Knitting

Lessons from Lace

This afternoon I added the buttons to my daughter’s lace cardigan. It’s taken 19 days (mainly knitting for an hour or so in the evenings) from start to finish, which is a fairly long time for something so small! However, my new needles made knitting so much more enjoyable and I can’t wait to use them again.
Whilst knitting, I learned several things. One main lesson was to count my stitches at the end of the lace row, as forgetting one yarn over can lead to a small, but irritating, amount of frogging if you’ve done the purl row and most of the knit row already!

I also discovered that if your gauge is out compared to the pattern then you may need extra stitches in the button and buttonhole bands! (This was a fortunate mistake as my daughter is very tall so she needed the extra length.)

As well as this, I learned that my decreases are much neater when knitting two together than when slipping a stitch and passing the next one over. I need to work on this otherwise every piece of lace that I knit will look uneven. (If you have any tips for this please share!)

I really enjoyed knitting this, even with a couple of unplanned learning curves! Yesterday I followed a friend’s advice and gently handwashed and blocked it on a towel. I didn’t use any pins, I just shaped it carefully, rolled it in towel to get rid of excess water and then left it to dry. The effect of blocking it was amazing, as it went from curled up and bumpy lace to something that I think is quite pretty.

The finished pieces all curled up but waiting to be sewn
After washing and gentle blocking

This morning I took my daughter into town to choose some buttons. I thought this was a brave decision (akin to playing button roulette) as we could have ended up with anything. However, she went for the subtle approach and chose these pretty little white pearly buttons. The lady in the shop was a superstar and let her help to count out 6 buttons on the counter. My daughter lapped up the attention like a true diva!

Pretty pearly buttons
My model was more interested in gardening so I whipped the cardigan off her pretty quickly once I was satisfied with the fit!

The cardigan is quite a nice fit, not too tight or too loose. However, I think I will need to ensure it is given plenty of TLC when washing to ensure it doesn’t go baggy. (It’s 50% wool and 50% acrylic so I’m not sure how it will wash, I may stick to handwashing only.)

Every little girl needs a white cardigan to go with party dresses, and this one will be just the job for a year or so. Now to plan more projects, I’ve got my eye on one or two from Tin Can Knits.

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50 thoughts on “Lessons from Lace

    1. Thank you, I don’t always block but the lace looked very bumpy so I had to try it. I just hope I can stop it from going baggy width ways as I seem to have a knack for making that happen!

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  1. Aw, how sweet! I definitely agree that every girl (and woman) needs a white sweater. It just adds elegance to an outfit. This one turned out beautiful! The pattern is awesome and the V-neck and buttons are perfect! Great job! Looking forward to seeing what you cast onto your needles next 😉

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  2. Aww that’s beautiful, well done 🙂

    My Grandma knitted all my cardi’s and jumpers, mainly because we were too poor to buy them! When I outgrew them, they would be carefully unpicked, and with the addition of more yarn, knitted into something bigger!! We were still practising ‘make do and mend’ into the 1960’s in my home town, thankfully my sweets weren’t rationed!! 😀

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    1. Thank you. My nanny knitted all my school cardigans in the 1980s/early 90s as we didn’t have school sweaters like the do now., She sat me down with her book of knitting stitches and let me choose what pattern to have every time. She’s also the lady that taught me to knit, I have a lot to thank her for. I love hearing stories like that 😊

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      1. My Grandma taught me to knit too, my biggest regret is that I didn’t knit more when she was around, but at times I feel she’s with me, especially when I was learning to knit socks! The biggest excitement for me was to be taken to the yarn shop to choose wool and patterns, I’ve still got an addiction to haberdashery stores!! 🙂

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  3. What a sweet little sweater!! So now that you know where the tricky parts are it will take you no time at all to knit her up a whole wardrobe of lacy cardis in a rainbow of colors – and maybe some matching ones for Mom too???? 😀

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  4. This is so cute! For even decrease you can match a k 2 together by sliding two stitches on your right needles (if you’re right handed, I would imagine that if you’re left handed you put them on your left needles) and then you work in those stitches by sliding your other needle through the front of the stitches and knitting as usual. I hope this isn’t too confusing 🙂

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