As we said in the newsletter, it’s lace season. So how do you know which lace class you should take? Well, let me start by introducing the various kinds of lace knitters you’ll find as you venture into the wild world of lace. Hopefully you’ll be able to recognize yourself (and maybe your friends) as one of these Types.
Type 1 – Lace Addicts. This kind of lace knitter likes to be challenged. She sees every knitting project as an opportunity to incorporate some kind of lace. She prefers a 54 row repeat on size 1 needles. The finished shawl is fine enough to slip through a wedding ring. The patterns they like best come from Fiddlesticks, Sharon Miller, and Ysolda Teague. Her favorite yarns are Alchemy Haiku, Schaefer Anne, and most semi-solid sock yarns. Examples of this type of lace knitter are Barbara B, Karen G., and Sandy Greenberg.
Type 2 – Lace Adepts. This kind of lace knitter likes lace well enough to work the occasional lace project, but doesn’t seek them out. If the sweater or shawl that’s captivated her is a complex lace pattern, no problem – just makes it more interesting to knit. She is typically a very accomplished knitter generally, and is comfortable with all knitting techniques. She will often combine lace and cables in a garment. The patterns she likes best come from Elsebeth Lavold and Louisa Harding. Her favorite yarns are Silky Wool and Inca Gold. Examples of this type of lace knitter are Ginni, and Paula.
Type 3 — Lace Novices. This kind of lace knitter is typically a good knitter and has probably done some lace work in one or more patterns. Perhaps she’s working on the February Lady or has done a sweater with a lace border. She finds lace patterns that are written out word for word to be pretty clear, but she tends to shy away from charts. She is always happy when the lace part is over and that she has only a few errors (that will just have to stay because ripping out lace is way too scary). This kind of knitter typically likes designs from Knitting Pure and Simple, and other patterns that are top-down, or that have very clear directions and not too much fussy shaping. Her favorite yarns might include to be Shepherds Wool, Pure Pima, and Spud & Chloe.
Type 4 – Lace Phobics. This kind of lace knitter looks at a pattern like
k2[k1, yo (2) k2tog yo (2) ssk, k1]6x k2
and wonders how her child’s algebra homework got mixed in with her knitting. She may even start shaking her head no at the mention of lace knitting. She might ask her friendly yarn shop staffer if it wouldn’t be just better to knit the whole thing in stockinette. This kind of knitter may be new to the craft. Or perhaps she’s been knitting a long time but has just never ventured into The Land of Lace. Either way, she views it from the outside as a frightening and treacherous place where the delights that await are not really worthy of the attendant peril. This kind of knitter may knit only scarves, hats, and Afghans. Her favorite yarns include Berroco Sundae, Silky Flamme, and most Noro.
So, where do you fit? If you’re a Type 3 or 4 or somewhere in between, then you should most certainly take the beginning lace knitting class. In this class you will learn all about lace. You will come away with a very clear understanding of not just a lace pattern, but of all lace patterns. Even very different lace patterns share basic similarities, and once you have a handle on how the various techniques work together to make those holes and shapes, you’ll approach any lace with confidence.