In keeping with my resolution this year to expand my knitting skills, I've been working on lace knitting! And after a little bit of three steps forward, two steps back, I think I've got it down. I've been working on a simple lace scarf that uses teeny, tiny yarn that causes me to have to take breaks, but one was a lot more complicated and necessitated some new strategies!
The pattern is Tornved by Karina Westermann and is on Ravelry here. I love this shawl! There are several more in my future! As far as being a good beginning lace project .... sort of. I did fine with most of it, searched for YouTube videos for the few terms I wasn't sure of, and just used trial and error on a few steps that I couldn't quite visualize. It worked!
So what are the strategies I used? The first was the use of "life lines" - and believe me, I used these several times! A life line is basically a safety line so that when you get confused or lose your place (happens easily in a lace chart), you can frog back to the life line (a place you know where you are) instead of starting entirely over. After the first time of using this, I began putting in life lines every few rows! I used size 10 crochet thread and a darning needle to place it under the stitches on my needle - leave large tails hanging out the ends as it tends to pull into the knitted piece. JLYarnworks has some good pictures of the process - including one of what happens if you put the life line through the stitch marker. I should've found this site before I used my first life line - that's exactly what I did and found it causes large pains later!
A couple more strategies I found helped are sticky notes, stitch markers, and counting. I used the sticky note under the repeat of the row I was currently on to help me keep my place. The stitch markers were to help me make sure I had knitted the correct stitches - I placed one after each repeat (rotating with two of them) and then both counted the stitches and checked to make sure they were the correct stitches. Yes, this took a little more time, but saved me from having to take out a couple of rows of knitting several times. Counting served the same purpose. I counted at the end of each half row - and several times found that something had happened to a yarn over. Much easier to tink (unknitting) back to that spot than wait and discover it a couple of rows later. You can see on my instruction sheet how I kept track of how many stitches should be in a half row!
And here's the wonderful finished shawl!! I used Dream in Color Smooshy in Raspberry Blaze. My photos don't really show how beautiful this yarn is - here's a photo from Eat.Sleep.Knit where I ordered it from online.
Happy Creating! Deborah