Wednesday, March 10, 2010

First Attempt at Lace

The seasons are changing; we had our first Spring rain a few days ago right on top of all the snow. I don't think I have a favorite season, but I do rejoice each time a new season comes, and this is expressed in my knitting. The hat and mitten mania that seized me around the holidays has passed. Now I want to pack away the heavy wools and move on to something airy and light, which could only mean it is high time to try... lace.

I've always avoided lace, as I hear it is terribly difficult. WHY? There are several reasons people avoid lace. First, you have to really pay attention. Lace is absolutely not the sort of project you undertake whilst your butt is parked in front of your favorite show. And if you do make a mistake, it can be much harder to repair than say, a dropped stitch in a plain project.

I always assumed that lace was made on the tiniest of needles. NOT NECESSARILY TRUE. While lace is often created with thin yarn, the needles are often much larger than one would think, as large needles create the holes.

I highly recommend Victorian Lace Today, by Jane Sowerby. The projects and photography are exquisite, and on page 20, she has a pattern for a simple yet gorgeous shawl.

The first thing I did was try to make a sample to see if I could really do this. Here it is, made of a lace weight alpaca and silk blend yarn on Size 3 (U.S.) needles, showing two repeats:

I am quite pleased, even though this hasn't been blocked yet. Blocking, something you do after a project is completed, means using an iron and pins to give the project a perfect shape.

I love the way the Spring peeks through:


A Novel Woman said...

Oooh, very nice! Love the colour and it looks so soft.

Lottery Girl said...

Thank you!

It is incredibly soft! The bigger it gets, the more I love it. Of course, this is only a sample and so will be taken apart. Must go get the proper needles...

My word is "undwinis." Yep, this lace is soft enough to wear as "undwinis."

Deniz Bevan said...

Lovely! I haven't tried lace myself, yet, and part of the problem was that I, too, thought it would be on fiddly little needles. Happy to know it doesn't have to be!

Lottery Girl said...


Thanks for popping in! Yes, I am having a ton of fun. This pattern is fairly easy, especially once you get the rhythm down.