Since we talked about why you should knit with lace, today we can focus on the how.
There are a few tips and tricks that will make your life a bit easier. It’s a Wrap is a great yarn to start with because it’s on the heavier side of lace, and it has a nice firm twist. If you get a yarn that’s a bit slippery or easily splits, it can be a very technical knit.
The number one thing you can do to make your lace knitting easier is to swatch and make sure you are using the right needle size for your tension. With larger yarns it’s easy to not quite have the right needle size and the yarn makes up for the rest.
With It’s a Wrap, if your needle size is off, your knitting will either be too tight, which is easier to fix, than too loose. If your needle size is too large, your knitting will be very relaxed. Just knitting a couple rows isn’t enough, you need to knit a proper swatch. The cast on, knitting, and bind off are all important and you need to see how your needle size compares. My knitting tension, for example, is looser so I usually have to go down a needle size or two. Normally I can get away with knitting larger yarns with the recommended needle size, but lace I need to be very conscious of how my fabric looks.
Knitting It’s a Wrap with a larger needle size, will make it go faster, but make sure it’s really how you want your garment to look.
In order to purely make your knitting go faster, you can double up the yarn. There are a few things you need to think about when you’re using this technique though. Gauge, knitting with two strands will change your gauge. Are you knitting something that requires your gauge to be spot on? When you knit your swatch, are your measurements far off? Can you adjust the pattern?
Depending on what you’re knitting, some of these questions will not apply, but you need to consider them before you start.
Another important thing you can do to make your lace knitting experience a pleasant one is to carefully consider your pattern. I know I mentioned it yesterday as well, but it will go a long way to making your experience better. Knitting a garment with techniques you enjoy will make it seem much faster.
You’ll know if you like the pattern by reading it through before you even swatch. The whole pattern, from start to finish. By doing this you’ll catch anything in the pattern that doesn’t make sense, or any of those situations where the pattern says, “but before you do the previously outlined decreases do this” or “At the same time as the instructions above, also do this other technique.” I’ve been caught by passages like those, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Life lines are also a good idea. If you’re knitting a lace pattern that is in lace weight yarn, I would highly suggest putting in life lines. If you have to rip back to the start of your pattern repeat, it will be much easier to pick everything back up. Small yarn and yarn overs are never fun to pick up.
Knitting with a lace weight yarn like It’s a Wrap is just like any other knitting technique, scary when you look at it from the outside, but never as bad as it seems. Just give it a try and with the helpful tips here, you’ll be knitting lace weight yarn in no time!
This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Why you should knit with lace weight yarn
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