Thursday, November 02, 2006

That was Then, This is Now

Back in the distant past of early September, I made knitting plans, and I shared them on this blog. It was time to knit lace in a triangle, i.e. a shawl. I thought the Ruby colorway of Fleece Artist Merino would make a fantastic Christmas shawl to wear knit up in the Diamond Fantasy Shawl. And it still would be if I were more a visual than an audio thinker/learner. Lace doesn't talk. You have to figure it out by looking at it. It's easy in a rectangle, but a triangle--I need some remedial help. I got this far on the DFS:


I was tearing my hair out. I was knitting stitch-to-stitch, my crochet hook clenched in my teeth for easily fixing mistakes, M would speak to me and I would grunt. The grunting brought me to my senses (grunting is NOT attractive). I wanted to enjoy knitting this, and then I wanted to be happy while I wore it. So, it will have to wait a little while.

So, how to fix this problem? How do I get lace to speak? Well, I thought I could pay more attention to the rectangular lace I was knitting quite happily. Rather than blindly following the pattern, I could try to figure it out. What a concept! It isn't a new concept for me either. Biochemistry is a pretty visual field (cells and molecules aren't very chatty), and yet I managed to develop ways of understanding molecular structures even though I can't see the molecules in my head and spin them around the way M can (I think he's a bit of a mutant). If I could do it with molecules, I can do it with lace.

My Grapevine lace scarf (previously I kept referring to it as the trellis lace pattern, but it is not) is an 8 stitch, 12 row repeat pattern, and I've knit it to 21 inches long so far:


For the last 4-5 inches I've been anticipating before I start the next row what I am going to have to knit (it's really easy on the wrong side rows, they're all purl) before I look at the pattern, which is written be from Barbara Walker's 1st treasury. This has been very enlightening. So has knitting the lace border for the Lucy Top from Wendy Knits!:


I was confused at first about which way the decreases should go around a YO (I hadn't really thought about it before), and after speaking with my knitting guru, Elsie (who doesn't blog), I realized that I had "conceptualized" it bassackwards. Elsie was kind enough not to tell me I had it backwards (I thought decreases should point/lean away from the YO), but just that she had never seen a lace pattern as I described. Ah.

I now realize that in some part of my brain (it doesn't let me in there very often to poke around), that I knew I would have visual difficulties, and that is why several weeks ago I purchased the pattern for the Forest Canopy Shawl from Susan. Her pattern has an extensive tutorial and it's a beautiful, yet simple lace repeat for those of us who are learning to "read" lace. So, I bought yarn to knit it.


That's Schaefer Anne in Silver Sage. It's luscious. And, as someone pointed out, it matches my eyes. I also bought some Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Green Mountain Madness to make the Fiber Trends Landscape shawl.


I bought that pattern several years ago when I first thought I would want to knit a shawl, but then I beaded much more than knit for a few years. I've been thinking of it in the GMM colorway for quite sometime, and Alison at Simply Sock Yarn Company had enough in the same dyelot. It seemed like fate (OK, I did email her to ask if she had enough, but it's still fate). Anyway, it is a triangle knit from the tip to the top with basic knit-purl patterns between YO increases. This also should help me get the whole triangle thing down, especially as it works the triangle from the opposite direction of the Forest Canopy Shawl. I am going to be a triangle-knitting, lace-knitting whiz before I am through. And that's as it should be.

Friday, marks a week before my birthday, so I think it will be time to announce a little contest. A way to win yarn and something beaded just for you. Check back Friday evening for details.

1 comment:

PlanetJanet said...

Brenda, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around a triangular shawl lace pattern as well. It took me several lace "adventures" (i.e. mistakes) just to master rectangular lace patterns. Sooner or later, it DOES speak; but lace is quiet and smug. ;-)

I love the Schaefer Anne! I knew when I saw the yarn it had to be Schaefer Anne . . . it's a gorgeous muted colorway. Lucky you that it's your eye color too!

The Landscape shawl will be wonderful in that CTH colorway!