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View Full Version : What Constitutes Lace?


astonh
08-20-2007, 04:05 PM
I've been looking at some patterns and can't figure out what actually constitutes something being a "lace" pattern or not. I mean, sure, there are some that there is NO DOUBT that it is a lace, but there are some simpler ones that I see labeled as lace but they aren't NEAR the detail tiny tiny tiny stuff that I see often on here.

Can anyone help me on figuring this out? Is it merely anything knitted with some pattern using lace yarn or something else?

Thanks gang!

BillSpace
08-20-2007, 04:16 PM
I'll give it a shot, although I'm not an expert:

Lace is a fabric knit with a combination of yarnovers and balancing decreases to make a holed, patterned fabric. Technically, there's a distinction between "lace knitting" and "knitted lace"; in one, the patterning takes place in every row, while the other is plain on the wrong side.

Sometimes the lace will be confined to a small area of detail on the fabric -- the entire fabric doesn't have to be holey for it to be lace.

Size of yarn, size of needles -- these don't have an effect on whether it's lace. It's the holes and patterning formed by the yarnovers and decreases that make it a lace. (Some people will knit with outsize needles and call the resulting pattern lace, but it really isn't.)

Sharly
08-20-2007, 04:32 PM
Wow! I think I might be knitting lace! Does anyone know the the Cat's Paw Scarf is considered lace? I hope so ;)

astonh
08-20-2007, 05:25 PM
Looks like it to me AND they refer to it as such. IMO, as inexperienced as it is, you are in fact, knitting lace. :woohoo:

talche
08-20-2007, 06:28 PM
Lace is basically any fabric with deliberately created holes to form some kind of pattern.

Quiltlady
08-20-2007, 06:38 PM
talche, by your definition I can say I've knit a few lace things too!!:cheering:

kbagel
08-20-2007, 07:16 PM
Finally, a question I actually know the answer to!

According to Jennifer Harris in 5,000 Yars of Textiles lace is an openwork fabric constructed by the looping, twisting, or plaiting of threads using either a needle or a set of bobbins. There are two different types of lace that we make knitting. The first is knit lace and the second is lace knitting. The main difference between the two, and I think someone said this earlier, is that knit lace has no right or wrong side, the pattern occurs on both sides of the fabric. Lace knitting has a pattern side and a wrong side and is generally not as "airy" as knit lace.

Lace is a fascinating subject and very interesting to see the changes in lace making over the years. If anyone is interested there's a great book by Santina Leavey called Lace: A History.

Sharly
08-21-2007, 09:07 AM
Look at me! I'm knitting LACE! :woohoo:

Not very well, but still!! :)

kbagel
08-21-2007, 12:03 PM
After our conversation about lace, I found this yesterday on the web. It's not knit lace, it's a different variation of lace called Reticella, basically, it's lace created using a tiny needle to form knots in pattern.

http://lace.lacefairy.com/ID/ReticellaID.html/

Kind of amazing if you ask me!