16 July, 2006

Ah, the Amazing Lace

If you bound off your lace RIGHT NOW - what could it be used for? This is the question for the Amazing Lace challenge 4.

Fortunately, no major shaping has happened yet, so I think Elspeth would make a nice little curtain for the window in our front door. Something with holes is definitely needed here, so that we can look out and still see the trees.

Here is a closeup to prove there are actually holes in this curtain. It's maybe not as lacy as I would have liked, but there are holes!

I started this project about ten times before having any success. In spite of swatching, when knitting the pattern, I just could not get the gauge right.
I wrote a little haiku for challenge 3, about the swatch mocking me, but deleted it.

And then I couldn't get the pattern right. Elspeth is a Rowan pattern, and I have read many blogs lately discussing issues with Rowan instructions. I am going to agree with them. The directions have issues. Maybe this is a recent phenomenon, I have not run into this with earlier Rowan patterns.

One problem with the directions is that the shaping cuts right across the pattern stitches, instead of being shaped around the patterns.

(The holes are not really apparent in the following photo. This is not a blurry photo by the way, but this yarn has little white flecks in it that make it difficult to photograph. I really like the way it looks in real life!)

You can see the effects of how the pattern hits the selvedge and kind of makes it curl unevenly. This is most obvious on the left side in this picture. It will look fine when seamed, and it does have the (mostly) correct shape, but it is awkward to work with this pattern along the edges.
This is common I am sure, with garments that have both shaping and pattern.

Another, more surprising problem, is that the pattern stiches themselves are not written correctly. The pattern consists of slanted decreases first to the right, and then to the left. The first pattern element has standard decreasing, K2tog and P2tog. This slants to the right. But then, for the left slanting pattern, the instructions say K2tog tbl (RS) and P2tog tbl (WS). Knitting 2 together through the back loop causes a twisted stitch, and so the left slanting elements have a more raised look than the right slanting elements. This is not pretty in my opinion. However, out of laziness, I didn't really give this any thought until I was almost at the armhole, when I started thinking this is too easy, no slipping and psso...

I am not going back, but now I am doing it the right way (my way). It's moving along rather quickly now. Whew!


  1. I agree that there is something wrong with rowan patterns. It is giving me a headache. As for the back loop twisted stitch, YOu Go Girl, don't worry about it :)

  2. I need a curtain in my bathroom too! Though the scene just outside the window is not as good as yours ... :D Rowan patterns! I don't know if they are sloppy or it is their style ... there is always something missing ... and one has to be really alert and adaptable to get the project done correctly!
    Hope to see your Elspeth done ... it's going to be pretty!

  3. It's too bad that there is something so very wrong with the lace pattern! Given how much the Rowan magazines cost, it's quite reprehensible! I'm glad you caught the error. Elspeth does make a very pretty curtain thus far. :) And the view out your window is so pretty and green! (I'm always struck by how vibrantly green everything is on the East Coast in the summer as it tends towards brown here.) I'm looking forward to seeing more of Elspeth!

  4. Wow, that would certainly make a great curtain - just a tad longer it should be perhaps :) I'm absolutely impressed by the view out your window by the way, wow, these shades of green!
    I get such horrors when I come across mistakes in patterns or ones not written as they should be - happens quite a lot of times with the German patterns I'm using too and I could jump and scream with frustration then! Just yesterday I came across an obvious mistake with the lace cardi I'm doing right now, and mind you, it took me ages till I had it figured out. I mean, they cash such a lot of money for their patterns, can't one expect then that they're written properly? Grrrr...

  5. I love charts and Japanese patterns when I'm doing lace because I get to see what I'm supposed to be knitting. Hang in there with Elspeth, she's a pretty shrug and I love your vision of how you're going to wear it, from a few posts down. I like to think about what I will wear with my knitting in progress too. Makes it more fun.

  6. I love that color! Can't wait to see the finished Elspeth.

  7. I've often thought that some lace knitting would be great as a curtain. Then I saw some in the Mason Dixon book, and now I'm determined that I will knit some curtains for my home. That front window of yours definitely needs some lace in it!!

    You have great pictures on your blog, and it's really a joy to read. I'm so glad the Amazing Lace Pit-Stop brought me here!

  8. Love your curtain (grin)
    and thanks for your post on MY blog. I think you did better by Toronto than I did by Maine, but I'll keep trying.

  9. Hi again!
    The merino sweater I'm making is the Man's Ribbed Pullover from Vogue Knitting Fall 98, although I have it in their Very Easy Knits book. I would be glad to send it along. I would love to be enabled with the Timeless pattern, it's really cute!
    You can write me at rmtompa at yahoo dot com
    (I just turned on my word verification thing, I had somehow been hit by spammers for the first time between last night and this morning.)

  10. I like the yarn you're using. : ) It'll look cute when finished... I guess the curtain can always be Plan B, but I don't think you'll need it. : )

    (I'm late in making my TAL Pit Stop!)