Let’s Knit Masterclass: Top tips for perfect lace
So you’re on the road to completing your first lace knit. Whether you’re close to casting off or have only finished your first few rows, we’ve got some top tips just for you to make sure that your beautiful lace project doesn’t turn into a disaster! From blocking your project to using a lifeline, your new garment will soon be a knitter’s dream in no time at all.
As you work, you will find that your knitted lace looks quite scrunched up, and you need to pull it out to get the correct effect. Blocking will ensure your work stays flat and your stitch pattern looks even. There are three main ways of blocking your work.
1) Wet blocking
Submerge your project in a bowl of water at the temperature given on the ball band, then drain away the water and squeeze out any excess.
2) Spray blocking
For delicate projects like lace, you can just spritz your project with water, rather than soaking it.
Using an iron, hover above your project and gently apply steam until the knitting relaxes. For delicate projects, protect the knitting with a damp tea towel. Remember not to use this method with acrylic yarns, as they will melt!
Once you have dampened your project using one of the methods above, pin your work out to the measurements given and allow it to dry.
1) Use stitch markers
If your lace pattern is repeated across the row, it helps to place a stitch marker between each pattern repeat to help you keep your place as you knit. Also place one between your selvedge stitches and the start and end of the main pattern. Slip these markers on every row.
2) Use a lifeline
Lifelines are a really useful safety net for lace projects as mistakes can easily happen, but they’re not so easy to correct.
Placing a lifeline – after you have worked a correct pattern repeat, insert a thin length of smooth, cotton yarn through all the stitches on your needle – do not thread the lifeline through any stitch markers. Reposition the lifeline after every correct pattern repeat.
Using your lifeline – if you make a mistake during the next repeat, instead of taking the work back stitch-by-stitch, you can simply remove your needle and unravel your work. The lifeline will keep your stitches from unravelling too far, so you won’t have to undo more than is necessary. Once unravelled, transfer your stitches back to your needle, ensuring they are not twisted, then have another go at the next pattern section.
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