Swatching & a KAL

SwatchesI had planned to enjoy an evening of Sit & Knit A Bit at The Life Craft when Life Stuff happened and I had to pull out. So instead of a knitterly night with some of Glasgow's loveliest crafters, I'm sitting at home under a blanket with a cup of tea. Things could be worse, I suppose. NOT knitting in public means I get to knit something complicated. I decided the other week that I'm going to knit Fancy from the latest Rowan magazine and before I pull the ball bands off my chartreuse Kidsilk Haze, I wanted to swatch the lace pattern. I knitted a quick swatch using some leftover Haze, quickly realised I would want to rip back and also be able to see the stitches, and then started over using some old Freedom Spirit. I may need to practise this stitch pattern quite a bit before I switch to Kidsilk Haze.

You see, it's not your typical 'yarn over/decrease' lace pattern; it is a sort of 'drop stitches, knit & purl 5 stitches through the back and add yarn overs at odd moments' sort of lace with hardly any rest rows. I thought the pattern looked Estonian and a quick google actually brought me to a blog devoted to Estonian lace which had posted a video showcasing a similar technique. The stitch pattern is not identical but the technique shown will be useful for anyone planning to make Fancy - I certainly wish I had seen the video before I had started swatching. It would have saved me some grim moments of knitter's doubt.

The same knitter who posted the video linked above has an entire YouTube channel devoted to unusual knitting techniques - most of Eastern European origin from what I can tell. I have bookmarked her tutorials on Estonian lace techniques and will be watching them with great interest as soon as I get some spare time(!). They look useful in a 'ouch, my brain hurts' way. I love that sort of stuff.

In case you are interested, Mhairi of Flavaknits and I have joined up for an informal Fancy KAL. I don't expect it to be a quick knit but it will be a challenging, fun knit. I'll be posting about my progress and sharing tips - hopefully more people will join us?