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Topic: Can't make lace to save my life!  (Read 1320 times)
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yberry
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« on: September 28, 2007 04:54:42 AM »

I am trying to knit a lacy wrap for my mom, and with every lace pattern more sophisticated than a basic yo k2tog, I lose count within a matter of rows and f**k it all up.
I tried using stitch markers to indicate where I should be starting a new pattern rep, but they end up getting in between stitches that need to be worked together.
DH says not to work lace unless I have the peace and quiet to concentrate, so I can expect to get around to it in about 20-odd years.

Any good advice other than "buy your lace"?
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smrjunior
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2007 05:40:47 AM »

try a lifeline.  once you've knit a row you know is right, thread a thin piece of yarn (or even thread) through the stitches on your needle.  that way, if you do screw up, you can take it off the needles and rip back to your last perfect row.  also, if you're losing track of which row you're on or skipping around between rows from when you look to the pattern, to your lace, and back, some people find it helpful to write the instructions for each line on a separate notecard and then flip to the next card as you finish each row.  and your stitch markers shouldn't end up between stitches that need to be worked together, because each lace repeat should be able to be worked independently of the others.  if this is happening, it should be a sign that something is wrong and that you should maybe rip back to your lifeline.
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redwitch
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2007 06:55:57 AM »

No no, some lace patterns do require pieces from separate repeats to be k2tog, then later when you make a new stitch, a yo to replace it and you have to move it again! Really annoying but sadly with that pattern and wool I really do need to have the markers and just move them out of the way every row with k2togs between repeats.

If you can figure out what you are doing wrong and stop it though, you won't need the markers! Try to do that.

Which pattern are you using?

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smrjunior
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2007 07:02:47 AM »

ew, that's yucky.  sorry for my misinformation, then, yberry.  although you might still want to think about the lifelines and notecards until you get lace-knitting down.
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yberry
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2007 07:06:59 AM »

As I said, every pattern I've tried except the basic yo k2tog...
I don't mix up instructions for the rows. But I do make mistakes within pattern reps in a single row. I find them before I carry them into the next row.
Problem is I make 'em so often that I never get past the first 4-5 rows...

And I always pick patterns that will give me grief with stitch markers because I want the lace to be homogeneously lacy and not look like separate columns of lace...

I guess it's time I learn to crochet, huh?
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soozeq
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007 07:09:22 AM »

If you find the mistakes on the next row, it's fairly easy to fix them. If you forget a YO, just pick up the yarn where it should be. If you forgot a dec, turn the needle around and rework it as if you were on the right row.
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sue
yberry
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007 07:16:11 AM »

But then the problem is I carry the mistake to the remaining stitches in the row... so that up to where the mistake was, all the stitches are wrong for the next row.
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soozeq
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2007 08:00:46 AM »

You might try a pattern that doesn't do a pattern st on the other side, uses a purl st only. There's many of those. And Feather and Fan has only 1 pattern row out of a 4 row repeat - the others are knit or purl only.
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sue
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2007 08:06:27 AM »

But then the problem is I carry the mistake to the remaining stitches in the row... so that up to where the mistake was, all the stitches are wrong for the next row.

Markers help with that - if you expect to be at a marker after doing 3 knit stitches but get to the marker after 1 knit stitch, STOP!! and figure out what wrong since the last marker.

And a tip from Myrna Stahman's "Stahman's Shawls and Scarves" book - tie a thread 'tail' to your markers, at least 3-4" long, the tail will get caught in the knitting but it stops the markers from sliding under or over the stitches next to it. (it also stops the marker from going far if it falls off the needle) If you need to do a K2Tog with a stitch before & after the marker, slide one stitch to the other needle, drop the marker (it won't go far if the tail is caught in the knitting) slide the stitch back, do the k2Tog and put the marker back.  You don't knit the tail but as you knit it'll get 'trapped' in the stitches, it shouldn't distort anything if you use something really thin like sewing thread for the tail and it pulls out easily enough when you're done with that marker.
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missknitty
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2007 02:55:46 PM »

Stitch markers are an excellent idea; I'm using markers for each repeat of the lace edging I'm currently experimenting with (multiple of 23 sts), and it's making it a helluva lot easier, I tell you. Wink
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