Friday, January 13, 2006


"So, Kate, you are something of a lace knitter?"

"Yes, that's right. I love to knit lace. I think I've learned quite a bit and I suppose some people would call me an "advanced" knitter."

"So what are your top tips for successful lace knitting?"

"I would say use plenty of stitch markers; always knit in a good light, preferably daylight; don't knit when you are tired; always concentrate fully on your lace knitting and count, count, count."

So how is it that I came home from work last evening, had a glass of wine (can you see where this is going?), sat down to watch a bit of telly and picked up my knitting? What was I thinking? Senseless.

It was only a matter of time before I made a mistake. It was a simple mistake in the counting and I picked it up straightaway. I needed to tink 3 or 4 stitches only. Unfortunately, one of these stitches was a centred double decrease and they are a right PITA. It was inevitable, given the lateness of the hour, the glass of wine, the fearful electric light, the TV on, that I would make a pig's ear of it. I thought I had all the stitches, but I didn't, and before I knew where I was, two of the stitches had run away with themselves.

Right. Breathe! Calm down. First step? Get hold of the stitches so they can't go any further:

Sorry about the slightly wobbly picture. Though I do think it conveys a sense of the panic I was feeling.

Next? Breathe some more. Put the knitting carefully on the table. Finish the glass of wine. Go and lie down in a darkened room.

Done, done, all done.

This morning I was feeling a little more calm and a little more capable.

This is not beyond my abilities. (Positive Mental Attitude is vital.)

First to isolate the area needing repair. The two rogue stitches were part of a seven stitch sequence, patterned on every row. I took the plunge. I dropped the other five stitches off the needle and carefully unravelled them so they were on a level with the two rogues. I put a small elastic band on each end of the Addi. (We do not want the other stitches sliding off the needle while we are dealing with the problem area. Ask me how I know to do this.) I put the seven stitches on a skinny (technical term) dpn, and carefully straightened the strands of yarn to be used in the re-knitting:

You can see there are seven strands, which means there are seven rows to be re-knitted. With the chart at hand, another skinny dpn and a small crochet hook, I started to recreate the knitting:

The tension is slightly awry, but I am confident that this will be evened out during the magic of blocking.

Here we are all done:

That chap on the running horse had better beware - I've got sharp pointy sticks.

Many thanks to all who commented with suggestions about the gallery, I have taken it all on board. At the moment, I feel as if I'll never have another FO anyway, so it's purely academic.


Heather said...

Kate, you are brilliant!

Bitter Knitter (emily) said...

Great job on the fix! I'm venturing into knitting lace, so I'll have to keep all of your tips in mind.

How do you feel about lifelines? I'm debating whether to use them or not.

Marie said...

Wow! I've done the same with cables, but how you can do it with lace is beyond me. Very impressed.

Emily said...

You are one brave lady!

francoise said...

I am full of admiration !
And I will listen to the tip : don't drink, watch TV and knit lace at the same time...

Sharon J said...

OMG! That's amazing! There's no way I could have done that with lace! Not a snowball's chance! No, no, no! Definitely not! I'm impressed, to say the least. ~Sharon

littlelixie said...

Gosh, scary. Looking excellent though. Have you been wearing RFD?

happyspider said...

nice save! want come over and rescue a couple of mine some time? :p

jen said...

wow, i am so impressed.

i followed you here from emily's blog where you mentioned lifelines -- can you fill a beginner in on what those are?

beautiful lace by the way!

Kristy said...

I am very impressed! Probably, I would have ripped it back to my lifeline.