Monday, October 19, 2009

KAL Progress Report: Knits from the North Sea

The Lace Knitting group at The Yarn Haven has almost doubled in size with the beginning of our Fall KAL featuring projects from the new book Knits from the North Sea: Lace in the Shetland Tradition. I have already made my thoughts about the book more than clear so I won't repeat the rant. My challenge was to edit the instructions in the book to meet the needs of group members. I have newbies, beginner, and intermediate/advanced intermediate lace knitters with a varying range of knitting expertise, thus my task has not been exactly easy.

The KAL group has had 2 meetings thus far. My 2 novice lace knitters chose to knit the simplest scarf--Carol's Peaches--but were struggling with the mohair yarn the 1st night. They weren't present at the second meeting so I'm concerned they may have been scared away. I hope not. All the beginners except one (she's an expert knitter, just new to lace) are knitting the Cockleshell scarf at my suggestion. Every knitter has struggled with some aspect of the pattern. The multi-chart pattern has been confusing as has the unclear language of some of the chart symbols/pattern instructions. AT least one has abandoned the Cockleshell pattern for a more suitable beginner lace scarf pattern (not in the book). The two knitters who have started the High Country Wrap are also finding it very challenging/frustrating but are soldiering on. One chose to use the size 1 needles recommended in the pattern (I didn't know about that until she had already started) but was having a bit of a go at it and was considering switching up to a larger needle. I have two more newcomers planning to join the group at our next meeting later this week. One decided in advance to knit something else for her project. Smart lady :-)

I'm making progress on my Cockleshell scarf. According to the book I'm done with the first side and halfway through the second side. Of course this is not nearly long enough to be a scarf IMHO so I still need to decide what I want to do to extend the pattern--just keep knitting the same lace rep or change it up to a Seaman's-style scarf with a rib knit center section. I'm leaning towards the latter but I'll make the final decision when I get there.

While this pattern books lacks much, I still love knitting lace and mentoring others in the art of lace knitting. After all...


1 comment:

fleegle said...

It looks like it will be lovely--I like the rich color. Too bad the book's instructions are not good, but it gives you a chance improvise :)

Thanks so much for your compliments on my Honeysuckle. I did so enjoy knitting it. And now I know how to put sleeves in any round shawl, which makes me think about knitting a sleeved Niebling. That would be most interesting!