Monday, October 19, 2009

Epic Knitting - My First Lace Project

Epic Knitting. That is what my first lace project has turned into! I have never been interested in lace knitting before. When other knitters shared their lace projects I'd look, smile, nod, and appreciate the project with a "that is really pretty" while thinking, "not for me".

This summer my favorite LYS, Lori's Frames, Fibers and Frills had a Forest Path Stole KAL. The pattern looked overwhelming, and my first reaction was "I could never......". Then I heard my mom's voice in my head "Of course you can...." and not wanting to miss a opportunity to knit with friends, I signed up thinking that I'd do it to learn new techniques.

I have to be honest and say that at the very start of this lace project I was struggling and not really enjoying it all. The Lily of the Valley panels at one point just pissed me off because of the annoying little nubs, lumbs, nipples, pimples [insert your own here] doodads that had to have 5 loops purled together on the wrong side. As a typically tight knitter these little bulges gave me hand cramps and night sweats.

I think around the 3rd tier, I realized that I was not enjoying this project because I was stressing over those nubs. At that point I just surrendered and purposely focused on letting go of my frustration over knitting the little nubs, if nothing else, I'd be a nub pro by the end of this project.

Gradually, the enjoyment factor grew. I really was starting to get excited that I was sticking with it and this lump of lace was growing. I was also surprised how this very fine yarn was also very warm.......but then I was knitting during the heat of the summer too!

Ocasionally I would lift the lace work up and try to see the pattern of each tier....and while I could see that there was all the stitches that correlated to the charts, I just didn't see all the detail that I thought should be there. I began to worry about whether I was missing something. I continued on, compelled to finish.

THEN, I finished.

THEN, I blocked......I blocked late last night, the lighting was soft, (we need more light in the house!), I kept glancing at the clock as I was stretching, adjusting...pulling gently here, gently there, getting the edges straight, pinning and pinning and pinning. At 11:00pm, I stopped, I couldn't do more and I had to get up very early! I was tired...and so was Jasper....

Jasper was REALLY tired, apparently.

Anyhoo, I put towels over the top to protect this project from Jasper, the wonderfully fun and energetic kitty that has an incredible destructive streak when it comes to yarn.

This morning, I woke up and quickly checked the Forest Path to see if it was dry. I removed the pins and picked up the stole and then I stood there just amazed. Amazed at the airy, fluffy, light feel of this delicate lace that I was holding. I knitted this!! I am blown away!! I don't think the pictures really show the color and the pattern as nicely as being up close.

Forest Path Stole Forest Path Stole

I think I might be a Lace Knitter!


Gale said...

What an ambitious project for your first lace! Congratulations. It. Is. Gorgeous. Be assured that a lot of people struggle with the start of a lace project. Did you finally learn to knit the nupps loosely so purling back would be easier?

KnitsAtTrafficLights said...

Yes, it was a process to learn that knitting lace takes a lighter touch. I'm a tight knitter normally and so I had to focus on relaxing while working on this project.

Today I found myself missing working on it.

livnletlrn said...

Stunningly gorgeous!

Chrisknits said...

It's gorgeous!

Emjayknits said...

GREAT JOB! Beautiful lace! Lace may be incredibly time consuming and frustrating, but when you are done, it makes you feel like the best knitter in the world.