Adventures in lace knitting

One of my new year’s resolutions was to attempt lace knitting. I decided my first project would be Jan Eaton’s Leaf Lace Washcloth as a) it’s a free pattern, b) it’s not tooooo lacy and c) washcloths are small and therefore reasonably quick. After a false start due to a very messy cast on edge, I created this over a weekend:

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Yay! It was done using 4mm needles and Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton DK in something like the Frost colourway. Doing the lace stitches themselves wasn’t too bad actually. I found that the hardest part was following the pattern as I kept mis-reading or skipping stitches. Coincidentally, I am now reasonably good at un-knitting (my definition of this is reversing the knitting motions to un-knit the required number of stitches until I reach the mistake. Not large scale frogging where whole swathes of fabric are unwound in an instant).

I also had my first foray into blocking with this. I pinned out the washcloth to a thickly folded towel laid on the ironing board (using the blocking pins Rob got me for Christmas!) and then waved a steaming iron over it until it was pretty damp. I then realised that I had to move the whole assembly to the sofa as the ironing board blocked all access to the bathroom – not my cleverest move. Note to self – next time lay everything out in its final position before commencing Operation Block. Anyway, it turned out alright, and I gave it to Rob’s Mum for her birthday. I haven’t a clue what she can do with it though! It’s not the most useful of pieces.

Following on from that adventure, I started on a scarf sweater for my Mum. The premise behind this is you knit a long scarf, wrap it around your top half and then sew the ends together to form a sweater. If you can believe this, it was supposed to be a Christmas present! Ahem. Hopefully I can complete it by her birthday (October).

Anyway, I must have had a brain malfunction when ordering the yarn (Debbie Bliss Rialto in light grey) as I got in Aran weight instead of Chunky. After frantically making some gauge swatches with various sized needles, I worked out that if I made the large size scarf with 7mm needles I *might* just be able to achieve the width of the small size and still have enough yarn left over.

Gauge swatch:

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When ripping back the gauge swatch I had to take a photo of the last row as it really resembled a soft, squishy caterpillar:

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Scarf commenced!:

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After measuring, it’s just under the small size by about an inch, but I think that’ll be ok as fortunately my Mum’s quite skinny. ;) I’ll post an update about this soon as the above photo was taken on the 28th January, and I’ve done a bit more since then. :) I’ve also got even better at unknitting, and even had to delve into frogging territory. I can safely say that frogging lace knitting is not my favourite thing in the world to do, but I have at least emerged on the other side relatively unscathed (bar the nightmares).

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