Monday, 29 December 2008

Great Expectations

For Christmas, Sean bought me two books I have long wanted to own. 

Victorian Lace Today

and A Gathering Of Lace.

These are both books I pick up again and again in bookshops and at friend's houses. I've gone over and over patterns on Ravlery, seeing how others have made them and I have dreamt of great and wonderful projects I want to make. 

Since opening them on Christmas morning to great surprise (I knew Victorian Lace Today was coming, but A Gathering of Lace was a surprise he thought of all by himself) I've devoured each of them, dreaming, planning, scheming.

Eventually, once all the busy stuff was over, I set about casting on. I could bore you with the process of arriving at a decision but I won't, except to say it was not easy. I was quite literally suffering from an excess of choice and each choice seemed loaded with, well, difficulty. 

I know, I know, how hard can it be? Pick a pattern, find some yarn, cast on. 


See, I really think I am my own worst enemy. I build things up to such an extent that the moment can't actually live up to the expectation. All through the Christmas knitting of November and December, I knew this moment was coming. I had the special yarn selected and I saw myself floating in a sea of quiet days and delicate stitches. 

So far, I have cast on and ripped out three items. Casting on itself is part of the problem. Casting on in lace, if you've not done it, isn't easy. I don't like it. To me they are flabby, clumsy pieces of work and I get upset. 

Rather amusingly, when I was googling for alternative methods last night, I came up with a post by Samurai Knitter Julie which was actually written for me, and I'd forgotten about it. Sean found that highly amusing - that I googled a technique and found a post written just for me.

Julie wrote about the long tail provisional cast on and what do you know, it works! 

Now if I could just get through a first repeat of the Curved Shawl with Diamond Edging without screwing it up, I'd be ok. 

Three hours work today and I have this.

It was going well until I hit the end of the first repeat and realised I'm seven stitches short. Also, more so than any other lace I've ever knit, it looks butt ugly. I know it'll probably look marvellous once it's blocked, by my God knitting lace is sometimes such an act of faith. You have to believe it'll be incredible because you sure as hell can't see it during the knitting.

So once again, my ability to blow what was a nice plan into The Big Moment has hindered rather than helped me. You'd think I'd learn.

Maybe I'll go knit something plain for a while.