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I have a Finally Fucking Finished Object (FFFO), a version of Branching Out by Susan Pierce Lawrence on the Knitty web site.

I've had it on the needles since August or so.

I wasn't actively knitting it that whole time, but I had a very difficult time with it and probably knit about twice as many pattern repeats as ended up in my finished scarf. If this is "easy lace" (as billed on Knitty) then I'm not cut out to be a lace knitter.

(I haven't given up on knitted lace yet though.)

It's made out of some mystery yarn on a cone that I got in a Newton's Yarn Country sale. The yarn is soft, light and fluffy. It's not very elastic (and therefore not the smartest yarn to use for a first lace project. Oh well). My swatch was completely unaffected by the washer and dryer so I don't think the scarf is going to be "blockable" per se.

There are still a lot of mistakes—but most of them are relatively invisible, even to me. The one that isn't invisible (but I'm too lazy to fix) is that the first 1/4 of the scarf is "inside out." I noticed quite a while later that I had switched the right side and wrong side rows. It's still probably not noticeable to anyone but another knitter.

Design decisions as a result of mistakes department:

I hopelessly fouled things up around 1/3 of the way into the scarf and "fixed" it by knitting some rows of garter stitch and starting over. So then I knit another chunk of garter stitch 2/3 of the way along.

Originally uploaded by firecatstef.

Originally uploaded by firecatstef.


( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 3rd, 2007 11:26 pm (UTC)
Apr. 3rd, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC)
I'm a Particular Sort of Geek....
I read "FFFO" and think "negative sixteen."
Apr. 4th, 2007 12:10 am (UTC)
The thing I've found about lace is that unless one *really* screws things up right royally, the occasional mistake really isn't terribly visible unless one points them out. The "knitting a chunk of garter and starting over" solution to total screwup of the pattern is novel, but it works rather well!

FWIW, I tend to very rarely have total-pattern-screup events since I discovered the joys of stitch markers to indicate pattern repeats or segments. If the beginning and end of each pattern segment is clearly marked, then no matter how much one screws up one segment, it is easy to do the next segment exactly correct (rather than have the error run across the rest of that row). It really makes a huge difference in knitting lace. Do you use stitch markers?
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:44 am (UTC)
Yeppers, I know I made at least one mistake or fudged a stitch in most of the pattern repeats but I don't see them.

I do use stitch markers, but I didn't figure out until fairly late in the game how to helpfully position the markers for this pattern. There are no repeats within a single row, and if a mistake is made in one row, that means too many or too few stitches for the next RS row. I finally figured out that I could put a marker on either side of the center stitch. That was a hassle when doing the last two rows, where the center stitch gets incorporated into a decrease and I had to juggle markers. But it helped.

I also got a lot better at tinking the various kinds of decreases, so I was able to tink back to a mistake within a row without dropping stitches all over the place.

And after the big foul-up resulting in the garter stitch rows, I began using a lifeline religiously.
Apr. 4th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
Very nice! It reminds me a little of some of the things my grandmother used to make. (She passed away relatively young when I wasn't that old myself, unfortunately, so I experienced her more through the work she left than through her actual presence, but she was an amazing talent.)
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:45 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad it occasioned what sounds like a pleasant memory.
Apr. 4th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)
It's *gorgeous*!
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:45 am (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2007 01:24 am (UTC)
I have a "disability" that prevents me from seeing 2D as 3D. It also impacts my ability to judge distances and to read knitting charts. (To extrapolate the FO from the chart.) I'm just missing a piece of visualization software in my brain.

I do lace knitting by swatching till I can make it through one repeat and remember it. Sometimes I have to write out the stitch pattern (even if it's provided, just to get it into my brain).

I like lace, however; I like how it looks and the "magic" of how it's created. But I also have to be careful not to attack something too complicated, because I'll just give up. So good for you for finishing!
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC)
I wonder what that disability is called. I have something similar, although it manifests more when I'm trying to put things together than when I'm creating a fabric.

I am able to read knitting charts but I have to frequently remind myself what the symbols mean and look at the chart to reorient myself after every small section of a row.

I was only able to memorize one row of this pattern, because the other rows were vaguely similar to each other but different so I kept getting them mixed up.

Making a lacy fabric using crochet is a lot easier for me and I should probably just stick to that. (Thanks.)
(no subject) - karenkay - Apr. 4th, 2007 10:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - karenkay - Apr. 4th, 2007 10:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 4th, 2007 02:36 am (UTC)
It looks great! Congratulations on finally fucking finishing.
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2007 04:09 am (UTC)
It's marked "tangy" on knitty, which is their pretty darn hard rating.

I like the use of garterstitch. It looks deliberate, and changes it from something old fashioned into something modern.

I find I have to be in exactly the right environment and headspace to knit lace. I haven't been in that headspace for, gasp, 20 years. I once in a while miss it, and would like to get back into it, but I have no idea how to find my way back to it these days.
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:52 am (UTC)
Thanks. Yes on the environment and headspace. I was only able to work on this project alone, at night. Also, I made progress faster when I bought a little magnetic stand to put my chart on.
(no subject) - tedesson - Apr. 4th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:53 am (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2007 06:00 am (UTC)
I think it's gorgeous. Kudos!
Apr. 4th, 2007 06:05 am (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2007 08:54 am (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
Very pretty.
Apr. 4th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Apr. 4th, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC)
gorgeous pattern and love the color, too.
Apr. 4th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)
wow, gorgeous! And I love the garter stripes.

I've also heard people call Branching Out a good beginner's lace, and I think they're insane. I consider myself a lace knitter and that pattern intimidates me a bit. Sure, it's a big rectangle, and that makes it sort of conceptually easier than, say, a triangular or circular shawl...but I'd rather do any shape with a lace pattern that's predictable enough that I can eventually put away the chart.

That's what I so loved about Knitty's Ella pattern (in the triangular, not the v-shaped version) -- once I put stitch markers at the center of each repeat, the pattern made lots of sense and I could figure out the next row from the previous row. I guess in general that's why I like geometric lace instead of viny stuff.

I did my first lace project (also a scaref, but in the feather-and-fan lace pattern, which *is* an easy one) from a cone of mystery yarn.
Apr. 4th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad you agree that it's not necessarily an easy pattern. Actually another LJ person I talked to about Branching Out said the same thing and also mentioned that Ella was easier.

I'm already planning my next lace project and it won't be viney.
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