Knitter's Review Forums
  The online community for readers of Knitter's Review.
  This week: Celebrating Texas fiber producers
   > Have you subscribed yet?
Knitter's Review Forums
KR Home | My Profile | Register | Active Topics | Private Messages | Search | FAQ | Want to make Betty happy?
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your username or password?

 All Forums
 Knitting Talk
 Lace Forum
 I can't cope with laceweight yarn!
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 2

LilyBeth
Gabber Extraordinaire

378 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2006 :  1:48:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit LilyBeth's Homepage Send LilyBeth a Private Message
OK, so I feel like I'm ready for a lace project. I've done lacey things recently with success. I completed the Backyard Leaves scarf from Scarf Style, and then I did the lacey/bobbly Lily of the Valley cardigan from The Pleasures of Knitting.

But twice now I've started working with laceweight yarn and it just defeats me! I've grown accustomed to the process of lace knitting--reading the chart, learning to "read" the lace. But that teensy yarn . . . I can't tell what I've done, or where I've screwed up, or how to fix it.

Argh!

Now that I've got that out of my system, my real question: any tips on coping with laceweight yarn? I've tried working with Zypher and KnitPicks alpaca lace yarn--I forget the name.

Also, I'm thinking of trying to make my first true lace project with slightly heavier yarn--sock weight, probably. Any yarn suggestions? I know there's Koigu, but it's pretty pricey. Any other ideas? Thanks!

NaProus
Permanent Resident

1828 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2006 :  2:25:07 PM  Show Profile Send NaProus a Private Message
I'm about to make Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy shawl, which uses fingering or sportweight yarn. I bought some locally handpainted merino fingering yarn to make it in -- a single skein.

http://www.siviaharding.com/Diamonds2.html

Or there are some lovely patterns in Folk Shawls, which all use thicker yarn.

What's a leper bandage? http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/bandages.html
http://www.ghm.org/resources/hands-on/knittedbandage.html
Go to Top of Page

yarnmama
Seriously Hooked

880 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2006 :  4:28:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit yarnmama's Homepage Send yarnmama a Private Message
I've got any weight merino you could want for lace in kettle dyed nearly solids. I have Classic Merino Lace, Classic Merino Supersock Fingering, Classic Merino Fingering, and Classic Merino Sport. All are put up in 3.5 or 4 oz. hanks for lots or yardage. The lace weight in particular is 875 yards for $23. I mix all the colors myself for a unique color palette. I find it lovely to work with too. My 17 year old daughter is making her first lace weight shawl from it. She is working on the Icarus Shawl from the new IK.

Catherine Harrison
owner of Knitting Notions:Kettle Dyed yarns, Hardwood yarn swifts and more
http://www.knittingnotionsonline.com
Go to Top of Page

Kelly B
Permanent Resident

USA
2206 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2006 :  5:43:55 PM  Show Profile Send Kelly B a Private Message
If you've already got the Zephyr and Knitpicks yarns on hand, try doubling them before you give them up. I've made a shawl with doubled Zephyr and a scarf with doubled Alpaca Cloud. I think I used size 8 for the Zephyr, 6 for the alpaca; swatch to see what looks good. I wound a center-pull ball, then stuck it in a zipper bag with the corner cut out. The strand for the middle pulled out the cut corner, the strand from the outside of the ball pulled from the zip top of the bag. That worked well to prevent tangling.
Go to Top of Page

liblady1820
Chatty Knitter

156 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2006 :  5:57:04 PM  Show Profile Send liblady1820 a Private Message
I just love Knitter's Review. I can find wonderful things on this site. Don't give up on the lace weight yarn. I too had problems with this tiny yarn. I just kept looking at it and thinking what a mess. I just finished the Kimono shawl from Folk shawls with Alpaca Cloud and blocked it and what a differnce. It is so light and airy and nothing like the mess it looked as I was knitting it. I have a skein of Opal Petticoat that I may try the Diamond Fantasy Shawl pattern. I love the colors of the yarn and I think it would look great in this shawl instead of on my feet.
Go to Top of Page

Calamintha
Permanent Resident

USA
2886 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2006 :  6:00:00 PM  Show Profile Send Calamintha a Private Message
I think it is just of matter of practicing with it for awhile. It does help to have the right kind of needles also. What needles are you using? Both the yarns you mention are slippery so you might want to use a needle that isn't slippery. Also, what size are you using? You might be able to read your knitting better with a larger or smaller needle.
Go to Top of Page

ceecee
Permanent Resident

1896 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2006 :  08:26:37 AM  Show Profile Send ceecee a Private Message
I agree with Calamintha about practice and the right needles. You may want to start with a merino laceweight since it's less slippery than Zephyr or the alpaca. The alpaca also has very little "give".
You'll need needles with good points and contrast and perhaps a little "drag". I've used Crystal Place and Webs bamboos, as well as Bryspuns, and others on this forum have recommended the grey Inox. It really helps to have good lighting, like an Ott light. Hang in there - the results are worth it!
Go to Top of Page

lsm
Chatty Knitter

245 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2006 :  08:55:50 AM  Show Profile Send lsm a Private Message
Have you tried a Fiddlesticks pattern with these skinny yarns? A stitch count is provided for each row, so you know immediately when you've messed up. It's easier to frog one row versus three or five.

