I'm not ashamed to say that I use markers a lot in my knitting. I want to enjoy knitting, and I don't like to spend time counting any stitches! That's only for muggles.

Thank you very, very much. You know, Im pretty good about figuring out things on my own but i never considered putting markers between the stitch repeats, duh. As it stands, I've started and ripped it apart 3 more times since my first post. I have tons of those little white markers just rolling around in my knit can, I can't believe it never dawned on me to use them there. Once again, duh!
As a matter of fact I was just popping on to let you all know that I was conceding defeat. Even when i tore back to the lifeline I wasn't getting the same stitch count, very frustrating. However I think that overlooked tool will help me in getting it right this time.
Here I go.
And thank you all for your hints.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Don't feel too bad...even after all these years of lacework, I sometimes get frustrated when knitting up a new pattern that is a bit complicated. That's when I usually take a deep breath, get a fresh glass of iced tea and sit down to think it through. Repeating as needed. You'll get there...even if the road seems long right now.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.