We are feeling slightly less than stellar here at WendyKnits (nothing serious, though), so I am resorting to answering comments questions in lieu of actually coming up with something creative.
So did the Morehouse Merino meet your expectations? I have some in my stash and have used it for small lace scarves but it seems a bit overspun – lots of twisting. Did it block as well as you expected (it looks perfect from the photos.)
It did meet my expectations! While it looks a bit overspun and twisty, it blocked out beautifully. When I unpinned it, it shrunk back only an inch or two.
I had a total of ten skeins of this wool, and I only used 4.5 of them for this lace piece. So I’ve got enough for another good-sized project.
Mary Anne asked:
Do you ever have to rip anything? I am working on a lace veil from Victorian Lace Today and I have ripped that sucker out so many times. Now I hate it. Am I the only one with this problem?
I very rarely have to rip anything, because I pay very close attention while I’m knitting. This is particularly true of lace knitting. Ripping lace can be a major headache, so I keep a close watch on it. If I’ve done something wonky, I always find it in the next row, and at that point it’s pretty easy to fix.
Okay, so how do you keep Ms. Lucy from clawing the lace? Do I remember correctly than she is declawed, at least in front? My beasties would find a way to make any knit object even more lacy than it was to begin with, given free rein and their druthers.
You are correct that Lucy was declawed when she came to live with me. She does have her hind claws, but she never seems to use them destructively. All her toys are in very good shape — she is very gentle with them.
Here she is with a new toy she got from her Auntie L-B for Easter — a baby chick that actually peeps when you press its tummy.
She is quite intrigued by it.
Oooh, I have a question I’ve been meaning to ask. I’ve knit lots of lace before, but I tend to head for fingering weight when knitting lace, because I find the tiny yarn with big needles thing difficult to deal with. Do you use big needles with small yarn or do you adjust the needle size down to suit?
The answer? It depends. I usually follow the pattern recommendations. If I’m designing a lace piece, I’ll swatch to see how the pattern looks in various needle sizes and choose the one I like best. Generally speaking, I fin that I use a US 4 or 5 with laceweight yarns and a 5-7 for fingering weight yarns. With some variations, of course.
I have some blocking wires too. Can you describe *how* you run them through the edge stitches so as not to distort them too much? Which part of the stitch do you put the wire through?
The Alpine lace has a garter stitch edging. I ran the wires through the last stitch at each edge, running it through each stitch — sorta like you’d run a sewing needle through fabric if you are sewing a basting stitch. It’s a bit time-consuming, but it’s really worthwhile to try to thread it through each stitch to get a nice smooth edge.
Of course Lucy was helping by joyously batting at the other end of the blocking wire as I did this.
In the book (Victorian Lace Today) I noticed that the Alpine lace was blocked by pinning it out — the edging was pulled out into points. I did not like the look of that — I like the smooth edging much better for this piece.
On to mitered square questions now.
Wendy, when you first showed us the mitered squares you explained that you’re alternating brown and green (with a dash of other colors) and that you’re not keeping the colors in any sort of order.
Now that the piece is larger, are you still eyeballing it or do you have a some sort of a master color plan? Also, will you have enough yarn for the whole sweater in all the colors? Do you anticipate running out of anything? And are the front and back going to match?
I am still eyeballing it. I have 16 different yarns. I put them all in a tote bag, and pull them out one by one to use. After I knit a square, I put that yarn in a second tote bag, and pull another yarn from the first tote bag to use. When I’ve emptied the first tote bag of all yarn, I then start over — put all the yarns in the “to be used” tote bag and once again randomly select yarns to knit. This way I don’t keep picking the same ball of yarn over and over. I am doing this it random, except that I’m alternating predominantly green and predominantly brown squares.
Will I have enough yarn for the entire sweater? I have 16 balls of yarn that average 350 – 450 yards each. (Some of the yarns, like the Claudia, come in smaller skeins that you need 2 for a pair of socks. In those cases, I wound 2 smaller skeins into one ball). If I multiply 350 by 16, I get 5600 yards of yarn — way more than necessary to complete this sweater. So I will not run out of yarn. And I won’t run out of any single color because I’m making sure to use each skein an equal number of times.
Are the front and back going to match? No. But I will make sure that at the side seams the colors will alternate. Same with the sleeves.
Punkin in Oregon asked:
Regarding the miters, it looks like you have waste yarn through the top of the last finished row – am I correct? I am studying it closely to learn the best way to connect the blocks. Will there be a lot of sewing when it is finished?
Looking at my photo, it does look like there is a waste yarn through the top of the squares, but no there isn’t.
I’m slipping the first stitch of each row on the squares to make a nice chained edge. And when I start a new square, I connect it to the next one by knitting up stitches in those edge chains.
I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to sew it together. It did occur to me that I could knit the thing as one huge piece and just sew up the side seams, but I don’t think I’m going to do that. I don’t relish having the entire sweater on my lap as I knit those last squares. So it will be knit in pieces. I’ve not yet decided how I will put it together. I’m toying with the idea of picking up stitches along the edges to be seamed and doing a three-needle bind-off and making a garter ridge as I bind off.
I’m knitting in the ends as I do each square — here’s a peek at the wrong side:
I have a question since I have difficulty with “visualization” Would mitering look good with heathered yarn? A different color for each block?
I say yes. A lot depends on the yarn. It would be pretty quick to do a little swatch and see what you think.
I’ve got some lovely handpainted silk in stash (the same yarn I used for my kimono jacket, but in greens). I’m thinking about a short sleeve summer top made from mitered squares for that yarn.
I rule by the power of my adorableness!