I guess now I can say I finished a real lace project with all kinds of lacy things involved, including provisional cast on, grafting in garter stitch and knitted on border. Pattern: Estonian Lace Scarf http://entill.typepad.com/photos/klart06/estn_halsd.html Yarn: Alpaca Coproca (fingering weight) Needles: US5 (3.75mm) Modifications: I knit only chart 1 and 2 from the pattern and added the knitted on border from the Cap Shawl in Victorian Lace Today.
I don't have a real camera, and the best I could do with the webcam was on black and white, so I added a little sepia and got a mix of old grandma pics and vintage porn, I guess. It's still way better than the webcam standard settings for the complete shawl view. There are more pics on my blog (http://colorlessblue.blogspot.com/2008/06/estonian-lace-stole.html). Pics with stitch close-ups on older posts, too.
I don't think switching would do it easier as you said. I learned from the internet, I've never ever seen another knitter in front of my, continental or english or portuguese. When I decided to learn, I looked at directions for both continental and english styles, and while continental knitting was easy from the start, trying it english style just made yarn and needles fall from my hands, and some wrist pain. I'm not saying you'd feel that if you tried, I'm saying that, for me, continental is comfortable, and english is not. Now, I knit continental, like you and Krystaldarkness, and even so I couldn't figure out the question without picking up needles and making a knit and a purl to see what he was talking about. I think this is because there are differences inside each style, but also because in each knitter's mind, there is a different definition of knit and purl. Yes, after looking at my knits and purls, I got it that in knits the yarn goes under the needle and makes a loop over it, and in purls the opposite happens. But to me, what defines a knit is that the needle is inserted on the left side of the front loop, with the working yarn on the back of the work, and for a purl the needle goes in the right side of the front loop with the yarn on the front of the work. For me, the way the yarn is wrapped on the needle after that only defines if the stitch will be twisted or not, but they'd still be a knit and a purl. I'm not sure I expressed myself in a very clear way, and I apologize if I failed. What I mean to say is: learn to make a knit stitch that looks like a knit stitch in whatever way feels comfortable to you, and the same for purls. After you know that, it shouldn't matter, because if you ask someone how they make one stitch pattern, and they tell you, for example, "It's 2 knits, 1 purl, 1 knit, 1 yarn over, 1 knit 2 together", and you make that sequence in whatever way you learned that works for you, it doesn't matter what style you use. And if someone says you're knitting wrong because you knit continental and not english (or the opposite), it only means that that person was either very sheltered and never saw different, or is too close-minded to accept and respect.
Having said all that, I still think I should say pay attention to see if your stitches are twisted or not. I consider twisted stitches a variation, not a mistake, but as Elizabeth Zimmerman says, the only mistake in knitting is splitting the yarn. Everything else is just a stitch done right in the wrong place. If you're twisting the stitches because you want to, good for you. If you do it without noticing, you may be making your work tighter, making it more difficult to make the next row, using more yarn than expected, and giving texture to what you expected to be plain stockinette. All these things are good if you do them on purpose. Not so much if it's by accident.)
But you know, everybody who knit the QAL says it looks complicated but it's really simple, and that the only thing that's difficult is the circular cast on. The first one, on the other side, has a knitted on border. Maybe if I follow the pattern without changing the number of repeats it will be easy, but the shawl I'm making now needed a border and I had to improvise one, and I FAILED on the maths part. Distributing the border repeats symmetrically on the long sides is impossible to me.
I don't get it, but then I don't even get shrugs. I can't see how you could wear something that bulky over a sweater, and if it's for layering with a cami.. Well, if it's cold enough to wear that kind of thing it's cold enough to not leave only a cami over my tummy and back... Maybe I'm spoiled for living in a hot place, and people who live in places with real winter have used enough to it to go out with unprotected body parts? The way I see it, even shrugs only have a function if the weather is mild enough to allow a lightweight sleeved shrug with a lightweight cami. And then those won't look good on me because I'm short and chubby...
The lace bug bit me, but my mind goes on as fickle as ever. I can't decide what pattern to knit next, and I'm finishing the current project today or tomorrow. I have 1 cone of heavy laceweight silk in silver grey (1260 yards/150g). I like rectangular shawls a lot, and I like when stitch pattern changes along the shawl (because I get bored easy). On the other hand, some shawls that have the same pattern all over are just too gorgeous and taking the effort can pay off. So for now I have two candidates (and every day I wake up absolutely sure one of them is the best one, only to change my mind along the day). 1) Myrtle Leaf Shawl, from Victorian Lace today. http://www.flickr.com/photos/convmiller/2534416355/ The book says it takes 950 yards in laceweight but the book is famous for giving less yardage than needed. Still, I think I have enough. 2) Queen Anne's Lace, by MMario. http://www.flickr.com/photos/21876267@N05/2218205272/ The one on the pic was made with Palette (Knitpicks), which is fingering, but many were made with laceweight and look great too. Yardage given for laceweight is around 1200 yards. For fingering, a little over 1300 yards, so I think I have enough too. Please help me. I can't make up my mind.