Thursday, October 28, 2010

Knitting lace.

Way back in July when I started planning Christmas gifts I decided that I wanted to spin enough lace weight alpaca to make my Mother a big scarf/shawl. It seemed like a pretty crazy goal, but at the time I was quite gung-ho on the spinning thing and for some reason seemed to think that the knitting part was practically a throw away.

The month past, and while I did accomplish a good bit of spinning, I didn't meet my goal. So when October came near everything was a bit iffy, but I decided to proceed with Mother's scarf/shawl reducing the repeats in efforts to still have enough remaining yarn to make a scarf for Bran's sister.

Then I proceeded to struggle with the 3rd row of the pattern. It took much longer than it should but after a while i figured it out, and i was off.

I've not done much lace knitting at all so it was something different. The project certainly didn't look like much while on the needles. But I found that when I stretched it out things were shaping up rather awesomely.

Unfortunately awesome or not things seemed to be crawling along at a snails pace. But then after about two weeks of plodding along suddenly I found my groove with the pattern and I started going more quickly. I also started to realize just how much size was added when the knitting was stretched. It was awesome.

And so late last Friday I found myself at a point where I could cast off! The next day (after a traumatic laundromat visit) I made my own blocking board. and on Sunday I stretched the whole thing out 20" by 60" and let the sucker dry. 

Inevitably there are a good many inconsistencies in the project. There are a few spots where you can see that I used a batch of coarser, not quite the same color, fleece. Really I need to get over it and just throw that stuff out next time (I hate waste!). At the end of my first skein I seemed to have gotten particularly fine with my spinning, then the next skein started off a bit more bulky. And lastly I'm not sure if I was just knitting more loosly or if the yarn changed, both are quite possible, but the start of the scarf is much tighter than it was when I casted off. Blocking helped this last issue some, but really the end didn't take nearly as much stretching, so who knows....

Plus I am quite worried that as Mother uses it the crazy hand-made item could easily loose shape. I was reading knitting horror stories about such things with alpaca yarn....that would be sad.

But for now at least I can enjoy marveling at this simple beauty.

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