Swatching Lace: A Cautionary Tale

If you missed it on Sunday, I am currently running a sale on all of my patterns. Check out all the details here. The sale ends at the end of the month (Saturday night), so act fast.

Even knitting a simple lace swatch can lead to mishaps.

I went stash diving the other day, and golly did I catch a fish.

This time of year, my stash is typically at an all-time low before I stock up around my birthday at the end of the month. I feel particularly compelled to use up the yarn that I stashed last year before starting anew with the fresh stuff. This is my unofficial Stash Containment Policy. I picked up this skein of Filatura Di Crosa Nirvana lace (100% wool, 340 meters/372 yards) last August for under $8.00 USD. That’s a steal for a shawl’s worth of yarn.

Although after swatching it up yesterday, I am concerned the inevitable misery-to-come might increase the ACTUAL price astronomically. Tell me dear knitters, what is the value of a tear (not the happy kind…)?

I laboriously knit a simple swatch, which I had to frog twice before finally managing to finish the darn thing. And I STILL discovered a dropped stitch while blocking.

This is not a good sign.

This was not an actual knit item. IT WAS JUST A STOCKINETTE SWATCH. And I still messed up. THREE TIMES!!!

If knitting a simple teeny tiny square of lace was tricky, what on earth will happen to me when I try to knit the whole darn skein?!?!

Even knitting a lace swatch can be tricky! But doable!I forgot how finicky knitting lace weight yarn can be. So fickle and vein. Fixing a dropped stitch isn’t quite so easy, and keeping proper and consistent tension strikes me as all but impossible. When it slips off the needles, it shatters like a wine glass dropped in a porcelain sink. Pure disaster that simply cannot be repaired.

Apparently wrapping up my worsted weight Rosemont cardigan gave me a little too much confidence.

I don’t knit with lace weight yarn too often (gee, I wonder why), but this color really jumped off the shelf and grabbed me. So here we are.

I have no idea what I will make. A design of my own or someone else’s? A crescent-shaped shawl with short rows sounds fun, I think.

Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along and in between books.

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10 Comments

  • Reply Tina April 27, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Lace weight can be a little challenging but don’t give up on it, just set it aside for a bit until you find just the right pattern. It’s a lovely yarn and color 🙂

  • Reply pumpkin sunrise April 27, 2016 at 5:39 am

    a very pretty color and I cannot wait to see what you cook up with it. I’m thinking about inventing something for myself too with lace weight.

  • Reply Alina April 27, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Love the color of your yarn. I love thin yarns, but you are right, they can be really tricky to handle!

  • Reply Stefanie April 27, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Pretty color; love it! And I am envious at your “all-time low” stash. I need to get rid of some of my yarn that I know I’ll never use. I don’t think they’re good enough for eBay which I was thinking of b/c they’ve been roughed up a bit. I’d rather just donate; I wish I could donate to a school knitting club but I can’t find one around town here. How exciting with your birthday around. I hope your crew has major spoiling and pampering plans for you, hun.

  • Reply alexand knits April 27, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    I’m facing some of the same challenges as I’ve started my first laceweight shawl. I feel your pain! That color is really luscious, though. It will look lovely knitted up!

  • Reply itsallaboutpurple April 28, 2016 at 10:03 am

    oooh this is so pretty, i love the color!!!

  • Reply knittedblissjc April 28, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I have the exact same yarn in my stash as well! Different colourway, but the same. I agree that laceweight is super finicky. But it’s worth it, depending on what you knit- that laceweight often gives a knit a real professional quality that seldom looks handmade.

  • Reply kathy b May 3, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I find lace very very challenging too. Even simple lace. I have mastered on shawl in lace: the Skydive Stole.

  • Reply Someone, Quick, Get Me A Yak - This Knitted Life May 4, 2016 at 4:02 am

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  • Reply Acknowledgements - This Knitted Life May 18, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    […] NOT like to thank myself for NOT being a hoarder and instead suffering from some inner compulsion to knit random yarn I spontaneously bought and stuffed into my oddly small stash, heaven forbid it just sit in the hall closet […]

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