The ravelry pattern Damask by Kitman Figueroa has been in my queue for as long as I can remember. I’d always presumed it was too complicated for me – well I’ve got news – despite it’s intricate and complex looking nature this pattern is so well written even a beginner could master it.
Having pointed out the pattern to my good friend Martine of iMake fame (www.iMake.gg) and our friend Kate we decided a KAL would be a great start to the year to get us motivated and wash away the winter blues.
Anyway to get you started I thought I’d do a Shoe’s top tips with some handy hints for the pattern:
Shoe’s Top Ten Damask KAL Tips.
- Buy the pattern! I know it’s tempting to get a friend to email you a copy but these wonderful pattern makers can only carry on if we support them. This pattern is well worth the US$5 you pay for it – exceptionally well written!
- Stitch mark, stitch mark, stitch mark! The pattern calls for you to stitch mark the center stitch, but I found it really helpful to mark the 18 stitch repeats as well. I just simple 10mm jewlery jump rings as markers, very cheap and you don’t mind if you drop one on the train (like I did yesterday!)
- Counting! After each repeat – make sure you have 18 stitches between your markers, I know it sounds silly and time consuming but this will save you having to un-knit an entire WS row when you realise you’ve missed a YO.
- Get your YO right!there are some Knit -YO -Purl and Purl -YO – Knit combos in there and the WS can be tricky if you don’t get these right. The best way I found was:
- K-YO-P. Knit, bring yarn to front as if to do a normal YO, then over the needle to the back and then bring to the front again (giving you a nice loop)
- P-YO-K. Purl, then just simply knit without taking your yarn to the right side (the kind of YO you do when you simply aren’t concentrating!
- It sounds like they won’t be even but mine looked fine!
- Tick off the pattern! Make sure you keep a note of what row you’re on, and I found it helpful to put a post-it under the line I was doing to make sure I didn’t inadvertently start knitting the row before/after (yes I’m that silly!)
- Have you got enough Yarn? I used 4mm needles, the medium pattern and consider myself to be a relatively loose knitter – I had 7g left from a 100g skein so plenty to be sure you’ll get it out of a skein.
- Nupp-away. Some people have taken the 7stitch nupps out of the pattern and replaced with a simple Knit stitch but I think they look lovely so make the time if you can. Make sure when you’re knitting them you keep the yarn nice and loose and be prepared for those WS rows to be a bit trickier!
- Look out for the odd ones! Some of the WS rows are different, make sure you keep your eye out for these.
- Use a life line: If you’re new to lace knitting you may want to put in a “life line” every now and then. This is basically a strand of different coloured yarn thread through the knitting so if you make a mistake you don’t have to go back to the beginning. Type Knitting lifeline into YouTube if you’re confused.
- ENJOY! It is a lovely pattern, which was complicated enough to keep me entertained but not too complicated that I couldn’t do it in front of the TV. You won’t be disappointed.
Really hope you can join us, let me know if you would like more details.
lots of love and hugs