Grrrrr...the lace yarn I've been waiting on arrived. It's beautiful 50/50 wool and silk. I've cast on now 3 times and have gotten about six rows into the pattern...then poof..I somehow, added six stiches into the pattern (well not exactly somehow), I got too big for my britches and stopped paying attention. I'm determined to conquer this but right now I just need to vent. Damn Lace!


MMario's picture


(even if Lace is a four-letter word)

suggestion - do you have some remnent yarn in a heavier gauge? Try doing a swatch of the lace pattern in the heavier yarn - *THEN* going to the lace-weight. When I'm having problems I sometimes will do that.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I sometimes play a character who does.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

gaynnyc's picture

Oh lord, I did the swatch in two different yarns before I decided that lace weight was the way to's not the weight of the's just getting the repeat of the pattern over 120 stiches into my pea sized brain. Maybe I should have taken up woodworking!

MMario's picture

okay - it's a long repeat. they are buggers. I find that with shorter repeats a swatch can "set" the pattern into my fingers - muscle memory - then when I switch to the lace-weight I don't even have to look to know if I made a mistake - my figers feel it.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I sometimes play a character who does.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

NizateCO's picture

I was making a square for the blanket I'm making and I started with 30 stitchs and as I went, somehow I added 8, so I ended with 38... How do you add 8 stitchs???

Kerry's picture

I find the only way with lace is to count the stitches every row, unless it is a straight knit or purl row, boring, boring. Also no distractions help, no radio, no TV... I'm sure you will love using that Zephyr. Good luck.

Tallguy's picture

Lace knitting is rather simple and pretty boring most of the time. There are rows and rows of nothing but plain knitting, sometimes not even any purl stitches! You just have to keep your wits about you so you remember to do that one little hiccup in all those plain stitches.

I use lots of stitch markers. I don't call that cheating at all! It's really the only way to go -- I've tried it on my own, and I find it saves a lot of headaches if I take all the precautions.

I like yarn stitch markers because of the way I use them. I like to weave them through the knitting, and I can count rows very easily, if it's necessary. Most patterns are rather short... maybe 10 to 20 stitches. Most are mirror repeats as well. I put a marker after every repeat of the pattern! I use a contrast colour: I have a selection of white, red, green, orange, and black. If in the round, the beginning of the round is one colour, the rest are another. It sometimes looks very strange with all these colours in the otherwise nice grey... but I don't care, and I know they don't stay there.

When I come to a marker, I know I should also be at the end of the pattern repeat. If not, then I can go back over those last few stitches, and check where I went wrong. I don't have to count the whole row (lose count along the way) and I don't have to try and figure out where I might have gone wrong. Usually, you will see a pattern developing: stitches the rows below will tell you what should happen on the current row. When I come to the end of the row, I KNOW that I am correct and can safely go on to the next row. Remember that I have a rule about NEVER ripping anything out!

Now, there is also the issue of "lifelines". When you have completed a pattern repeat row, I like to thread a long thin smooth yarn through all the stitches on that row, with the needle still in them. Should it ever occur that I find I made a mistake somewhere later (rarely happens!), I could safely rip out to that lifeline-- you can't go further than that. I have already marked the pattern with this row, so I can just put all the stitches back on the needle, and pick up the pattern from there. When I have completed another repeat row (or more frequently if a long pattern), I insert another lifeline, and KNOW that I am correct to that point.

This just gives me some peace of mind, knowing that my work is constantly being checked as I go along. Never will I ever find that I suddenly have 1 or 3 extra stitches because it just can't happen. If anything goes amiss, I can fix it right there. Otherwise, I can just keep on knitting mindlessly while watching another movie.