Who knits lace?

dances_in_gardenMarch 28, 2006

I am becoming infatuated with some of the lace wrap patterns I am seeing. They look soft and airy as clouds. I haven't taken the plunge yet, as it is hard for me to find the correct weight of yarn (not ready to order it online yet), and the thought of casting on like 300 stitches is giving me hives right now.

Then there is the issue of finding enough "real estate" on a flat surface to properly block the piece when done.

So. Who knits lace? Anything I need to consider before trying? And what kind of yarn do you use?

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Well, it's been a long time, but I knitted a tablecloth for DH's cousin's wedding. It was done on circular needles and I used a very fine yarn about the size of bedspread cotton but softer. I don't remember exactly what it was. I also don't remember blocking it!

I have a crocheted lace tablecloth on my dining room table, and when I wash it I just throw it in the dryer until it's nearly dry then plop it back on the table. I tried hanging it with a clothespin from the center, thinking it would stretch out evenly to it's correct size. While it stretched out nicely, it also ended up with a very lovely peak in the middle from the clothespin.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 1:28PM
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I haven't tried it yet, but a lot of people I've talked to say this is a great pattern for starting lace.

Plus, it's small, so you don't need to find a large place to put it!

~ Kit

Here is a link that might be useful: Branching Out

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 7:56PM
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Hey Dances! Check out the Knitting Curmudgeon see link - she has great lace knitting advice...

Here is a link that might be useful: The Knitting Curmudgeon

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 10:26PM
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I know that I asked to get replies emailed to me, and yet, was surprised to see responses to this thread as I haven't gotten any. Hmmm. LOL!

Thank you for both of those links. Good lace knitting tips from the curmudgeon, and a lovely knitty pattern!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 12:31PM
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Hmmm ... who does knit lace. One of the difficulties seems to be getting hold of lace-weight yarns without having to mortgage the house.

I've been trying to get hold of a thread similar to Size 5 Crochet which is mercerized, but not Perle Cotton, to knit a christening dress with crocheted panels. The options seem to be a 2 ply silk or Shetland wool.

I'll have a look at the sites mentioned above. You never know.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 5:13PM
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Lace kniting is addictive! You never get bored and the results are gorgeous. If you're trying it for the first time, the suggestion of the Branching Out scarf vrom Knitty.com is a great one. For first projects, use a fingering or sportweight yarn and needles 2 sizes larger than suggested for the yarn weight. Do some swatches to see if you like the reults. Block your swatch - you'll find that it'll "grow" so take that into account when planning a wrap or shawl. You'll need needles with pointy tips because there'll be decreases like K3tog etc. Also have plenty of stitch markers to help you count your stitches in the repeats and "lifelines" (dental floss works) so if you discover a mistake, frogging will be easier. Learn how to read a chart because written-out lace instructions can be hard on the eyes and mistakes made more easily. You can enlarge the chart at a copy shop and use colored hi-lighters to mark the different decreases. Use a magnetic board to hold your chart and a magnetic ruler to keep your place. If you absolutely hate charts, write out each line of instructions on 3 by 5 cards, hole punch them and put thru a ring.

You don't have to cast on hundreds of stitches for a shawl. some patterns start with a few stitches and increase from the neck. Lace weight yarn is fabulous but you may want to hold off trying it until you've done a couple of lace projects. Merino laceweights are soft and easiest to use. The silk blends can be slippery and the alpacas and cottons have no "give". Laceweight is actually a bargain when you consider how many yards you get for the price. Knitpicks.com has some well-priced lace weight yarns.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lace patterns

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 10:47AM
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The situation in Australia is a bit different. Apart from not having the big retail outlets which help keep prices down, yarns fine enough for lace knitting seems to be in the realm of those who stock the very expensive imported yarns and the alpaca/silk/etc and are priced accordingly.

Mail order from overseas can be very expensive, especially on bulky items. And then our exchange rate adds about one third to the total cost.

I think Australians have developed a bit of the "why knit it when you can buy the Made in China version for less than the cost of the wool" mentality. Or perhaps they just don't have time. But there are fewer and fewer outlets and much less choice than there used to be.

I knit scarves and slippers from cheap acrylic yarns, but otherwise don't knit much anymore. I simply can't afford to.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 6:33PM
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Wombat - I'd no idea wool is so expensive in Australia. Have you tried looking on eBay? You may be able to get a cone of yarn to make the postage worthwhile and keep you knitting for a while. It's almost impossible to knit something for less than the mass produced stuff in the stores. I guess we knit for the pleasure of it, when we can.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 8:59PM
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Hey wombat! What about the yarns from Bendigo Woolen Mill there in Australia? They seem to have many weights and colors. I don't remember the price being that bad even with shipping 1/2 way across the world. If you e-mail them they send you a card with many samples.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 4:09AM
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I started out small with this beautiful shawl for my daughters doll http://www.markno.dk/product.asp?product=31934 - but I am now so hooked on it that my next project will be a big shawl for myself. I pinned the finished shawl to the mattress in our guest bedroom, which I found worked quite nicely.

This store ships worldwide - wool, cotton and other yarns - and the shipping is quite reasonable I think.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 4:12PM
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Hi Dances!!! You need to visit the KT more often, as well as here!

I have a shawl pattern that I really like, starts with a few sts and increases. It took me a year to do because I didn't know about a life line when I made it. I kept having to rip out more rows than I put in! I will try it again soon, have the yarn for it, but fair projects and a sweater to finish first. It's my "keep in the car for chilly restaraunts" shawl! It goes where I go.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 11:47PM
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