Tag Archives: lace

You Want me to Cast on WHAT?! (Test of Counting That High)

10 Jan

Casting on has is an art all it’s own. There are books dedicated to just this technique alone and depending on what you’re making/doing, you should know at least five at all times.

I dislike trying to use long-tail cast on for large projects (and I try to use other methods because this one is a little ugly for an edge). I know the whole trick about leaving a tail, wrapping the yarn, counting the wraps, then multiplying that length of yarn to the number I need. But you know what? It doesn’t always work. There, I wrote it! I find that method is a better measurement then eyeballing the amount of yarn you need, but I either end up with WAY too much yarn (usually the bigger the needs, the more yarn) or just missed the mark (converse issue of the former).

I figured out why this happens, it depends on how tightly you wind the yarn around the need and how tightly you actually make the cast on stitch. See how this doesn’t work out so well? Wind too tight, but cast on even a little loosely, there goes your measurement.

Also, don’t use the backwards loop cast on. Why? Because of the structure of the stitch when cast on (super stretchy), you end up with WAY too much yarn. This method is best for a handful of stitches, not for 100+.

I like to use the lace cast on method (and I stick to this one when I’m using smaller needles, but not necessarily lace. Like for a shawl, scarf, or cowl). Eunny Jang has an AWESOME page about this lace cast ons and I’m really linking it here for me to remember where the heck it is (oh, yeah, and you too. Sharing and all that).

But remember, when you have a project, look up a few cast on methods for the type of project you’re doing and chose accordingly. Not all projects need a long tail.

Working my crafty, old lady Friday night (Judge me, I dare you), -Stacy C

Giveaway and the Springtime Bandit Finale!

12 Jun

The time has come my knitting peeps, to talk of many things – but I’m done on the Springtime Bandit! Almost. This is the last installment about this pattern and my adventures in advanced lace knitting.

Let me start off by pointing out the edge chart shows both RS and WS rows, which means you have to pay attention to EACH row. (Really, you get the hang of it after a couple of WS rows. Just don’t  get lazy!) The reading of the pattern is still the right side only before you have to go “backward” once you get to the middle (green) square. Let’s take a look at the chart, shall we?

The mighty third and ending chart

Doesn’t look intimidating AT ALL. I decided from the beginning of this chart to show it who’s boss and I took some strategy methods to make this crazy chart portion one of the least mistake and problem sections of this project. How did I do this? So glad you asked.

First, I wrote on every row of the chart and marked the K stitches so I wouldn’t count incorrectly in the “moment” of the row. Look closely at the first few rows (you can click on it for a closer look):

“Write” out the pattern

You will see that I wrote a number in the center of the K stitches and ran a line through the rest. This helped me know that I had to do so many K stitches before moving on to the next type of stitch. When you do this, be sure to use a non-black ink pen (pencil runs when highlighted and is hard to see), ensuring you don’t confusion your K shorthand with the actual pattern. Then, I wrote on the side of the main chart how many stitches are in each section before and after the pattern repeat (sill 14 stitches for repeat). This helped me know when I was getting to the end of repeating and needed to have enough stitches for the last portion of the row. I did all of these notations before I even started this chart because I knew I would get overwhelmed and wouldn’t want to start and stop between knitting rows.

Another helpful tip was to use a two color highlighter system. I highlighted the row I was on alternating colors making sure I didn’t confuse what row I was on by accidentally looking at the one below. One color was for the RS and one was for the WS. Of course after I did this chart I found out about a new discovery – highlighter tape. I was floored! You can put down this piece of tape, then pick it up and move it up a line. I really want to try this for next time.

To finish out, I steam ironed it which worked wonders with the cotton. I’ve washed it since I’ve ironed it and it really maintained its shape. Look in awe at the end result!

FINISHED!

The Prize

(GIVEAWAY!) To celebrate the end and for my loyal readers, I have a giveaway! I’m giving away a large skein of Lily Cotton, Sugar ‘n Cream Twists. This skein is 603 yards of cotton possibilities and with this size you can make a shawlette or scarf and still have enough left over for a washcloth! This giveaway is open until July 9, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. To enter leave a comment telling me your favorite lace pattern and whether you love or hate lace. For extra entries, follow me on twitter or retweet a post (leave another comment letting me know your Twitter handle). I will announce the winner on July 10, 2012.

