Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Leaves Piling Up

First: look who is blogging! There is certain to be lots of good information on beads, knitting and spinning, welcome Sylvia!

This is coming along:

leaf shawl

This scarf must be a good introduction to lace, because I'm already at the stage of understanding *where* I am in the pattern. At first, it was just *follow the words* blindly, hoping the mess would make sense. Then it began to sort itself out into leaves, and then a few rows later I could begin to tell where I was, and/or if something was not right.

Not that I haven't made my share of mistakes, and had to both un-knit and rip. There have been a few *that doesn't belong there* moments, some of which I could fix with a yo or a k2tog. And a few *whole row not right* un-knit moments. The most satisfying mistake was the rip though: several rows wrong (leaves elongated) so I pulled out the needles, pulled out rows of stitches, then managed to *pick it all back up*. (Phew!)

I am at the 5 row repeat area, over and over, just adding leaves, until either I run out of yarn, or the scarf is the *right* size (whatever that is). I cannot figure out where to put markers, though, despite all advice. I have them at the center, but the other motifs just shift around: no good place to mark (for the photo, there is a clear pushpin holding the cable: that's not a marker). If you have knit this, and can help me out here, I'm open to suggestions.

This lace knitting is fun, no wonder so many people are making shawls, scarves, lace sweaters, and lacey gloves. I am not able to converse and knit yet, or even watch movies and knit, but I can listen to music and knit.

I will say, I admire the mind that thought all of this up: both lace in general, and this pattern. I've been learning ssk's and s2kp's and yo's. Putting it all together to make this pattern, fitting in new leaves and creating the shape, well, it's just amazing.

It's a different thought process than two color knitting, which just seems more obvious, and graphic, to me. Well, some lace is like that: a fabric with holes that create a design. But this is different, much more like architecture: building with holes and solids, shaping the solids, and pulling it all together into a graceful pattern. Impressive.

I may have to try another project, larger needles and larger yarn. I may do this very same pattern over again (it's that fun!) or try the Flower Basket Shawl. They are both designed by the same woman, and now I'm guessing she has more out there. I'll be searching.

Until then, though, this is oh, so satisfying. And sheesh, I thought it was going to be a short post with a picture. I guess I had more to say than I thought!


Blogger Valerie said...

Evelyn Clark has a number of shawls....many are published by Fiber Trends. Several of them are more like the graphics you describe: Pacific Northwest, Sheep, and Peace Shawls.
I've been wearing my flower basket shawl done last month. It is very similar to your leaf shawl.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Baycolonyfarm said...

It is looking great! I can't wait to see it finished. :)

3:15 AM  
Blogger claudia said...

She likes it! Hey Mikey!

6:45 AM  
Blogger dragon knitter said...

i'm doing the flower basket shawl myself, in a gorgeous hand painted noil silk yarn dyed here locally. i have learned a valuable lesson with this thing. this is my first truly lace project. if you tear a row out twice, and you still get it wrong, walk away. i work on this at night before i go to bed, and i've had to walk away the last two nights. however, the next night, when i go back, and frog that row one more time, and rework it, i get it!

one clue for ya, though, dear. lifelines. invaluable. this from the woman who frogged this blasted thing NINE times before she finally got smart and put one in, lol. knit on!

7:39 PM  
Blogger beadlizard said...

I find lace knitting to be very zen, repeating the motif's stitch sequence over and over again. It's a low-level drone. Markers drive me crazy; I'd rather read the fabric when I get lost. The moment my fingers feel a marker I lose my place in the drone!

You will soon learn which rows are easier to rip back to -- that's part of the trick of frogging lace. If it's lace with every other row plain, rip back to a plain row to ease picking up. Otherwise, look at the pattern and aim for a row with the fewest events.

Did you ever take Sharon Alderman's woven swatch class where she has her magnificent collection and shows how to read the fabric? Her class made reading knitted fabric infinitely easier for me.

I can't decide whether I was more surprised to see you knitting lace or knitting lace with PLAIN WHITE YARN. Welcome to the fold of lace knitters!

5:38 PM  

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