Saturday, March 20, 2010

A maddening day on the knitting front. Thank goodness for Ketki’s socks for end-of-evening satisfaction.

I frogged the Mystery Project – and worked out how many stitches to cast on for the second try. Frogging is quite fun, actually – it’s deciding to do it that hurts.

My mind was so full of jabot ideas that I thought I’d spend a day getting re-started. I decided on something like 100 stitches, planning to gather in two-thirds of it, and cast on Crest of the Wave, p. 52 of Heirloom Knitting. I mean, the 4th pattern in the book, what could be easier for a veteran Princess knitter?


I realised, once embarked on the project, that casting on more than a dozen or so edging stitches is what I have no experience of whatsoever, in fine lace knitting. Even all those acres of Princess don’t involve any very serious casting-on. You knit an edging – and knit and knit and knit – and then pick up many hundreds of stitches from its flat edge.

The knitting kept wrapping itself around the needle. Even when I’d done eight or ten rows. And I couldn’t see very clearly how the pattern was developing – one needs that, in lace as in any other pattern, as a guide to where one is and how faring.

And the yarn kept breaking. HK’s cashsilk – it turns out I do have some notes, after all. Moths? Impatience? It looks all right. So I abandoned the day’s work in disgust. And retreated to the kitchen, where I soon calmed down and realised that I can do this my familiar way, after all – knit some edging for the bottom of my rectangle, leave the stitches live for later, pick up along the flat edge, finish edging the piece at the end.

I have restarted with the Doris edging, p. 74, and Gossamer Merino as used for the Princess. I can do it, I am relieved to discover. It’s a sweet little pattern. I’ve done two repeats.

I am thrashing about trying to decide on the main pattern. Joannie Newsome is right, I am sure, to go for something simple and all-over.

Tamar, that is a simple and brilliant suggestion, to try the current ideas out with some spare fabric. I don’t think there are any discarded lace curtains lying about anywhere here despite the overwhelming presence of Things in this house. But a worn sheet will be better than nothing.

The difficulty is going to be the utter softness of Shetland lace knitting. How to achieve a look of fruity fullness? Joannie Newsome’s knitted jabot seems to gather in about 2/3rds of the original width, as I said. That’s what I’m aiming at. The other three-tiered example which it is possible to study close up is made with “real” lace and scarcely seems to be gathered at all. It also doesn’t have much overlap between the tiers.

Joannie’s knitted one has lots of overlap, but perhaps one could have even more, and even a fourth tier?

Charlotte, thanks for the help with the zigzag. It makes perfect sense, and gives me something to fall back on.


  1. =Tamar10:55 AM

    The Scottish Tartans Museum Shop (link is in Mr Newsome's post at the X Marks the Scot site) offers two forms, one three-tier and one four-tier. Four-tier would give a lush overlap. I suspect the Museum jabots are starched.

  2. GrannyPurple11:41 AM

    2 comments: a) Thank heaven you've bought yarn. My husband was wondering if you were still breathing!
    b) Frogging can be so satisfying, and even more so if you frog with a friend, thus having an awed witness to your deed!

  3. Donice2:23 PM

    When I read the words "Doris edging" I felt as though I had run into an old friend. I knit lace wedding stoles for both of my daughters-in-law and edged both with Doris, as a common element. It is a sweet little pattern, I agree.

  4. The comment made by GrannyPurple's husband gave me a good laugh!