Loving my lace fever,
-Stacy C.

Tackling Lace (and the Springtime Bandit) Part 2

5 Jun

Hello again boys and girls,

I hope my last post helped you with basic lace chart knowledge and/or the tricky Springtime Bandit. In this post I’m going to cover the second chart (aka body chart). This is where the fun happens and where it starts to get a little harder. (How could it get harder?! It does, simmer down, you can do this.) I will say, for a three charter, at least it gets incrementally tougher and not all in your face at once.

At this point, I suggest placing a stitch marker after the green square (halfway point of the row). This let me know if I had properly done the row to that point. There’s nothing more frustrating than pulling out 100+ stitches when you get to the end of a row verses 50. Another way to help with pulling out stitches is a lifeline. There’s a lot of different ways to use/place a lifeline and this video from verypinkknits and article from knittingdaily.com should help. I’m not a big fan for many reasons and prefer the stitch marker method; but I offer all options to my readers to keep down murder rates of  lace and/or others with needles.

Look at the progress!

The body chart starts off with 67 stitches and repeat the chart (12 rows) four times. Once again, this chart reads right side only, go backward at the mid-row point, and only shows RS rows. The first round of the chart is simple because there isn’t a pattern repeat. When you get to the 14 stitch repeat portion, you will read it this way:

Row 1: k2, yo, *k5, vov, k5, sk2togp, repeat from * until the last 12 stitches, this brings you to the midpoint. Going “backward”, yo, k5, vov, k5, *sk2togp, k5, vov, k5, repeat from * until the last 2 stitches

Remember, as you are doing this chart, you will increase the number of repeats for each pattern round. By the time you get to the last chart repeat you will be doing the pattern repeat five times before you continue to the middle stitch. This is the way it’s supposed to work because it needs to grow to fan out for the triangle shape.

One other thing, If you look at the left-hand side of the picture, you can see my chart is marked up. It might seem overwhelming, but it really helps you keep on task. As I (and another reader) found out, going over the chart with this kind of intense care helps you see where you might be reading the chart wrong. I never like to mark things up, books, handouts, worksheets, etc. (I know, that’s what they’re there for, duh!). I like to keep my stuff look nice and new for as long as possible; however, I decided this was for the greater good. Once I marked the pattern in my own secret code, it was as if the pattern came alive and took root in my brain! Using a charts only pattern really leaves a lot of room for the reader to skim over the right way to read the project or misread a key element. An extra “tip,” if you’re working from a book, take a photocopy and mark the duplicate up. Your book still stays nice and spiffy – ta da! (Geeky, I know.)

At the end of this section you should have 167 stitches – no arguments. It’s a requirement to go to the next phase.

Finishing up the Father’s Day Gifts,
-Stacy C.

Yarn Farts – Kinda Like the Brain Ones

2 May

Well my yarn peeps. I kind of feel like I’m letting you down.

“Why?!” “What do you possibly mean?!”

I wanted to write another post last week and then have one fresh and ready yesterday. I have ideas but I haven’t gotten around to finishing the projects…

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Lace, so pretty it sucks you in.

It’s like this: I’m not really trying anything new right now. I feel like I don’t have much to add to the blog I try to keep fresh and insightful; however, I’m having a lot of fun re-using patterns. I don’t normally re-make the same thing, but with my Etsy shop I’ve had some success posting similar items. Also, I want to revisit some techniques to get better and more proficient.

Right now I’m making a leaf lace scarf and revisiting the concentration that is the dainty knitting project. I have to count EVERYstitch and follow the pattern like a TelePrompTer. Not easy – but challenging! Now I know why it’s worth buying the completed delicate knit items from stores. But then I know what the third world workers feel like… It’s an internal conflict.

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It's a start! But SO slow.

Also, I’ve been kind of busy making items for the procreated. What’s with everyone having babies?! I don’t like to make baby clothes, so I tend to make blankets or booties – again, takes time and/or concentration.

Not getting stuck in a rut is important, but I’m reassuring myself it’s ok to revisit a skill – like perfecting a game level! Ok, watching seasons of “The Guild” on Netflix was a mistake for this non-gamer.P.S. Going to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend. MUCH will be written about that adventure.

Back to my lace sweat shop,
-Stacy C

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