Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Branching Out (giving up)

That's my last attempt at Branching Out. (Patternworks Bretton yarn, KnitPicks Options US 6)
I was very distressed by the ripply cast-on edge, decided I was a worthless lace knitter, and quit my umpteenth attempt. Then I went to Ravelry and looked at some other examples of Branching Outs in progress and saw quite a few ripply versions. I'm not quite sure what it means but I was glad to see I'm not alone.
Strange how seeing it in a photo as opposed to seeing it on the arm of my sofa makes me want to try once more.
The trick would be getting it right this time.
Lace comments and helpful hints welcome. (Liz, your lace work is breathtaking! And Nancy, based on your photos I bought the Druchunas book.)

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Anonymous Cathy said...

That's why you bailed??? I sit here completely gobsmacked. Did no one tell you about the magic of blocking? Lace, when knit properly, resembles a pile of ramen noodles when done. To be the beutiful thing it was meant to be, you must block it. I don't block much of anything if I can get away with it--socks, blankies, anything garter stitch--but lace I block. Go find a good blocking tutorial, and have at it. Make sure you have about 500 more pins than you think you need. If blocking anything big(ish)--consider blocking wires, theyre fabulous. Now stop beating yourself up--it's just a deliberate bunch of holes (YO), with a deliberate bunch of K2Tog (or other decreases) to keep it in the shape you want--but with holes!

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Ivy Reisner said...

Cathy's right. Lace looks like garbage on the needles. Always. It's the magic of blocking that makes it look good. Things just don't pull together right, it looks wrinkled and shriveled and horrible. When you block it you even the stitches out, open the eyelets, and let the pattern shine. That's why lace knitting is by and large an act of trust. You don't really get to see it until after you're finished.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Barbara, lace is HARD! You're completely normal if you struggle with it. It's a satisfying struggle because the end product is so beautiful.

I decided I like my wavy cast-on and hope I can retain it when I block the scarf. Of course, that assumes that I can match it with a wavy cast-off.

How to you like ARCTIC LACE? I hope you weren't disappointed after I recommended it.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Cathy, looking at it now, six months later, I'm kind of gobsmacked myself. I think if I'd actually pinned it out and taken a cold, hard look at it instead of draping it over my hand and holding it up to the window, I might not have quit the last time.

Ivy, my head knows everything you say is true but my knitterly gut says, "But what if it really is garbage? What if it just ends up being blocked garbage?" How can you tell??

And Nancy, ARCTIC LACE is a really special book. The cultural references, etc., elevate it into a whole other category. I also think she did a great job with the technical side of knitting lace. It calmed some of my fears. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. How's your Moebius scarf coming along?

11:48 PM  

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