Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Latest Obsession: Lace Knitting

Or, No, There isn't a Theological Thought in My Head

Warning: this post will be of no interest to non-knitters.

Here, mistakes and all, is my first attempt to knit up a swatch of the "Shetland Bead and Madeira" lace pattern I've been stewing about for a couple of weeks now. (The background is actually fire engine red; I don't know why my computer distorts it so.) Both sides are done in 4-ply worsted weight yarn.

It's not quite lacy enough.

So I tried it again, this time with baby fingering yarn for the front side.

It looks better in person, somehow, than it does in the photo, but in my opinion, this is TOO lacy, too cobwebby.

So now I've bought some sport weight yarn and I expect it will be just right to give the effect I'm after.

Meanwhile, I believe I've FINALLY, at long last, found (for free) the "Print o' the Wave" pattern for which I've been searching high and low. It's this one, which I have NOT yet knitted. This picture is from the Internet and not (yet!) from my hand, unfortunately.

And the pattern is here. The picture that goes with it looks different from this one, but I think that's because the picture here was knitted using much larger needles. I've done a little swatch using fingering yarn and US size 9 needles (5.5 mm) and it's still tighter than in the picture, even stretched, so tomorrow I am going to try with size 10.5 (6.5 mm). Those are huge needles for yarn that looks more like dental floss!

The pattern is simple in a way, using only 4 stitches any beginning knitter knows (Knit, purl, K2Tog, and YO). Plus, every wrong-side row is plain purl, no pattern stitches. And the scalloped bottom edge creates itself.

And then in another way it's difficult: the pattern repeat is 17 stitches. That makes it hard to memorize and thus, easy to lose ones place. This will be a project to be done in solitude, at least in the beginning; maybe it'll become more or less rote later.


margaret said...

I am a non-knitter and I found it fascinating. My own knitting is an unpleasant combination of knots and dropped stitches - your knitting takes my breath away.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Margaret, thank you, dear. So kind.

But your comment makes me realize I may have left a false impession. I did NOT knit the beautiful one!

That last picture of the blue or lavender lace is taken from the Internet. The red one and the tan one are mine.

If I can reproduce that really lovely one, I'll let you know!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

I've now edited the post to make this clear.

Margaret, do you perchance crochet?

Sarah in Indiana said...

Even though your two knitting swatches did not produce the results you had in mind, they are still beautiful. I'm really looking forward to seeing the next attempt. And thank you so much for sharing the link to the leaf pattern.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Sarah, you're so sweet! I'm so glad I met you.

This morning I knitted another swatch of the Shetland Madeira and Bead pattern, using sport weight yarn on size 7 needles, and it's perfect. I'm very excited.

Tried the leaf pattern, too, but even sizd 10.5 needles aren't big enough. I think elevens will be, though. Imagine that - 8 mm needles for yarn about as thick as dental floss!

Once I get a satisfactory swatch (one that looks approximately like the picture), I can't even imagine what I'll eventually do with the pattern.

elizabeth said...

well, sounds like you are off to a good start on this knitting!

margaret said...

I am learning to crochet, got as far as half-doubles (?) from the Stitch'n'Bitch book. I drop stitches all the time and subject my poor cats to horrid, unladylike language when I do.

Mimi said...

I'm a non-knitter, and I also found it fascinating. Congratulations.

Michelle M. said...

I don't knit, but those are beautiful.