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Rethinking lace

October 20th, 2010

In every good project, there comes at least one minor setback. With the Every Last Yard Cardigan, it happened yesterday.

I’m mostly finished with the body of the sweater, and am knitting the lower lace border. Because one of the requirements is that this sweater be cast-off-able at any given point (to maximize yarn use), the border is simply knit down from the body. It needed a repetitious enough lace pattern to work well with an unpredictable cast off. I looked through books and project notes, but couldn’t find anything I loved for the yarn and the pattern. So, hot on the heels of my last project, I decided to design a pattern myself.

One of the big challenges with lace design is that although a pattern can look spectacular when charted out, the realities of actually knitting it in your chosen yarn and at your chosen gauge can be dramatically underwhelming.

The first lace pattern I designed was exactly this way. In the pdf, you can see how the pattern looks extremely vertical, a little bit ornate, and able to cast off at any time. I thought it would look pretty cool in the yarn; modern, a little funky.

In reality?

No.

Ugly.

A big, hot, mess.

Although I initially liked the first inch or so, after knitting through the chart last night and beginning the cast off, I had changed my mind entirely. This isn’t at all what I had in mind.

So, this morning I set my alarm for 6:30. I didn’t go to the gym. I didn’t bake. I didn’t do (very much) housework. I sat on the couch, watched Canada AM, and ripped back the five inches.

I then went back to my notebook and found this pattern; a simple four row repeat that, in my opinion, is perfectly perfect for this design. This time, after finishing a couple of inches, I knew I was again on the right track.

Every Last Yard is chugging along nicely again. I should be able to finish the body with about 275 or 300 yards left with which to work the sleeves. It’s not a cropped sweater either; I’m planning the cast off to hit around my hips.

This is already a project that I’m itching to finish. It’s becoming an obsession; choosing to knit over a little extra sleep is the first sign of such sickness. With any luck, I’ll be done this weekend… stay tuned!

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2 Responses to “Rethinking lace”

  1. Tammy Says:

    This sounds like a cute sweater and just up my alley. I like my sweaters to end about my hips, maybe just a tad higher. I don’t like short sweaters and I find most patterns need to be adjusted for that.

  2. cindy Says:

    Not understanding row 7. I have 4 stitches left & it says to pm and pick up stitches. Am I to do this with 4 stitches on my needle? Am confused by this pattern

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