I sometimes wonder if I will ever get to the skill level as to knit lace, especially when I can’t seem to get my knitting right. I always keep forgetting certain steps especially a YO before knit. I’m also still getting used to keeping a good tension. I guess the yarn also has a lot to do with how a beginner fares with knitting. I tried using cotton thread size 8 and it turned out to be difficult for me with lace because it didn’t have resiliency, and loops started getting awfully tight. When I switched to cotton-cashmere it was better. Somehow, cotton-cashmere gave me more “feedback” so I could feel the tension better.
With enough practice, I started getting a feel for knitting. Somehow by learning to knit, I was also gaining a better understanding of crochet.
Trying a Lace Pattern
“Spring Bookmark” is a free knit pattern by Natalia Prats. I decided to give this pattern a try, just to see if I have enough basic knitting knowledge to be able to make something other than garter or stockinette stitches.
When I looked at the “Spring Bookmark” pattern, I was so surprised that now I can read and understand it. I used to be confused by looking at knit patterns, all those P’s and K’s and SSK’s – but now it’s not Greek anymore! I’m so happy because this opens up a whole new world of patterns for me to try!
And I’ve done it! I used my large 6mm needles and worsted weight acrylic yarn. I nearly made a mistake in the purling rows – I was being too smart and figured I’d drop the YOs rather than purl them. Good thing I didn’t do that – and should do so only when explicitly told to do so.
I should also mention that these videos helped me with the SSK and the k2tog:
I didn’t use fingering weight yarn called for in the pattern but rather used some worsted weight acrylic-wool. As a newwbie knitter, it would be easier to work with thicker yarn and my intention was just to make see if I could understand a knit pattern.
Technically, I still have problems inserting the right needle into two loops when doing the k2tog because the bottom loop is somewhat tighter than the top loop. I was able to solve this problem by knitting a bit more loosely and by bringing the loops closer to the tapering pointed end of the needle. I am also still to understand the role of each stitch in knitting, and I also have problems counting purl rows (knit rows seem easier to count).
Now I need to learn to unravel a small section of a knit fabric when I make a mistake, and then try to get the stitches back on the needle properly. Usually, I rip the whole thing if I can’t manage only the part where there’s an error. I know I can’t keep doing that.
Thanks to Natalia, I learned about using a lifeline for knitting.
Using a Lifeline in Your Knitting
According to the video notes: This is a preventative measure when doing lace work, or any knitting where unraveling and putting back on the needles properly would be tricky or impossible.
Still using the “Spring Bookmark” pattern, I decided to test my knitting and pattern modifying skills by making a simple pouch with it. Here is what I came up with: “Sheep in Purple Haze”. It’s nothing fantastic, but I am happy to be able to knit this.
Using larger needles (6mm) and worsted weight yarn, I love this lace pattern as it reminds me of some pastoral scene. So I crocheted some sheep on it.
Making a pouch from the “Spring Bookmark”:
CO 18 instead of 16.
Begin and end the knit rows with k3 instead of k2.
Final rows are some 4 or 5 rows of ribbing (k2, p2) to make for the opening of the pouch. I should’ve used smaller needles for this.
Make two for each side of pouch.
Using grey (or white if you prefer) mohair-wool yarn:
Crochet body of sheep: ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch fr hook, and in next ch, sl st all around until you get desired shape and size.
Sew body of sheep on knit and embroider head and legs with dark deep maroon worsted weight yarn.
Sew pouch together:
Wrong side facing, sew the pouch together.
PS. Sorry about poor quality webcam photo, my camera’s batteries need replacing. I’ll take a better pictures another time.