Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Sunday, July 18, 2010

sneaking in to lace knitting

Remember this? This is the beautiful 40% bamboo/ 60% silk lace weight yarn that I bought from Twist of Fate at the Victoria FibreFest last month.

The other night, I took it in to Ellie's shop and used her swift and winder. Holy cow did that ever take a long time. 1695m takes at least 10 minutes of turning that little handle.

To be fair, it went quite quickly. The yarn was so expertly wound up that there were no problems with tangles - which is surprising given the weight of this fine yarn.

So I was pretty happy with how it wound up.

I've had this little cake of lace yarn sitting on my table, waiting for me to attend to it for a few days now. Meanwhile, I have started knitting up the Blue Sky Alpaca yarn and have been stumped by the pattern I'm using (is there an errata for the errata?). I also decided that what was formerly known as my St. Patrick's Day socks will now go to my Twitter friend @felyn, as we have decided to have a little swap. She's a lighthouse radio operator in Newfoundland (doesn't that sound cool and exotic?) and has the most interesting Tweets of the 90 or so people I follow.

Anyhow, back to the lace.

A few posts ago I mentioned the generous gift of yarn, that it would free up some of the earmarked money for this lace book I wanted. I really shouldn't be spending the money, but, well, I have no excuse. It's all kinds of pretty and this one lace book should do me for at least five years.

I have been having a problem with this yarn, though, in that it is fairly new on the market and no one on Ravelry seems to have knit anything with it yet. This means I can't ask anyone for advice. I'm new to lace and really want to expand my skills, and I'm hoping I didn't make the same mistake with lace yarn & pattern as I did with socks (choose the most difficult project as my first, before even getting my training wheels).

I selected a pattern out of this book and started knitting my gauge swatch. You heard me, I knit gauge swatches. I didn't use to, but after a few disasters (a 'Boogie Vest' that became my 'Cavewoman Vest') I now never fail to include this crucial step. The problem I'm having with this lace gauge swatch is: 1) that my needles are too heavy. I'm using 4.5mm but they are straight metal needles. I think I need to acquire bamboo in this size; and 2) I'm supposed to get 18 stitches over 4 inches but it turns out more like 2.5 inches.

Now my dear @felyn tells me that blocking works miracles, so I will press on with this little gauge swatch. But I think before I go any further, I will get those bamboo needles tomorrow to save myself tears and wasted time.


  1. no one on Ravelry has knit with this book? where have you been looking? i put "Victorian Lace Today" in the "groups" section and...

    there are over 2500 members, many of whom, i'm guessing, have knit with this book and many, i suspect, you can for help and/or advice.

    ya just need to know where to look ;-)

    best of luck with the lace!

  2. The one most important piece of advice I can give you about knitting lace is, learn about lifelines. You can do this on You will save yourself tons of headaches and frustration!!!
    While blocking does afford you a lot of forgiveness where gauge is concerned, I would still maybe play around with a bigger needle size if you are getting too few stitches in 4 inches. Also, I did find one person on Ravelry that is in the process of knitting a stole from your yarn. Her name is Eskimobeth, so perhaps you could pm her for some more advice. Hope all goes well! :=)

  3. The problem wasn't with the book (I don't think I said that anywhere) but with not finding patterns knit up with the yarn. Of course that's exactly what I did - go to Ravelry and search, so I think you must have misread my post Ursa.

    To KnitNurd, I will definitely use a lifeline (David Reidy suggests dental floss, which sounds like a good idea to me). I found Eskimobeth too in my search but it seems she has only listed it and hasn't actually finished anything.

  4. oops! yes, i did - silly me :-)

  5. bamboo does tend to stretch and not bounce back, and silk doesn't near as much bounce as well. so whatever you are planning on will likely grow/stretch.

  6. Thanks for the tip about bamboo. I sort of knew that but haven't really knit with bamboo that much.