Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dental Floss Might Have Been Easier

This is the result of two hours of work: one hour knitting, one hour picking up a dropped stitch. On row 14. There are maybe 7000 rows left to go. My husband's helpful comment? "But you only have one square inch done! You messed up already?" To which I responded: "Yes, dear. Thank you for your insightful analysis of the situation." Or something like that. Is it too soon for a "Things I've Learned" list about lace knitting? I may not have done much actual knitting yet, but I've learned a lot. So, for those who haven't tried it yet (or those who've forgotten their first time), here's:

Things I've (Already) Learned About Lace Knitting

1. Ball-winding is not for sissies. The first time I broke the thread (I cannot, in good conscience, call this stuff "yarn"), I gasped. The second time, I swore. The third time, I put my head down on the dining room table and had a little rest.

2. There is a reason they call it "cobweb" weight. A spider would be proud to spin something this fine.

3. It is possible to untangle laceweight, but not with your sanity intact.

4. Only pull out as much thread as you can knit in ten seconds. See number 3 above.

5. Black pets and white cashmere do not mix. If you do happen to have a black-haired pet, you might want to ban it from the room for the duration of the project. And vacuum. And dust. And clean the sofa with a lint roller. And wear an apron and latex gloves. You will still be spending a lot of time picking black hair out of your project, but at least you can tell yourself you did everything you could.

6. Enlarge the charts. Seriously. Who do they write these things for, microbes? I can see that there are markings on the page, but beyond that, it's anybody's guess.

7. Invest in stitch markers. Counting across 523 stitches to figure out where you are in the row after getting up for a drink of water (we all know I mean vodka, right?) could get old really fast.

8. If the pattern requires you to "p5tog," consider very carefully whether this is something you really want to knit.

9. There's a reason they call it a "lifeline." Without it, you just might not want to go on living.

10. If you drop a stitch, you're on your own.


sophanne said...

Shawl Samarai Training, day 1.

breathe in breathe out. have another water.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear! It looks great so far.
Hopefully it will go faster now that you have figured it out.
Good luck with the latex gloves.

Anonymous said...

Working my way through your blog today! I was a bit behind.
I love this post and agree with your list. We are working along the same lines. I am taking a break from swatching pieces of a lace pattern I am developing myself. Nothing terribly fancy and much smaller than yours but I would hate to have to pull it out due to lack of proper prep time. Had to buy more Size one Knit Picks tips so I can work on my socks and lace at the same time. My daughter asked why I was knitting with string - it's Louet linen. And to think I used to only knit with double digit needles!
Good luck and take it one day and one stitch at a time.

Quail Hill Knits said...

Next time your helpful husband makes comments along those lines, feel free to remind him you know a California divorce attorney. But seriously, it gets easier. You will begin to recognize the pattern and be able to see the places where the changes are to take place. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

So, I was thinking I was going to try my first shawl this Summer. Now, I'm reconsidering - thanks for the heads up - now I have more to think about before I venture forward.

5elementknitr said...

But at least it looks good!