Not too long ago I was excited to give an aspiring lace knitter advice on how to dive into the wonderful world of lace. I suggested a few of the basics like:
I was happy to encourage another knitter to try this beautiful technique that I enjoy so much! And I was very proud to have enough experience to be a credible mentor. *wry smile*
So let me tell you how the "teacher" has been coming along with her latest lace
As many of you know, I've been working on the Shattered Sun Shawl by Felicia Lo. This isn't a really complicated pattern, but I would probably not recommend it as a first lace project. I would consider this a second or third project because of the amount of non-repeating stitches on every row. It's kinda funny really, but I've had a bit of trouble with this myself (even though I AM an experienced lace knitter and I think repeats are boring). I seem to be repairing stitches at the end of every lace row because I forget to stop repeating. But it's no big deal, really, just takes a few extra minutes...on every other row...
Aside from the extra knitting (and un-knitting) that I'm doing all the time, I think I'm really moving along! I remember that it was really exciting when I finished row 4 of the lace section. Of course then there was this crazy thing that happened where the stitch count was all wrong. No big deal for an experienced lace knitter like myself, though. I can usually look at the established pattern to see where it's going wonky and fix it when I come back to the mistake on the next row. See, the thing here is that there actually wasn't an established pattern yet (since it was only row 4) so I couldn't see my error. And I've been doing so much un-knitting recently (at the end of every other row) that I didn't really feel like fixing it THAT way. And the whole life line thing...well, you know, I'm an experienced lace knitter so I never use those anymore. But it's ok, I feel confident enough to rip back two rows and then * hunt for all the pieces of my lace pattern puzzle.
*see note above
Well, ripping back worked pretty well-- I found almost all my stitches. Unfortunately lace knitting isn't horse shoes, and close really doesn't work, so I decided the best thing to do was rip back to my last stockinette row and restart the lace section. I mean, we're really only talking about two more rows here... I can handle that. So I ripped back two more rows, recounted, and finally had the correct number of stitches so I could continue. All in all, this whole crazy "it'll never happen to me" knitting moment wasn't terribly time-expensive-- about 6 days so far.
So now it's been several days and I've only picked up my knitting twice (mainly because I've been very busy with Everyday Peacocks stuff). I am finally through row 9 of the lace section, though, and have my pattern well established so that I can fix my mistakes as I go along-- ask me how I know that...
All this redoing and ripping has me really questioning why all this has been happening to me. Remember now, I am an experienced lace knitter here, so the rules don't really apply to me. However, I think I figured out what might be causing some of the problems. I'll give you a hint: he's two years old, full of curiosity, and a handfull and a half!
I'm usually following my boy around the yard while I'm knitting, since this is the only knitting time I can seem to find. But I am so experienced that I can keep up with a simple repeating lace pattern while making sure that my kid is staying out of trouble... Of course there was this time that he decided to drink the sand in the sandbox (I dropped my knitting mid-row), or that time he decided to rip one of the flowers we bought out of the planter box (I chased him around for a minute to get it back, but luckily the roots were still intact AND I was able to hang onto my knitting). Come to think of it, he's a real little stinker and loves to push his limits! It's amazing to watch him grow and explore his personality, though. This time with him is so precious to me and I am thankful everyday for seeing life through his eyes. The social interaction with my toddler is a bit distracting for my lace knitting, but I wouldn't trade a second of it for all the CashSilk yarn in the world!