Monday, 10 February 2014

A lacey thing - Inside Crochet 49

If you are used to crocheting with DK or even thicker wool and your crochet hook collection consists of hooks which are larger than 4mm - you will be terrified (as I was) of trying a light and lacey crochet pattern. But I never let a little terror put me off - after all, what is the worst that could happen?

So a few days ago, I started what might be one of my more ambitious projects - a lace shawl using a 2mm hook and lace-weight yarn. While the pattern which came from the January Inside Crochet magazine (issue 49) is fairly easy to follow, it is all the tiny little chains which worried me. In fact lace-weight crochet is easier than I thought and my shawl (which I suspect will be used as something else) is coming along nicely.

The key to it, I have found, is to concentrate on each individual stitch or cluster and avoid looking at the whole thing too much. So, each and every chain stitch looks the same, every DC is the same and in the right place etc. Then you move on to the next part. Don't try to make sense of the pattern as a whole, just do each part as it comes and once one round is complete, check it to make sure it is right.

As you can see from my pattern above and the piece below, I use markers to make life easier. Those sticky arrow markers (any stationary store) are ideal to move around the pattern and a stitch marker just lets me know when I have reached the end of a round.

Good light is essential too, so this might be a daytime project. Those tiny little stitches can easily become lost so focus carefully. I have also found that making the chains slightly loose where I know I will need to go into them on the next round has made it easier to find the right place.

I am using what I think is an acrylic and lambswool mix fine yarn. It is one of those Ebay bargains I picked up years ago - it is on a cone and has no info about weight or yarn type, but it has already been used to knit a lacey scarf and a hat. So I know it is a lovely wool to wear next to your skin. It is in a dark grey with white flecks. Only problem is that it might be a different weight than the pattern - because mine is smaller than it looks in the magazine. maybe my tension is a little tighter too. Hence the reason for doing a tension swatch....listen to me - don't make it up as you go along, like I do!!

This is going to need some serious blocking as it is doing that puckering thing, but I think that once it is stretched out and spidery looking it is going to be sooooo pretty - soft and silky...aaah!

This project is one of those with no home as yet. It could be a present, something to sell or something to be re-purposed at home. I am not a shawl wearer, so this might become a large doily or even a wall hanging. Who knows? Any suggestions?

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