Hooked on Needles

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Triangle Lace Shawl project underway

During our recent vacation up north, I purchased a lace shawl pattern and some lovely Alpaca Lace yarn to make a Christmas gift for my mother. I was quite a bit nervous about starting this project since I usually stick to basic stockinette knitting with maybe a color change or two for interest. But I fell in love with this design, and the yarn was so scrumptious that I couldn't pass up the chance to step, or rather take a running leap, out of my comfort zone and just go for it.

But first I felt the need to practice on some scrap yarn, so here's what I've done...

Practicing pattern with scrap yarnAs you can see, I didn't even take the time to lower my sewing machine into the cabinet and put my light blue background over the table! That's how anxious I was to get going on this!

After reading through the entire pattern several times trying to picture in my head what all the instructions and charts and abbreviations meant, I began. With my handy dandy magnetic board to help me keep track of the chart, my reading glasses, my circular needle whose nylon cable is bent and twisted so as to make me crazy trying to use it (this will have to be remedied before the good yarn comes out), my stitch markers, and my pattern, I started from the beginning and followed one instruction at a time. Working one row after another, I discovered that it really isn't all that complicated after all! What a revelation! What a relief!

Making patterns easier to readSo now that I have come to the conclusion that I actually can do this, I scanned the charts and the abbreviation sections of the pattern and then printed them out as large as I could on one page each. If I were 20 years younger I wouldn't have to do this step, but being now closer to 50 than to 40, my eyes aren't what they used to be! So it's a necessary step and I hope the copyright holder will understand.

I have gotten some good advice from my good friend Merry, of Noah's Ark Blanket fame, to make use of my stitch markers and to also use lifelines while knitting this pattern. Using a lifeline in knitting is not something I have had to do before, but I will definitely be using this technique for this project. I'll share a video with you so you can see how and why lifelines are used in knitting intricate patterns.

So that is what I have been doing to keep myself occupied in my cool basement sewing room during what I am hoping will be a short spell of very hot and humid summer weather. You can be sure that I will show you this triangle lace shawl project once I have started on the real thing.

Happy Stitching!

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  • Hey Mary Grace!
    That is looking really pretty...you will love using the lifelines, for sure! Is that pattern, the Forest Canopy Shawl? Your Mom will just love it! It's so fun to branch out, isn't it?
    God Bless You,
    Merry :)

    By Anonymous Merry Thornsburg, At July 31, 2009 at 9:21 PM  

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