Monday, October 30, 2006

Newbie needs help, please

I'm a first-time lace knitter and need advice as to yarn choice. I have a lone skein of Cherry Tree Hill Suri Alpaca Lace that almost exactly matches the yardage/weight of the yarn used in the original published pattern. It looks hopelessly thin and tiny though and, trying it on size 4 needles was a mess - perhaps I shouldn't have tried in on the city bus? Should it work if I just keep plugging away with it? How far into the pattern will I have to get before it becomes recognizable as anything garment-like? Should I try the CTH with a smaller needle? Should I just use some fingering weight (I've got sock yarn, boy howdy!) or maybe even heavier for my first lace project? And, just so I don't annoy you all too much - any recommendations for books for a lace newbie?


Beverly said...

Most lace doesn't look garment-like straight off the needles. That's where the beauty of blocking comes in. Lace weight yarn naturally looks "hopelessly thin and tiny".

You may want to wait until you are where you can focus on the project with a minimum of distractions since this is your first project.

Personally I would go for it. The needle size is fine. You could go up a size larger or switch to fingering weight. It would give a larger shawl and have more substance as you work with it.

As far as lace goes this is a very straightforward and well written pattern. It's fairly easy with maybe exceptions of the Lily of the Valley charts where you'll need to pay a little more attention. If you're looking for something that's less challenging, try the Flower Basket or Leaf Lace Shawls. They are both by Evelyn Clark and are excellent introductory patterns.

Sorry for the long post.

Kessa said...

Agree with above noter. If you feel intimidated by using lace-weight yarn for 1st attempt at lace, you can definitely try sock-yarn. Several KAL-ers had done that with success. =) About starting a lace project while commuting... well, I suggest a quiet and steady environment when casting on for lace. =)

Marsha said...

I agree, you want a nice environment where you can concentrate on what you are doing to get the hang of it. Even the Shetland Shawl by Evelyn Clark is a good 'start' choice. I think once you get a few 'repeats' under your belt you'll get the hang of it. Be sure to use 'markers' too to help you along.

Lara said...

It's all about personal taste, and you won't know what you like and what you don't like until you try it :)

At my knitting group, two knitters are doing the same pattern (the kimino shawl from "Folk Shawls"). One is in a 12 ply alpaca, the other in a laceweight soy silk - they both look great, but you would never guess it was the same pattern. That is one of the fun things about knitting lace, you can start with the same pattern as someone else, but end up with a project that is as unique as you are.

Relax, play, and enjoy ! We're here if you get in too deep :)