Lost in Lace: Julia’s Laceweight Work in Progress
When I first started knitting, I was an impatient, often inconsistent crafter. I hated when projects took more than two weeks to complete. It felt like a race to finish a project as fast as possible before taking off towards the next knitted piece. As a result, I avoided anything less than worsted-weight yarn like the plague. Bulky and chunky weights were my greatest allies, helping me whip up cowls and hats in mere days. But, as any knitter will tell you, not everything was meant to be knit in the largest weight yarn money can buy. And, clichéd though it sounds, knitting is not a race but a journey.
The first issue of Interweave Knits that I worked on was Spring 2019. In going through the projects, I was captivated by the Iris Cowl with its undulating lace, graceful lines, and gorgeous color. I am fortunate that the designer, Joni Coniglio, works here at Interweave. She was generous enough to teach me how to do a provisional cast-on (something I’d never done before) as well as give me some tips for lace-knitting (lifelines are your friends, people.)
But before any of that could happen, I had to overcome my profound fear of lace-weight yarn.
When you’ve gone most of your knitting life using worsted or bulkier, dropping to a laceweight can be a rude awakening. Knitting seems to take forever. The stitches are tiny. The needles are tiny. Everything is tiny. But when, after about five rows, I started to see those graceful, lacy lines emerging from my needles, I began to understand why anyone would bother knitting with laceweight. I would set myself in front of the television, put on Good Omens (affiliate link), and lose myself in the elegant lace pattern. Once I got the hang of the repeats it no longer mattered that the yarn was far more delicate than I was used to. What mattered was the gorgeous piece emerging, stitch by stitch.
The Iris Cowl is knit in the round using a provisional cast-on, blocked, and then the ends are grafted together seamlessly. Joni recommends using a smooth, cotton-based yarn for the crochet chain cast-on, which I can attest to being a great idea. The original piece was knit with Cascade Yarns Forest Hills (affiliate link), which makes for smooth knitting and a soft end product. I decided to go with a gold lace-weight I already had in my stash so that it will be a seasonal color when I finish (probably autumn!).
I’m looking forward to completing the cowl eventually. But for now, I’m just enjoying the journey.
Yours, in laces,