Remember that cute little knitting robot my housemate drew for me?
This is my first tutorial. I decided to do this after someone on Ravelry got in touch to ask for some help with the Swallowtail Shawl, after seeing my completed one. I advised her to learn how to read her knitting, and then realized that I couldn’t find a single tutorial on it.
One of the most useful things I ever learned to do was read my knitting, and I pretty much figured it out by accident. I’m sure a lot of people do. I first realized I could do this when knitting a little pair of gloves in horseshoe lace, and figured out how to place my centered double decreases so they all lined up. (I submitted them to a magazine, but I never heard back. Sadface.) It was also instrumental in knitting Constanze, especially being able to spot a yarn over on the purl side, or place a centered double decrease for the lace ladders.
It’s particularly vital when working on patterns with a repeating or symmetrical structure, such as the budding lace from the lovely Swallowtail shawl. Between you and me, I made a few mistakes on that pattern, but I could usually fudge it by counting what stitches I had, seeing what stitches I should have had, and making up the difference somehow. Anyway, enough about me. On to the tutorial!
Reading your lace
Reading your lace allows you to use distinctive stitches you’ve already knit as a reference point, and figure out where you are if you lose your place.
I’ve used a very basic lace for this so it doesn’t cover every type of stitch you might need to recognize, but it should be a useful introduction. I plan to do this for the different lace patterns within the swallowtail shawl eventually, but for now here’s a variation on horseshoe lace. Something similar to this is used in the lovely travelling woman shawl.
yo = yarn over, sk2p = centered double decrease: slip one stitch, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over
c/o 13 stitches.
Row 1 (and all wrong side rows) purl.
Row 2: k1, yo, k4, sk2p, k4, yo, k1.
Row 4: k2, yo, k3, sk2p, k3, yo, k2
Row 6: k3, yo, k2, sk2p, k2, yo, k3
Row 8: k4, yo, k1, sk2p, k1, yo, k4
Row 10: k5, yo, sk2p, yo, k5
I love the weather in London at the moment. Day four of blue skies and temperatures in the twenties! I spent a lot of today in the garden working on a bit of a tutorial on lace – more on that later – but I couldn’t resist taking a couple of photos of my ‘work station’ today!
*Yes, that is a personalised Starbucks mug. It was a christmas present from my very talented housemate who blogs over at Lobsterandcheese.com
I am so delighted with my Swallowtail shawl. So delighted it took me until now to stop wearing it and photograph it!
You can’t see it in this photo, but these photos were taken on our new garden furniture, and after I spent some time tidying up our garden in anticipation of summer. It’s ten degrees (Celcius) above the UK average for this time of year at the moment, so I’m feeling pretty summery.
I’ve been on a bit of a knitting downer recently, what with having too much to do and working too hard and stuff. I managed to finish off my lovely Swallowtail Lace Shawlette and then I got all excited by finishing off my aged Evergreen, but while knitting the top edging I accidentally twisted it so now I have to frog the whole border and ugh… that’s not fun knitting.
It’s also noticeably summery in London at the moment and the clocks are back, so knitting lost a bit of interest for me for a while. But I think I’ve just got the shot in the arm that I needed to get the love back. Twist Collective Spring/Summer 2011!
I love it.