ceud míle fáilte

a hundred thousand welcomes

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Lace, schmace

I seem to be rather lacking in FO's at the moment. There is a reason, of course. In fact there are a couple... The first, and most important, reason is that my Bestest Friend in the Whole Wide World (hmmm, he might puke if he actually saw that nomenclature) finally visited mon petit chateau for a long weekend. He's currently working with an opera company in Eastern France (he's a conductor, not a singer, so he's more akin to a 'normal' person... As a lump of coal is more akin to a piano than a teapot is, for example...) and took his free days off chez moi. I didn't touch a single skein. Lots of gin, yes, but no yarn. Much was drunk while admiring the thunder and lightning storms.

Very faint double rainbow
So it wasn't just the gin, after all...

So, that's 3 days covered. Then you have to add the week it took me to unearth the floor, clean behind silly things like toilets, yarn-stashes and fridges (he lives in IKEA-land - everything sparkling, matching, in its right place... I inhabit a more, shall we say, rustique suburb of said land...) and buy gin. I kept sampling it, you see, and having to run out and buy more. Well, stagger out and buy more, at any rate.

But the biggest time vacuum has been the lace. LACE. That pretty, pretty fabric that all knitters seem to be able to churn out at a rate of knots... Um, sorry about that... Lacy socks I have queued in abundance. Lace shawls are constantly under drool-alert. Lace-irific evening bags shimmy and dance in my dreams. So I thought "Why not?"

Why not? I'll tell you WHY NOT... I am so ungenerously gifted in the art of knitting lace it's not even funny. Well, actually it is moderately amusing! I didn't aim high - I began with, well, I won't tell you what I began with, as it's supposed to be an easy pattern. A beginner's pattern. A 'Knit With Mother' pattern. Let's just call it 'That F****** Lacy Sh*t Piece of Bag' pattern.

Yo. Yes, I can do those. Not a probl... oh, yon. And yfrn. Okay - that's just a yo between a purl and a knit, and the other is between a knit and a purl. Yeah, not a problem. Oh cack. Yrn and yfn? Hang on, I may need paper and a pencil here... SSP. Hmm, like a SSK, but with a purl. Obvious. I think? Yes, I can k2tog and p2tog. Check. TBL? Oh, through the back loop. Yes, can do... Slip purlwise and knitwise, yup, them's already on board. (I may be elaborating things a... *cough* tad here...) Okay. So. Get needles, get yarn, get pattern and KNIT...

3 days later... And frog. Again. Accompanied by air a vivid shade of blue and some fine and pretty cotton, not so fine or pretty any more.

I shan't go into details. I love you all that much! It is suffice to say that the very long list of all things lacy that I wish to produce in the future shall stay looooong. I think I may have inadvertently summoned the Lacy Demons Who Abhor Cable Lovers. Maybe they don't like chocolate?!!

Now CABLES are another thing entirely. Cables are my reason for spending my rent money on yarn... (Gads, I hope my landlady doesn't see this...) Cables are my friend, my life, my everything. I'll see your CF4 and raise you a T4B... I laugh in the face of T6R and have T5BR's for breakfast.

Or I would do if I wasn't now trying very hard to make a non-lacy bag for my neighbour's too-soon-to-be 4 year-old daughter!


  1. sloth-knits said...
    Hm...I think there are way more abbreviations there than I've encountered so far in lace knitting. Is it a US vs European pattern thing?

    The first 1.5 inches of the first lacy thing I ever made (baby blanket) looked really nasty. Fortunately the blanket curled at the ends so it wasn't really visible.
    Klozter said...
    Buck up, m'dear! Remember how you struggled with that Noro cord in the beginning? And all those lovely holes you made BY ACCIDENT? Surely you can make a few holes now on purpose? Try, try again!
    Iron Needles said...
    You had me rolling with the lump of coal/piano/teapot comparison! Very good!
    I try lace patterns with some not-so-horrible acrylic to get the repeats down before I start working with my "good" yarn.
    Anonymous said...
    You had me worried when you referred to conductors as "normal," but I kept reading.
    For my lace knitting to be successful, I have to count a lot, not talk, not be talked to, and definitely not drink gin. I think there's also a law that states that for every three rows you knit, you must rip out two. This might just be me though.
    Lab Cat said...
    Lace is for a time of quiet contemplation. Think of it very much like meditation time - you need to get rid of all distractions and have a clear head. And count your stitches over and over again.

    Oh and tammany is right. For the first 5-10 lace projects, you may even rip out more than you knit and then you will get to the knit 3 rip 2 ratio.

    One day success will come and you will be able to knit 3 or 4 rows without a mistake. That is until some one interrupts you and you lose both stitch and row count and have to go back at least 5 rows to work out where the error is.

    When lace finally goes well, you feel brilliant and accomplished and wonderful. It is very pretty.

    Good luck!

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