Rhymes With Fuchsia

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Life in Lace

I've been reading the Moroccan Days/Arabian Nights discussions on Ravelry, where people are sharing their experiences with lace and tips for knitting lace without going (more) insane, and it got me thinking about lace projects that I haven't talked about here because I finished them before I started blogging.

This was my second lace baby blanket and my first complex lace project. I used five lace patterns from the Walker treasuries, from the outside in, Razor Shell (this almost doesn't count as it has only a single pattern row repeated on every right-side row), Triple Leaf Pattern, Little Lace Chain, Dayflower, and Leaf Shadows (of Branching Out fame). I used an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of what row of what pattern I was on, and I couldn't even watch TV or converse meaningfully while working on the front (the back at least was all purl except for one stitch in one row of the Dayflower pattern). Eventually I managed to memorize all of the patterns except Dayflower; it would be interesting to try it again now and see if I found it easier. I finished this project in the spring of 2002, and I've done a lot of lace since then, although nothing quite that complicated. The blanket ended up being 240 rows long, which was one full repeat of the combination of patterns (which have repeats of 12, 6, 16, and 10 rows respectively).

I made these mats for my stepmother for Christmas in 2003. I made the round one up as I went along, and ended up increasing a bit too much in the outer part. If I did more of these I would plan them out better. (I actually did do one a couple of years ago that turned out better because I planned it better, but I seem not to have a picture of it.)

I worked on this scarf for quite a while — it was in fact the scarf that turned out to be easier than garter stitch — and ended up giving it to my sister for Christmas 2005. I used the simple pattern Barbara Walker calls English Mesh Lace, with an equally simple scalloped border.

If knitting a complex lace project I would use a spreadsheet, stitch markers between the different patterns (or maybe even repeats of the same pattern), and lifelines early and often, and I would make full use of all the cheats and shortcuts I've learned for fixing mistakes without ripping back. I hope to do a tutorial on those sometime soon.


  • I'm still trying to pick up my jaw at your 2nd lace baby blanket and "first complex project" Holy mackerel. Gorgeous!

    By Blogger Norma, at 1:01 AM  

  • For some reason, I find your description of the blanket immensely satisfying!

    By Blogger Danielle, at 7:19 AM  

  • Because most of my knitting is done in fits and starts, while I take the kids to various games, gigs, and appointments, I don't tend to knit a lot of lace. I just know I'd lose my place too easily. When I do, though, I'm one of the folks who keeps stitch-marker makers in business! LOL

    Your projects are all beautiful!

    By Blogger Chris H, at 10:56 AM  

  • Those are gorgeous! You sure don't fool around!

    By Blogger Carol, at 11:06 AM  

  • Can you include a section of the tutorial titled, "How to protect your lace from kitty claw damage"?

    I can't believe you just made that round mat up as you went along -- it's so perfect!

    By Blogger Ackery, at 2:58 PM  

  • And you think I'm creative? Holey old boot soles, woman! Your lace knocks my socks off!

    By Blogger Roxie, at 11:23 AM  

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