Take four hanks of yarn, a pair of thick knitting needles (5 mm size, to be specific) and the Barbara G. Walker classic, “A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns”. Find a quiet, well-lit alcove to settle down with the pattern page and the yarn. Drink copious amounts of tea from a mug placed at a safe distance and begin knitting.
Lace knitting is like dating someone new. The first pattern repeat is all about paying attention, minding the “ssks,pssos and k2togs” and just going with the pattern instructions without actually figuring out the basic rhythm of the pattern. By the third or fourth repeat, you don’t need to stare at the pattern chart so intently. The delicate filigree of the lace emerges gradually with each row. Rows of eyelets are marshaled in the right direction by subtle banks of knitting. And once I give in to the temptation of stopping and admiring the piece I am creating, I don’t want the lace project to end.
Casting off the stitches and taking the lace out of the needles is not the end of the story. The alchemy of “blocking” needs to happen before the glory of lace can be seen. I soak my knitting in some warmish, soapy water for 10 minutes, rinse three times, spin it in the washing machine spinning tub for 3 minutes, shake out the crumpled piece with every bit of vigor in my arms, spread it out on a flat bed and pin it for 24 hours.
Next day, I remove the pins and carefully lift up the lace confection, drape it over the rocking chair and then its time to sit and enjoy the vision with a smile on my face and satisfaction in my heart.
I love creating lace from a ball of yarn with the help of two sticks and a sheet of symbols. I love seeing lace on the furniture, in the shelves of my cupboard, on the dogs and everywhere in between J