Making Friends with Lace

Lace is not what I normally wear therefore it is not what I usually knit. To me, lace fabric doesn’t have body that I normally like in a garment, isn’t practical in its open-weave nature, and tends to be fashioned into shawls and/or scarves to show off its beautiful intricate patterns.

I am someone who does not wear shawls and rarely scarves mostly because I cannot seem to succeed in draping them on my body and if I do succeed, they do not stay. What I was seeing in fashion, however back in Spring/Summer 2017 of Vogue Knitting was the mixing of fabrics and styles, the mixing of fabrics traditionally used for one type of garment being used for another. And, when the unexpected happens, my attention is lit.

I began this project 4 years, ago, just after the pattern by Unjung Yun was published. I love oversized tops and I love large projects . . . (so goes out the window the ability to take my project on the road.) I originally found some yarn in my stash and thought perhaps a striping sort of effect. Unfortunately, I do not have a photo and became unsure of its result due to the drape of the fabric. What you think is a stripe can change quickly due to drape. Therefore, I ripped it out, saved that yarn, and bought this yarn for the project. It took me awhile to feel confident that this was a good choice as I wondered if the busyness of the yarn was too much for the busyness of the lace. But, then I noticed that with each wrapped stitch (the stitch within the body), little ‘sunbursts’ of color were being formed and I committed myself to it.

Gauge ~ No matter how many needle sizes I tried, I could not obtain gauge with the number of stitches the pattern called for. A tip that I use when that happens is to follow a different size in the pattern utilizing that stitch count but realizing in the end, you will achieve the size you want. Well, I was already following the smallest size with stitch count as well as using a smaller needle and still wanted the fabric to be tighter in its lace and to measure as for the S, so in this case, that trick would not work. So, I was forced to change the number of stitches. Second tip I’ve learned: when you do that, the key is to always change the stitch count to a number that follows the pattern from one size to another. In this case S was 237, M was 255, and L was 273. That is a difference of 18 stitches from one size to another. So, when I cast on 201 stitches, (2 repeats less, aka 36 st) to get gauge, I knew the math would work as I continued the shaping throughout the project. (Just take out a repeat or two of shaping!) Easy peasy math.

I rarely block but lace is an exception. Here is the fabric on the blocking table. I placed one piece on top of another before I sewed the side seams. The sloped shoulder seams were sewn. I wanted the pieces to be as close to size and in rectangular shape as possible and to hold to that shape when wearing.

Because the hem was so beautiful as it was and I did not want to add weight to pull the lace, I did not add the ribbing at the bottom.

I did not follow the number of stitches to pick up for the neck rather my own number for the fit that I wanted. Sleeves took no time at all and show off the beautiful yarn.

Again, but this time out of the shadow . . .

full span . . .

My “sporty” lace fits my personality and will be an artful, fun piece to wear on summer occasions.

As seen on Ravelry

Holly

Holly knits with grit and believes a happy life is a well balanced one.

12 thoughts on “Making Friends with Lace

    1. Thank you! Oh, no fear here, however I do understand those who are making large, involved garments such as dresses and/or coats with multi-color and/or cabling having spent months and months perhaps wanting some kind of assurance their revisions will work.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well done, Holly. The finished project looks lovely on you with such vibrant colours. No doubt you will enjoy wearing it for many occasions. You are so good at solving technical problems to accomplish your knitting goal.

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  2. Lovely, lovely, lovely! The colours are gorgeous snd the style suits you, Holly! Good for you to persevere in modifying the pattern to get the look you wanted. This garment is stunning!

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    1. Oh, Karen . . . thank you so much. I am very pleased with the final result and thank goodness for ribbing around the neck and tight sleeves for some kind of shape! :)

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