The knitted mess from my last post is finally finished! It did not look like much to begin with, but the marvels of blocking transformed it into a delicate lace scarf.
I bought the skein of Misti Alpaca laceweight yarn a year ago simply because it was pretty; it ‘jumped’ into my shopping basket, so to speak. I thought I could knit it up quickly. After all, I only planned to make a scarf and it was only one skein. Easy! Then, I spent an age agonising over which Ravelry pattern to use, before choosing Benitoite by Tetiana Otruta. The pattern was great. All of the problems were due to my inexperience with knitting lace. When it comes to craft, I like to bite off more than I can chew and then chew like crazy. Knitting this scarf proved that. This scarf has taken me a year as I seemed to knit three rows and unpick two – or, more often, knit thirty rows and unpick twenty. Because of the lace pattern, when I made a mistake, I was not able to simply pull my work off the needles, unravel a few rows, and stick it back on the needles as I often do for non-lace patterns. I was unable to recognise each stitch in the open pattern well enough to do that. Instead, I had to unpick each stitch one by one. Not fun. I should have used more lifelines, but when I thought of using one, it was already too late. This was also a slow project for me because I occasionally got spooked. For example, when I picked up the stitches from the provisional cast-on, the knitting sat untouched for a few months until I was brave enough to try the new-to-me next step. This scarf included many firsts for me:
- my first knitted lace
- my first time knitting from a skein, not a ball
- my first time buying pretty yarn and then finding a pattern to suit, instead of the other way around
- my first provisional cast-on
- my first attempt at blocking.
I did not even know that I had to rewind a skein before I could start knitting. I soon learned!
My first knitted lace might also have been my first scarf. I certainly do not remember ever knitting a scarf before. Unlike most people who learn to knit by making a scarf, I started knitting jumpers (sweaters). Now, after all this work, who wants to bet that the first time I wear it I snag it on my jewellery and damage it? Or that I am so frightened by the idea of damaging a year’s work that I will wear it rarely?