Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Quest for Lace

OK. I have made a decision to try lace knitting. I've gotten a couple of patterns from Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill. Violets by the River Shawl and Lotus Blossom Shawl. And a book, A Gathering of Lace, is on its way. But I want to know what you think is a good beginner's pattern? What yarn choice is appropriate for a first-timer? I'd appreciate any recommendation you can give. Thanks!

6 comments:

Ted said...

Well, how much of a challenge do you want?

"Violets by the River" is a nice beginner piece...except that it's in silk. I'd recommend that you do it in wool, wich they have here ;http://blackberry-ridge.com/lacshwls.htm It's a smallish project, and there are some interesting stitches in it, so you'll learn things. Sometimes big projects can be overwhelming, simply because of how big they are, and how long they take.

I've not worked "Lotus Blossom" but I have heard that the instructions are crystal clear. The silk blend yarns the mill recommends would be good to work with, as would the wools.

From "Gathering of Lace", a good beginner project would be Amy Detjen's shawl in purple. It's very simple, you'd get a good rhythm going, there's some useful technique explained. But it might be too simple for you, once you're past that learning.

The "Faux Russian" is also nice, and I'm sure Blackberry could sell you an appropriate yarn. Ask them. It's more complex, but there is a really interesting internal geometry, and once you start to see that, it becomes much easier.

There's also a few other designs at Blackberry Ridge that I think you could tackle. Email me for further thoughts.

Dave Daniels said...

I think you're really brave to take on lace knitting. It's something that I don't know that I would try for some time, the yarns are too delicate for my man-hand-paws. lol Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Agnes said...

I can just share with you my own experience. My first real lace project was River from Rowan 38. The pattern is simple (and got a bit boring at the end, to be honest!) and easy to handle. I use Karabella lace mohair. Actually, not a good choice for first project since mohair is not easy to frog. Then, I made Kiri which is another good beginner project. I use a bright red wool lace from handpaintedyarns.com and the result is stunning (it's a gift to my mother-in-law)! Sampler Stole is my third and I can tell you once you get the hang of it, lace knitting is addictive. I am dying to start Birch (another Rowan).

gerald said...

I say go for it! lace knitting takes time and concentration but I think you've got what it takes.

I might agree with Dave Daniels but I've never seen his hands.

Personally, I'm not ready for lace yet. I'm not thinking about intarsia seriously but I'm thinking about it.

Learn about "life lines" which are put in the work periodically so you can rip back and not mess up the repeat.

Jason said...

Thanks everyone! I think I have decided on a project. But I'll not reveal it until I start knitting. hehehe

Celtic Knitter said...

OH sure, keep it a secret :(
Oh, by the way, I hate knitting lace.