I finally started playing with the idea of knitting lace without following a pattern which Kiki at LusciousGracious
calls "Random Lace." She has a very nice tutorial here.
This is just plain fun! And fast. And the results are very nice.
Here are my first two swatch forays, both done in Sockotta sock yarn with high cotton content (45%, I think, I can't find the ball band....) on #9 needles (cast-on and off with #13.)
I want to make some light spring/summer scarves, so began one in Garnstudio Silke-Tweede, which is 52% silk/48% lambswool.
Here it is nearly done:
The color is most true in the above pictures, a kind of light denim blue. I cast 0n and off with #13 needles and knitted the lace with #9. I didn't worry a lot about stitch count, a randomly shifting width was okay with me. It actually came out pretty straight-edged, even though my rows varied from 24 to 36 stitches. I started out with 24 stitches, allowing 2 stitches at each side for edge stitches. On all even rows, I slipped the first stitch purlwise, k1, k in random lace to the last 2 stitches, k2.
On odd rows, I slipped the first stitch purlwise, k1, purled across to last 2 stitches, k2.
It is edged with crochet, 2 hdc in each of the slipped edge stitches.
I did not edge at top and bottom -- I like it this way, and I think it drapes better, but it was a design-by-accident choice. I ran out of yarn just as I completed the side edging.
I "blocked" this by dampening it and using my fingers and steam iron to open the fabric. I know we're not ever, ever supposed to iron knitting (unless we are pre-meditating 'killing the yarn'), but I do very, very lightly allow the iron to touch the yarn. This is how I generally block. I like the result, but I'm not saying it's the proper way to do these things.
I've started another scarf in the Sockotta in the first picture above, and I'm doing it lengthwise, casting on 160 stitches.
So, if you haven't already done so, go take a lesson from Kiki
and have some freeform lace fun!
And if lace isn't your wont, do take a look around elsewhere at LusciousGracious
-- tons of inspiration, many free patterns and you will fall in love with this wonderful creative family!