I once had a musician tell me the key to singing barbershop harmony was minding your own business, staying focused on your own voice, and not getting confused by all the other voices around you. I find this bit of advice holds true to knitting lace. While knitting the Hermaness Hat for Karen Templer’s hatalong, I did as much unknitting as I did knitting. The reason being that my mind was not focused on my knitting. I had a zillion things racing through my head at that time, and just could not concentrate. I eventually had to put the project down until a time when I could give it my full attention.
Two weeks ago, with a 28 hour car trip ahead of me to deliver my son to college, I felt it a good time to start a larger lace project. With Ginny’s inspiration, I began the Lonely Tree Shawl pattern with my Gotland yarn. Experienced lace knitters have several tricks for keeping track of their work, which I followed this time to avoid unknitting:
- I used stitch markers to section off the repeats in the knitting. This made it easier to count as I knit and should I make a mistake, I could easily go back and find the exact section where the mistake was made.
- I printed a copy of the pattern and used a high lighter to mark of each row as I completed it, always ending on a wrong side row. This gave me a visual of my place in the knitting pattern.
- I repeated a little rhyme in my head each time I came to a yarn over or a ssk. I found when knitting the Hermaness hat, that my mistakes often came from forgetting the yarn over or forgetting to pass the knitted stitch over the slipped stitch. For this project, I stayed more focused during these portions of the pattern and only forgot the pass over once.
- I considered using a life line, running a contrasting piece of yarn through the knitting every other repeat so that if I had to rip out, I would have a stopping point where I could find my place in the pattern. I ended up not using the life line, as I was more attentive to my work and did not need to do so.
The shawl knit up quickly and I had it completed, washed, and blocked within about 10 days time. I love how the Gotland yarn has such a delicate feel to it. The shawl wraps your shoulders in warmth without hardly knowing it is there. I can see that I will have other lace shawls in my future!
Warm greetings to those stopping by from Ginny’s Yarn Along! Please leave a comment so I know you were here.