Friday, 7 September 2012

Different Lace for Different Times

I was in the garden this afternoon thinking about doing another lace item and was thinking about the different approach you take with different types of lace knitting.
Fishbone lace - A reoccurring pattern
There is the lace knitting that is part of a reoccurring pattern. This is always a bit of a challenge to start with as each new pattern takes some getting used to. It can cause quite a bit of frustration at the beginning as the first 10-20 rows are often redone a number of times. It takes time to get the feel for the lace and how it behaves and how to know instinctively what is right or wrong in a new pattern. However, once you've got over that hurdle, the going gets a lot smoother and if it is not too difficult a pattern, you can end up doing it from memory. Often you get quite addicted to it and can stay knitting that pattern for quite a while. I find it is very much like starting a new job. You take a while to learn about everyone and how they react and the tasks and then you settle into a groove.
Pictorial lace - Snail Odyssey Baby Blanket
Pictorial knitting is often seen as more daunting because it is a bit like a one off event you take part in. In a one-off event, you have lots of people helping who you don't know and tasks aren't familiar. It is a crazy jumble of activities, which you don't often have to redo. At the end of the day, you can look back at the event in its entirety and be very proud. Pictorial knitting is very much like that as there isn't a rythmn you get into, almost every line is new and you have to concentrate to get it done. Personally I find while there is a little less pleasure in the making, it is made up for in seeing the finished product. I get such a buzz from seeing it all done!

Because of the different ways in which those types of lace need to be handled, I find they are both suited for different times. A reoccurring lace pattern is a great source of relaxation once the hurdle of starting is over and can be done even when very tired or on route to somewhere. Pictorial knitting is great to knit when you are determined to make something wonderful and have a bit of quiet time to dedicate to it. Definitely not to be done with small children around!

For both types of lace knitting, but specifically for pictorial knitting - I always use a ruler to mark the row I am at and always have a pencil handy to mark off on the chart or on the written instruction which rows I have done. Other tips to try include threading a bit of scrap yarn through your stitches every so often to act as a life line for when you make a mistake and need to rip back. Some people also find stitch markers useful to show pattern repeats - I tend to find that if I use those I don't get into the rythmn of the lace and it takes me longer to master but each to their own. Whatever makes you more comfortable to try out lace knitting is the most important thing!

Lace knitting does take a bit of courage and perseverence but after all, it's just yarn...what's the worst it can do to you ?

No comments:

Post a Comment