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Tuesday, July 5, 2007

Lace: 10 — Knitter: 0 ?

This time of year, I am filled with incredible optimism. The trees are lush and full; the days long and balmy, here in the lovely Land of Lincoln.

Things are so darn squeaky clean and bright that one feels like they could do anything, and do it well. Your neighbor’s kid just passed you on her bike, little feet pedaling away, her bike a two-wheeler now instead of four. The PostMan waves at you as he comes down your front steps, having just delivered your mail on time.


You go up to the neighborhood Yarn Hut and get some new threads, some cool threads some of the softest prettiest threads you’ve ever held. And you Cast On.

Some of you, erm, about 4331 but who’s counting, might of heard of a little thing called the Mystery Stole #3 KAL over on Yahoo. I’ve been lurking around Pink Lemon Twist for quite awhile, steeling up my nerve in case another edition hit the fan, the first two being not only lovely but incredibly presented by their creator, Melanie. This time, even after two personal shawling FlopFests, I was ready: 3rd times a charm on 3rd Rock, right?

So I plunged in, Clue #1 and black Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino in hand, ready to take the dive off the cliff of my life.

Also in hand? Addi Turbo Needles–#3 (3.25mm). Not the new lace ones, which have been eluding me, but ye olde style nickel plates. Over the weekend, I got 50 rows done–good for me, little slow skert lace knitter that I am.

Then last night I picked it up to continue on and just HIT a WALL. I don’t know what was different (the humidity? the millions of firecrackers being thrown by my neighbors? the sweatiness of my summer hands?) As far as I could tell, I was doing everything the same. But it had changed. My Gauge. The needles just wouldn’t knit; they balked and stuck and blunted me out so hard, I cried UNCLE and changed to #3 (3.25mm) Inox Teflons.

WHEW! Their pointy selves just poked and flipped and handled those stitches as fine as a flap-jack master in a short-order truck stop.

Trouble was, that pesky little thing called Gauge. Again. With. the. Gauge.

It was slightly larger. Just a teeny, squeeny bit. Now, a local guru I know, with a slightly curled lip just scoffed and told me it would “all come out in the blocking” (ie. get over it). I must say, I couldn’t! I am stuck in some (self)delegated Limbo between Process & Project Knitting that won’t allow me to just roll over like that.

Who IS the Boss?

Hee. That would be me, using the Teflon wonders, starting over from Row 1. A piece of fabric that drapes beautifully, opens up just right and makes me smile when I touch it can’t be all bad.

28 responses to “Tuesday, July 5, 2007”

  1. Wannietta says:

    On a shawl, especially one for me as opposed to a client, I’d let a bit of gauge-slide go. Blocking lace is like having the ability to perform a miracle. But that’s just me.

  2. beverly says:

    I had to rip out my first go, too. I just wasn’t happy with my yarn/bead combo, and I didn’t want to knit something that I’d eventually just say “meh” about! I want to LURV the stole the way it deserves!!

  3. Cathy-Cate says:

    Although I am sometimes gauge-cavalier — I think ya done the right thing. Yes, you could block it out, but the first 50 rows wouldn’t be able to be blocked as hard and would always have a tendency to pull in. (Which that part tries to do anyway, because of the patterning.)
    So — turn away from the UFOs and welcome to the Mystery Stole Madness! A little summer lunacy, and not hot on the lap.
    (I’m liking my new Addi Laces; first time I’ve used them; the Turbos would have been torture on this. There’s a website mentioned on the MS3 insanity Yahoo group that has free shipping for Addi Laces, and the same prices as elsewhere. Let me know if you want the link….not to tempt you or anything. The Inoxes are a happy needle too!)
    : )

  4. Melanie says:

    Squeee! I had no idea you were in the KAL! Welcome. I’ve read your blog for several years (mostly lurked) and have knit a few of your patterns. (In my best Wayne and Garth) I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy!

  5. Larry says:

    Same here. I was at row 85 before I decided I needed to start over. Changed needles to my trusty Inox Express and I like the result so much more. And I’m back to row 50. A hint: don’t try to knit lace at Starbucks.

  6. Patty says:

    Lookin’ good Bonne Marie!

  7. Marg says:

    Ah, mystery stoles…a quirky summer pastime, I see. I dunno if I want another WIP. My Mystery Stole No. 2 is only 1/2 finished…(sigh)

  8. abby says:

    I started and ripped my MS3 a couple of times yesterday too. I think that I’ve got to accept that reading lace charts is a still-to-be-developed skill. Your start is really lovely and inspiring!

