HOW do you guys do such intricate work??? I feel like I'm on the brink of a diagnosis of attention deficit - or a tantrum, and it's even money as to which....I have started and stopped so damned many lace projects, it's unbelievable. The more mucked up it gets, the more obsessed I become with doing it. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where this spiral goes...sigh. On the brighter side, I have discovered which yarns burn and which don't. ....later!


Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog

You are definitely very funny, have patience and never be in a hurry to do anything, with practice you will find your own way of doing stuff.

Celowin's picture

As someone that has an addiction to attempting projects that people tell me are "above my level," I can certainly relate. For me, the key is patience and perseverence. If I get frustrated, I put the knitting aside for a bit and come back to it later. In the end, once everything is finished, you'll look back at what you've done and be proud of yourself.

I found the key to success with lace: my I-pod! I simply put the I pod on, turn it on, and knit away. Without the distractions of the househould going on around me, I can easily knit my lace patterns accurately!

Needless to say, intricate knitting of any sort (cables, lace, ganseys) requires concentration.


ronhuber's picture

I think the key is not to give up. However, knitting should be a relaxing experience!! You should ask the lace knitters here about life lines and placing markers after each pattern repeat or whatever they do that makes it easier for them. Good luck.

Don't despair. In a little while these guys will have you knitting lace drapes for your windows, tablecloths, afghans, bedspreads, shawls for your granny and any and all lother projects that can be knitted in lace.

When I teach my Lace classes, I arm my students with sport weight yarn and size US 12 weaponry in order for them to be able to see what they're doing. I also council them when embarking on a new lace project to take some scrap yarn (Peaches 'n Cream cotton is perfect!) and needles no smaller than size 8 to sample the pattern with. I recommend at least 4-10 repeats of the pattern. This accomplishes several important things:

1. Lets you sample the pattern to see if it was written correctly (you'd be amazed how many aren't.)
2. Lets you see if it's a pattern that you can be happily married to for the next 6 months to a year knitting; i.e.: will you get bored because it's to repetitive or tired of counting all 38 rows of the pattern from Hell?
3. Most importantly, it allows you to see the pattern unfold, clearly and accurately so that you can learn to "read" your work as you knit. Then you can safely and assuredly pick up your size US 1 needles and that ball of spiderweb silk and start your project.

Would you buy a car without taking it out for a spin?
~Mike in Tampa

MMario's picture

Lace knitting is one stitch at a time, just like any other knitting. That said, I seem to be blessed with the knack of choosing relatively simple patterns that *look* complex and difficult. *grin*

I use a lot of mnemonics and take it one row at a time; usually trying to establish in the first pattern repeat of the row 'landmarks' that tell me I am working it correctly - such as "the YO,k3,YO should be centered over the k3tog of the previous pattern row.

And though it is frustrating sometimes as to how slowly something goe - I set goals - sometimes only a single pattern repeat on one row and gain satisfaction that way.
MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

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

rjcb3's picture

Don't get TOO frustrated.

I'll be the first to admit it. I ENVY lace knitters.

I, too, have started and stopped and started and stopped. I began working on a prayer shawl, but then -- well, the non-lace-knitter in me.

I envy those that can take the classes or learn the lessons or, after knowing the basics, just pick up a book or a pattern and just go.

...but I face reality, knowing that some people are more adept than others at certain knitting techniques. I'm more of a sweater and sock knitter. As much as I love the concept of doing lace, I submit to those who are SO much better than I, and eventually, I'll end up completing SOME lace project.

...but in the meantime, I'll stick to what I feel I'm better at: sweaters, socks, hats, etc.

Don't be troubled. I wish you good luck in your venture into laceknitting. Just cast on and knit.


Hey Guys - thanks for all the feedback and rational, calm suggestions. I need to get a project launched and completed before returning to my own private Everest (aka - lace.) I will return to these patterns armed with test yarn (cotton does burn pretty well, not well enough to be used as a biofuel, but, eh, good to know) and larger needles and take it on a test run (thanks Mike!) and, yes, Mario, you ARE blessed. I have had disasters occur in not so many stitches....much less line by line. But thank you each for your comments!

MMario's picture

The lace I do is also "moose Lace" - done on much larger needles then usual among most lace knitters. I tend to use US size 8 and above for projects others are using 0's to 3's.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

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

Good luck and thanks for the humor! You can become an inspiration to me also!!!!