Sunday, July 23, 2017

Knitting -- lace, Da Puzzle from Unst

Unst Island has produced a number of unique Shetland lace motifs, and Da Puzzle is one of them.

One blogger found a reference to it in a notice about an exhibition.

Turns out this is one of the motifs in Elizabeth Lovick's Magic of Shetland Knitting and snaps have been posted, I won't say where. But the snaps show the swatch and chart, no stitch counts.

So here was an excellent chance to use that symbols page I found

and transcribe the pattern for those who, like me, are absolute beginners at reading charts.

I learned a new secret about lace knitting.  It's like matrix math.

I never could get matrix math until I found a web site that showed me that you can't just look at the matrix and get the answer. You have to work it step by step.

So with lace knitting, at least until you get familiar with the pattern, here's my suggestion. Once you've placed your markers for the first row of the pattern and you've turned it, before you start working on the new row, see how many stitches there are up to the next marker. If it's not as many as the repeat is supposed to be, you messed up the previous row for that repeat. Turn it BACK around, undo that repeat, and find out where your mistake was. Fix it, turn the work and NOW work that repeat on the other side.

It will slow you down early on but it will keep you from working for hours and rows and suddenly finding oh crap, it's not working out because of a mistake WAY BACK THERE!  It will also let you catch dropped stitches early instead of late.

The other lesson I learned from this pattern is WE ARE ALL HUMAN and even people who publish on a subject can make crucial mistakes. Which I have ranted about on the Fact-Checking blog.

Anyway, there was a mistake in Lovick's pattern that made rows 2 and 6 come out wrong. Once I got the courage to say it was wrong, I realized how it had to be and then I was OK. There's a quote in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina that makes a similar point. Never be afraid of saying "I don't care what you say, this doesn't work out right."

I also FINALLY used "safety lines" working this pattern. It's so complex that if you accidentally drop stitches, you have to go back  to the beginning and start over. I used two lengths of yarn in a contrasting color, one actively inserted through the row, one on the tapestry needle until I got to the next row I wanted to anchor. You have your choice of anchoring each pattern repeat in the row, or waiting until you finish and then anchoring the whole row. Just be careful to put the needle THROUGH the loops and not split the yarn.

And last, there's something in this pattern I never saw before, a double yarn over. Well, making it is easy, but when you do the next round or row, how the heck do you work it? I looked at a bunch of videos and picked this one as the best demonstration.

Basically, you work the first one in the same stitch as the rest of the row (K or P) and the second one the opposite stitch (P or K).

Joanne'sWeb posted a diagram for an edging from a Vogue pattern, to show you how to copy a chart.

When I first saw it, I asked "Joanne" how to take it around a corner.  Thanks to that other video I was able to do it.

This is not a Shetland edging. But I used one Shetland edging on two different pieces and I wanted something different.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

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