  9. Bonne Marie says:

    Cathy-Cate writes: “…but the first 50 rows wouldn’t be able to be blocked as hard and would always have a tendency to pull in.”

    That’s exactly what was giving me the heebiejeebs. There was a little pull inwards that I knew I would stare at with loathing while I was wearing it!!! ;p

  10. Rita says:

    I didn’t see any mention of beads. Are you going beadless? Love black lace, looking forward to seeing more.

  11. Bonne Marie says:

    I am beadless in Chicago although I am fascinated by the cool technique used…

    (Future beading is now calling…)

  12. Michelle says:

    I’m knitting the stole, too! It’s going *really* slowly for me. For some reason, this pattern is kicking my arse. I’ve read charts before, I’ve knit lace before (though only with fingering weight)…but I had to start over 3 times before getting to where I am right now – row 31. And I’ve only made it there because I started running lifelines on every. purl. row. I’m hoping things will click soon so I can run them a little less often. That said, I love how mine is coming out. I’m even managing the beads! I’ll blog it soon…

  13. Bonne Marie says:

    I printed out all the charts and cut and taped them together. The master chart sits on the couch cushion next to me with a 18″ steel ruler marking the row.

    The ruler has cork on the backside so it doesn’t slip. So far, so good.

    Slow-Bees UNITE!

  14. Laughingrat says:

    The stole looks beautiful so far. Good luck on the second run! I think that black will be very dramatic.

  15. Tracey says:

    I joined last week too. I am telling you, I NEVER knit lace, until I cast on for your CeCe and now I am hooked. I do believe there was a bug in that PDF download of CeCe, ’cause the lace bug has bit me hard!

  16. Carol says:

    If at first….the next time rocks! It looks beautiful!

  17. Welcome to the maddness!!!! I’m doing mine on Pony redwood straichts so I don’t have any pesky joins but I also can’t spread out the whole thing at once. Good Luck and I think that you may speed up on the second chart (Reletivly speeking as the rows are getting longer) I know that I started to develop a rhythm on the second one.

  18. Leah says:

    Whee! I can’t wait to cast on for mine as soon as I get home from my mini-vaca!

    Still debating the beads verses no beads issue. I can’t tell from the photo which way you went. I’m leaning towards beads!

  19. Janine says:

    Mine looks so much I dunno, so much more see-through. Maybe I need to go get a smaller needle (I’m knitting on 4’s). No, I didn’t swatch……

  20. Angie says:

    Grrr, I guess I NEED a hole in my head! Off to find 1200 yds of lace weight and perhaps some beads…Beads=doubtful, but a girl can dream..

  21. beverly says:

    Thanks for the badge! My blog will wear it with pride!!

  22. Maureen says:

    Welcome aboard, Bonne Marie. You won’t see my MS3 on the 66 bus until it is finished (Corollary to the “don’t knit at Starbucks, is don’t knit lace weight on the 66”) but I’m hoping that we can compare notes at some point in the coming weeks.

  23. Peggy says:

    Thank you for the perfect button! I knew something was missing but just could not identify it. You hit the nail on the head. Clue 2 is out today and this ‘slow bee’ is on row 75 of clue one.

  24. AmyP says:

    I managed to make it to Clue 2 on time, but I doubt that will last! I’m still working on the Mystery Shawl from two years ago!

  25. Lynne says:

    oh, how cool! i just signed up this AM. went to the LYS, but what followed me home isn’t quite for this stole.
    even so, my daughter is webcamming with her husband in iraq and my 2 year old granddaughter just wedged herself into a doll’s high chair.
    doesn’t look like i’ll be getting anything done today, anyway!

  26. Wanda says:

    If it wasn’t the fabric you wanted, you definitely would not have been happy with it. I am beadless on my MS3 too and I am a slow bee lace knitter. Although I have been quicker in some lace knits, not the case with this one. But I’m in no real hurry and this week’s clue doesn’t seem like so much. I think the 3rd time is the charm!

  27. meg says:

    Because of you & Stephanie (Yarn Harlot), I joined the Mystery just under the wire. Man alive, is it slow knitting with soft thread! Blocking the swatch was sure fun, though :o)

  28. Liz says:

    Hi, I’m delurking long enough to say I feel your pain with regards to MS3. I just signed up & I’m nervous even about casting on, yarn selection, needle selection, etc. This is supposed to be fun, yes? BTW I love your site & patterns, just bought Ariann for some Lorna’s Laces in my stash, looking forward to starting it in the fall.

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