Getting Ready to Knit Some Lace

Remember this sweater?

For which I bought this yarn at Stitches West 2012?
RedFish Lace Yarn

I’m finally getting started on this project!

Step one: wind yarn into balls (one of which is smaller because I’d already done step 2 by the time I took this picture).
Red Fish Merino/Silk Lace

Step two: gauge swatch.
Gauge Swatches for Laar Sweater

This pattern unfortunately calls for 5 different needles in three different sizes (the others are different lengths). I usually knit really tightly, so I started by swatching the larger needle I would need, one size up. It called for a 6 and I tried 7. This looked pretty good.

Gauge Swatch, size 7

I use a technique I read in my Little Red in the City book for keeping track of gauge swatches. When doing stockinette stitch like this, you just put in a few purl bumps in one row that equal the size of your needle. So, there are 7 purl bumps where the arrow is above, because I was using a size 7 needle. Cool, huh?

Gauge Swatch, Sizes 4 and 5

I started a size up for the smaller needle as well (called for a 4 so I tried a 5), but this was clearly too big, so I switched to 4’s, which look to be perfect, for some unknown reason. On this swatch there are two rows of bumps. Everything above the 5-bump row was done with size 5 needles, and below that was the size 4 needles.

Step 3: Plan for alternating skeins.

I have never had to alternate skeins before unless I was changing colors. But this is hand-dyed yarn and a whole sweater, and I don’t want it to look patchy. And if you can’t tell from the photos above, one of these skeins is obviously lighter than the others. So, I did a bunch of research on Ravelry, and decided that since I’m knitting flat, it would work best and look best to alternate three skeins. Problem was that I have four skeins, and I didn’t want one left at the end without anything to alternate it with.

So, I devised this plan.

Chart for Alternating Skeins

I’ll start with balls A, B, and C, and knit until the balls are about 1/3 gone. I can determine that using my kitchen scale. Then I’ll switch to using balls B, C, and D until all the balls are (another) 1/3 gone. Then I’ll switch to using balls C, D, and A. At this point, I will have basically used up ball C. I will then switch to using the last 1/3 of D, B, and A. I actually think this will work!

Unfortunately, after swatching and buying needles, I have decided that I am still short one pair for making this sweater. And of course it’s the ones I need to do the cast on. But I’m ready to get started once I get that pair of needles!

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1 comment to Getting Ready to Knit Some Lace

  • Beautiful sweater! I love the cut and the color you picked. It’s hard to have to buy so many needles for one project if you don’t already have those sizes in your stash. But it looks like a fun project to work on. This will be great to wear in summer, whenever that arrives.

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