I’ve decided to let the blue sock have some time to itself. I’m still on the fence about making a mate for it, which means I’ve cast on something else. Sometime in the last few weeks or months, someone challenged me to do some lace knitting. I’ve always avoided lace. Mainly because it’s not something that I would wear. For some reason though, I felt compelled to try.
I’ve learned a few things from swatching. First, lace is not the same thing as cables. One would think that is obvious. What I mean by this is that the stitches really do behave differently. Cables make sense to me. I can look at a cable chart and visualize the end result. I can also predict the flow of the columns. I can’t say the same for lace. Lace charts look like yarn overs and decreases to me. I can sometimes see the flow of the piece, but visualizing the result isn’t instinctive.
I’ve also learned that lace is very unforgiving. One missed yarn over or decrease, and suddenly the train has gone off the tracks. Unless there is a lifeline, the only option is to tink back and correct the error.
Lastly, I’ve learned that lace really looks like a mess until it’s stretched open. That poses even more challenges when trying to visualize the thing.
All that being said, I’ve thrown caution to the wind and started a lace sock. I’m using a skein of Miss Babs Hot Shot that I picked up at Maryland Sheep and Wool. I feel like I’m living dangerously because I’m not using a life line. I have had to tink back once, but thus far, I’ve gotten through 3 repeats of the pattern. As you can see, it looks like a rumpled mess. If nothing more, this has been a good learning exercise. I’ve finally reached the point where I can read the stitches and predict what should happen on each round. In other words, I don’t need to refer to the chart quite as often, so I should be able to pick up the pace. I will say that I probably should have used a lighter yarn. The stitches are hard to read in the evening.
On a completely different note, something wonderful arrived in the mail this week.
Little Gidding Farms generously provide some yarn support. This is a lovely blend of alpaca, wool, and nylon. I have no doubt this will knit up to some warm socks. I’ve already started getting a few ideas about what I might do with this. It will need to wait until I’ve finished with my experiment.