What color yarn did you use? Dark yarns are very difficult to "read" especially at smaller gauges. A light colored variegated yarn works well as the color changes helps in differentiating between rows.

Also, I've found that a magnifier of some sort is also a big help. I prefer reading glasses (found at the drug store) over the round type sold for cross stitchers. An 1.00 magnification is enough to make the stitches large enough to see well without giving me a headache, but test several strengths to see what works best for you.







Go to Top of Page

LilyBeth
Gabber Extraordinaire

378 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2006 :  09:51:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit LilyBeth's Homepage Send LilyBeth a Private Message
Thanks for all the great advice. I think what I'm going to do is (a) find a light colored sock-weight yarn, with a high merino content, maybe with some varigation, for my first project (heck, maybe even Koigu) and (b) experiment with needles. I tried Addi Turbos when I worked with the Zypher (disaster) and Clover bamboo with the Alpaca Cloud (better but still tough.) I'll give Bryspuns or Inox a try.

It never even occurred to me to try doubling the lace yarn (duh!), so that's a good point.

I really have fallen in love with the Print o' the Wave stole, but I think I'd be better served by starting with something else. It can be the goal I'm working toward. Again, thanks for the encouragement. This forum is great for venting frustrations and getting concrete information to move forward.
Go to Top of Page

Calamintha
Permanent Resident

USA
2886 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2006 :  10:18:21 AM  Show Profile Send Calamintha a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by liblady1820

Don't give up on the lace weight yarn. I too had problems with this tiny yarn. I just kept looking at it and thinking what a mess. I just finished the Kimono shawl from Folk shawls with Alpaca Cloud and blocked it and what a differnce. It is so light and airy and nothing like the mess it looked as I was knitting it.



This is always a problem with the alpaca laceweights in my experience. They look just awful until they are blocked. The wool and wool/blend laceweights look better while they are still on the needles. I am doing the Legends of the Shetland Seas now with Misti Alpaca and I have to keep reminding myself that it will look better after blocking!
Go to Top of Page

Calamintha
Permanent Resident

USA
2886 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2006 :  10:28:45 AM  Show Profile Send Calamintha a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by LilyBeth

Thanks for all the great advice. I think what I'm going to do is (a) find a light colored sock-weight yarn, with a high merino content, maybe with some varigation, for my first project (heck, maybe even Koigu) and (b) experiment with needles. I tried Addi Turbos when I worked with the Zypher (disaster) and Clover bamboo with the Alpaca Cloud (better but still tough.) I'll give Bryspuns or Inox a try.



I'd encourage you to use a solid color yarn for your first effort. You would be surprised how much easier it is to keep track of your stitch count if all the stitches are the same color. A sock yarn is probably a good idea. I have heard a good report of someone using this sock yarn (a wool/silk blend) for a shawl recently:

http://www.furryarns.com/mbsox4.htm

If you do decided to use something variegated, one of the self patterning yarns like the Opal Petticoat that Liblady mentioned or a marled yarn like Trekking would probably be better than one that had short color runs or random bits of color.

As far as needles go, I use the Inox Grey for doing lace with light weight yarns. They have sharp tips and are not too slick.
Go to Top of Page

Flory
New Pal

USA
44 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2006 :  11:33:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit Flory's Homepage Send Flory a Private Message
I understand how you feel. When I did my first lace project it felt like there was nothing in my hands - Helen's Laces yarn and size 3mm needles. It took a couple of tries but it worked.

Funny thing is that after working the lace, worsted yarn and size 4.5 needles felt like I had telephone poles in my hands.

Flory Loughead
Ketchikan, AK
http://floryknits.com/
Go to Top of Page

busypainter
Chatty Knitter

USA
115 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2006 :  1:46:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit busypainter's Homepage Send busypainter a Private Message
It can be rather difficult to knit with a thinner yarn. Sometimes I will knit a sample of the pattern with the yarn just to get the feel of it.
Doing a lace project in a little heavier yarn will help you make less mistakes. Make sure you put in enought markers which also helps to make less mistakes. At least if you do, it might be inbetween the markers which will be easier to correct.
Good luck on your next project.
Go to Top of Page

knits_for_preemies
Permanent Resident

USA
1957 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2006 :  2:43:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit knits_for_preemies's Homepage Send knits_for_preemies a Private Message
I read in another thread where a person adapted the pattern into a scarf so that she could practice with the yarn and pattern before commiting to an entire shawl. I thought that was a great idea--kind of like swatching but with a real result you can use or give as a gift. A LYS in my area encourages us to make pretty scarves for breast cancer/chemo patients. you could give the scarf to a cancer center--maybe make a chemo cap to match.

