Thursday, August 2, 2012


I mentioned in my last post the fence knit from the stole pattern by Eunny Jang, and the fact that I absolutely love the pattern!
I've started it!
...and started it...
...and started it....
In fact, I've 'started' it at least 5 times.
The first problem I had was with the provisional, or hidden, cast on that I used. I think that was the reason for at least two of my false starts. I hate it. Its the one where you hold the waste yarn above and the working yarn below, and sweep down and around and then up and between, this one, its looks horrible, the edges are all jagged and its impossible for me to keep an even tension on it. And when I knit lace I use a life line, and all that hanging string! Ugh! No, its not OCD, its.... well I don't know what it is, but it really, really bugged me! So after watching a few videos on provisional cast ons, I settled on one that would better suite my controlling tendencies, this one. It is neat, it is solid, it doesn't slip or slide, I love it!

Another couple of restarts were due to miscounts, confusion and aggravation. Derek asked me why I would even bother if it was going to stress me out so badly. I showed him a picture of a finished stole, and said "THAT's why I bother, its gorgeous!" and I'm stubborn that way.
I had started out using one stitch marker, smack in the middle of the pattern repeat (it has essentially three 'sections', the middle one repeats 4 times). This was working out ok, but had to back up so many times over 40 stitches I decided to use 5 markers, one at the end of the first section, three between the repeated sections, and one at the beginning of the last section. Got through three rows and I was off by one stitch! How could this be? Went back and counted.... there are 8 stitches in the first section of row one, and 9 in the first section of row 3! I couldn't figure it out! Literally hundreds of people have made this stole! Surely someone would have pointed out an error like that! So I called Laura (a second time) my inside line to knitting omniscience. We both realized at the same time that the first section staggers by one stitch halfway through the pattern block. Laura knit a couple panels to be sure, and that was indeed the case. So, off with the stitch markers, back to one in the center.
I was going great guns after that, almost through the third block repeat when it hit me; this thing is HUGE! The pattern calls for either cobweb weight yarn with a US size 00 needle, or lace weight with a size 4 needle. I didn't like it (yet another restart for that), so I went to a size 6 needle. If I'd continued I'd have run out of yarn long before I finished the center panel.
So what to do.... I decided instead of doing 4 repeats of the center section, I would do only three. Ripped and restarted! Hopefully, for the final time.
Not a very good picture, but you can see how the pattern tends. This is just loosely stretched over a white towel. When finished it will have edging too, so will be a few inches wider to either side. I'm guessing after stretching and blocking it will be about 18 inches wide. 
I generally don't spin alpaca, but I have to say, this yarn is luscious! I love holding it, knitting with it, touching it; its just really pleasant, and gives me good feelings :)


Jody said...

Becky it looks lovely :-)
Lace knitting can be truly confusing at times especially if you are fairly new to it but I definitely think it is worth the trouble too!!

Laura said...

Knitting Omniscience? Really? Though I'm flattered ...

I did my sample in fingering weight on size 4 needles, and man did it stretch. However, I was using romeldale, which is stretchier than alpaca. I think yours will be fine!

And good for you for sticking with it!! I have too many things in the queue right now to add another, but it'll be percolating all the while...