Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Lace Lessons Learnt, and future plans.

I finally finished my Porom. I have learnt valuable lessons whilst knitting this hat. When I started the pattern I didn't really comprehend that this is a LACE pattern. It was only after the first few rows, I twigged that I what I really needed was life lines. Once I started using life lines, my knitting got a whole lot easier.

Once I was on the decreases for this hat I realised that I was going to be using the life lines a whole lot more than I wanted to, as the lace pattern got very complicated (well for a beginner like me anyway). After frogging back for the third time I was practically weeping with frustration. Then I had an epiphany. I decided to approach the complicated chart pattern the same way that I had the complicated fair isle pattern, that also had me weeping with frustration. What I did was add stitch markers at the end of each chart repeat. Marking up the repeats meant that if I was interrupted or distracted, which happens to me a lot (I take lots of pain killers), I only had to count back to the start of the repeat rather than the start of the round. Marking up the 20 stitches of the chart meant I could focus on small parts of the pattern, and I could verify I was on track every 20 stitches rather than after 160.

Once I marked up the chart repeats for the decreases, I didn't have to frog once, Woohoo!

See all those lovely decreases?

Now all I need to do it block it. Once it is blocked I will show you another pic as I am trying to motivate myself into getting into the habit of blocking. Posting pictures of before and after blocking will hopefully keep me on the straight and narrow.

I am also hoping that the blocking will tighten up the ribbing. I know this is probably a vain hope, but I am clinging to it. The ribbing feels really loose and I worry that the hat will fly off in high winds. If it stays loose, I shall just have to thread some elastic through!

As well as finishing off my hat, I have started on the gauge square for my KAL Blanket. I have used the Mirror Image block, which is number 16 from 200 Knitting Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans by Jan Eaton.

As you can see, I have already started the blocking process. I really must get round to making up a proper blocking board, because it will make the whole 'pinning the pieces straight' thing a bit easier. Thus far, I can tell you the Elle Elite yarn is lovely to knit with and it certainly shows good stitch definition, as I hoped. This first step will help me get on the way to drawing up the plans for the blanket as a whole. It has also given me confidence to knit more cables, as this was my first go.

As well as planning my blanket, over the next few days, I am going to try and start my first pair of gloves in the yummy angora I bought at the beginning of the month. Clare, who owns my LYS, made lots of gloves as Christmas presents and she said that one thing she hates about hand knit gloves, is the seam on the fingers. I found instructions on the net explaining how to make i-cord fingers for gloves and I intend to use this pattern, as it looks fairly straight forward. I hope this means, as the fingers won't have a seam, the gloves will be even softer - YUM!

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