Barbara
Go to Top of Page

LisaM
Chatty Knitter

USA
128 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2006 :  2:12:15 PM  Show Profile Send LisaM a Private Message
I just finished my first lace scarf (yay!). I used KnitPicks Shimmer because I thought the alpaca stuff would be too difficult. Shimmer is very fine, but even before blocking you can see what's what, and the changing colours help you to keep track of rows and stitches.

And I used no. 5 needles.

It really wasn't so bad!

Lisa
Go to Top of Page

KathleenV
New Pal

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2006 :  06:02:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit KathleenV's Homepage Send KathleenV a Private Message
I, too, just completed a very simple shawl in Shimmer and it is lovely. I have a question for more experienced knitters. I bought a large cone of laceweight Tussah Silk on eBay in a lovely calor called Dusty Rose. It is very pretty but I think I'm afraid of it. Has anyone made lace with Tussah silk? Any tips?

www.KathleenValentine.com
Go to Top of Page

Zari
Chatty Knitter

133 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2006 :  08:38:07 AM  Show Profile Send Zari a Private Message
Since silk isn't very elastic, knit and block a swatch on larger needles to get gague, or if gague isn't provided, calculate the number of repeats for your intended finished size and determine how big your swatch would have to be for each pattern repeat. I'm not sure if I explained that well, message me if you have any questions :)
Go to Top of Page

Dicksie
Permanent Resident

USA
1995 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2006 :  10:01:36 AM  Show Profile Send Dicksie a Private Message
I just finished my first lace (after more years than I care to tell). I had held this yarn - Lorna's Laces - for YEARS because I just couldn't handle it. Then I set my Addi Turbos aside and tried Addi Natura - what an amazing difference. I finished the Gibbie Shawl in about 6 weeks. Equipment can make all the difference in the world.
Dicksie

http://tourdirector.smugmug.com/gallery/529635
Go to Top of Page

sbutnarasu
Chatty Knitter

United Kingdom
163 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2006 :  03:33:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit sbutnarasu's Homepage Send sbutnarasu a Private Message
I almost finished a shawl in Rowan Kid lace mohair and I thought I just had enough of lace yarns for a while :).
BUT As I already had the FB pattern I've decided to try it with a sport yarn and got some Blue sky alpaca silk. Beautiful yarn but the lace effect is not the same :( - I don't think you can easily cheat here :).
I didn't give up entirely o the idea of finding a substitute for a lace weight which will still 'be lace',so I am thinking of trying a fingering yarn from elann.com - the peruvian alpaca/silk or cashmere alpaca.
It looks the next step up from a lace weight.
good luck,
Silvia

Go to Top of Page

tamarabean
Chatty Knitter

149 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2006 :  04:13:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit tamarabean's Homepage Send tamarabean a Private Message
quote:

This is always a problem with the alpaca laceweights in my experience. They look just awful until they are blocked. The wool and wool/blend laceweights look better while they are still on the needles. I am doing the Legends of the Shetland Seas now with Misti Alpaca and I have to keep reminding myself that it will look better after blocking!



I was using the Misti Alpaca to attempt a few different shawls and it just wasn't working out. Why do they make this stuff?? But seriously. I've since begin a Charlotte's Web Shawl(it calls for Koigu), and the knitting is SO much better. I understood that lace often doesn't look anything like the finished project until you block it, but when I lay it flat and stretch it a little, the Koigu(or a thicker/merino)actually lets me see what's going on. The MA would not.

Go to Top of Page

technikat
Gabber Extraordinaire

595 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2006 :  07:47:15 AM  Show Profile Send technikat a Private Message
I was surprised to read the suggestion of doubling the laceweight yarn.
I think that would make it much harder to use. I've knitted several
things with doubled sportweight or worsted weight and most of my errors in
that knitting have been dropping one of the loops when pulling the stitch
thru. In lace knitting with all of the yo's and ktog and ssk's, trying to
handle two strands would be that much more error prone.
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Knitter's Review Forums © 2001-2014 Knitter's Review Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 2.27 seconds. Snitz Forums 2000
line This week's bandwidth
kindly brought to you by


and by knitters like you.
How can I sponsor?


line subscribe to Knitter's Reviwe