I am moving right along on hubby's first knitted socks. And the Fake Fair Isle hat has been a learning experience. I believe I now get the "Philosopher's Wool" technique of knitted with two colors and creating a woven fabric on the wrong side. No more long strands to catch fingers! I highly recommend the video on their site, beautifully explained.
So while I was reading through posts on the Knitting Lace a-z group in Ravelry (one of my favorite enabling sites for lace patterns) There was mention of two advent mystery knitting projects. Two lace scarves with 24 clues appearing one each day of December. An advent calendar you can wear.
Now, one of my resolutions this year was to not fall down the rabbit hole of KAL's and I've completely kept this resolution, even thought the Knitmore girls Cece cardigan has sorely tempted me. I have been good and weeded through my stash getting rid of old yarn, knitting up items that have been languishing for years and generally not buying yarn for new projects until 10 items have been completed.
So I figured since I was actually looking for something to make out of some lace weight yarn I have in my stash, this would be a great project. The first clue was an easy start that gave a pretty edging the spacer rows were completed without beads, as I want to wear this with my new coat and beads would feel cold on my neck. All was right with my world.
The clue for the second day done me in. It is a lily of the valley type section with nupps. Now I have made many garments with bobbles without a problem. But I found this section completely baffling. I knit and re-knit it twice. Then ripped back the entire piece and started over. Got to the second pattern and gave up. The rows didn't turn out right as far as count and the appearance was less then stellar.
Thinking there was an error in the directions, I logged on to the group and scanned the pictures people had posted of their completed work. By this time, of course I was days behind and had spent the better part of Saturday frogging, reknitting and getting frustrated.
No, no errors and beautiful pictures of three or four completed sections. It was me. I have never been so flummoxed. I ripped the whole thing out and put the yarn away, thinking I just couldn't get it.
Of course, I couldn't leave it there. A lot of the knitters were using fingering weight, instead of lace weight. The yarn I was using was alpaca, slippery and hairy. Maybe I should try fingering weight. So on Sunday I sat down with some white sock yarn, cast on 87 stitches, and went through the second pattern, marking each repeat with stitch markers. What a difference! I was able to complete the nupps perfectly and the pattern finally made sense to me. Of course I don't have 1000 yards of fingering weight in gray in my stash, so I placed an order for some KnitPick Gloss this morning. I will be hopelessly behind, but so what. It is a beautiful scarf, another good learning experience and I will have a new scarf for the new year. Win, win, win!
I should know better than to try lace without stitch markers.