Suggestions, please

Some of you may remember that my knitting adventures began with socks (yeah, not my smartest move, but there you have it). Since then, I’ve done sweaters and scarves, mittens and hats; I’ve felted, done cables, a bit of intarsia, some fair isle and dabbled with beads. What’s left?


Until this last weekend, the thought of lace was just a fleeting fancy in the back of my mind. A couple years ago at camp, I watched an amazing parade of knitted lace go by during “show and tell” thinking all the while I’m never going to do that, I don’t have the patience for thousands of edge stitches—-besides, what would I do with that? Oddly, over the last few months, my thought towards knitting lace have mellowed somewhat, and during vacation, I actually looked for (didn’t find) some souvenir laceweight to bring home. But the tipping point was actualized on Saturday, when this came through my front door:

2480 yards of handpainted alpaca laceweight, from Christy’s dye room. Every time I walk by it (no, it’s not hiding in the stash—it’s sitting on the kitchen counter—DUH), I can’t resist petting it. Here’s the problem, and where you come in: I haven’t the slightest clue how to do it.


Oh I can choose a pattern, I’ve decided I want a generous triangular shawl; I printed three different patterns off the internet last night, (The Yarn Harlot’s Snowdrop Shawl, The Kiri Shawl and Fir Cone Triangular Shawl), but the directions don’t make sense to me. I can figure out the what, but not the how. I’m beginning to think I’m really in trouble. How can it be this tricky? What am I missing??? Do any of you have a suggestion for a triangular shawl written in a straight forward manner, such that the newbie lace knitter can muddle through without losing her mind?

Until then, work is progressing on the second Trekking sock of pair number two, (I’m in the midst of gusset decreases), and the sleeve of the Cambridge. Also, in the infant planning stages is a pair of kilt hose for Brett. My list of projects that want to be made just keeps getting longer and longer!

And so I’m off to do some reading, specifically the articles on knitting lace from the last two issues of Interweave. If I’m not back tomorrow, send in the dogs.



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9 responses to “Suggestions, please

  1. I’m craving the lace knitting as well. I liked the Seraphim shawl from Best of luck with finding a pattern.

  2. Check out the patterns at Her pattern instructions are very detailed.

  3. Oh, I forgot… the Icarus shawl that is also from mimknits as suggested by knitterbunny is a very easy pattern.

  4. Seraphim would be too light in that yarn but Icarus from IK would be beautiful and not too complicated. Also, the Flower Basket Shawl is a good first lace pattern as is Leaf Lace…both from Fiber Trends.

  5. M

    The Flower Basket is also in IK Fall ’04. I just finished my first putting me at two shawls done. The start is ingenious if not intuitive so you just have to follow the directions and believe (they do work). Which points me to my advice–if it doesn’t make sense have someone read the instruction so you can concentrate on doing rather than reading (happily that reader doesn’t necessarily have to be a knitter). Disclaimer, this is not my own advice but culled from Zimmermann, Walker, Melville, or Stoller. You already know the moves, you’ll be fine, just need to find the rhythm.

  6. M and Margene are on target. LeafLace or Flower Basket are really well written. As you start, and go along, it starts to make sense as the visual develops in front of you. LIFELINES. Make sure you put that in. The start is odd. Just follow directions.

  7. leslie

    take a look at this web page…
    …it has all kind of tips that will help you…videos for casting on….no matter what shawl you make. I did the Kiri for my first one. And this helped me…when in you just don’t understand the chart write it out. K2 yo skp for example or if you don’t understand the written then get some graph paper and chart it out. No matter what helps you just try and you will find the way. Also is wonderful too. Good luck, I know you can do it.

  8. The Harlot’s snowdrop shawl is extremely easy, fast and beuatiful. It will look gorgeous in any yarn. The pattern is really only 8 rows (all WS rows are purl across) so it is easily memorized. As for instruction there is an excellent tutorial on lace at

    Good luck!

    There’s also a blog called the Amazing lace where hundreds are competing. You can find tons of patterns and or ideas there.

  9. Margene sent me to your blog. I’ve just written the very pattern you’re looking for. But it’s knit with DK weight yarn. Would you like to take a look at it?

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