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Old 05-13-2007, 05:32 PM   #1
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Puckering Lace
I'm trying a lace knitting pattern, and, once I get to the second repeat, the "leaf" part of the repeat (about row 7)begins to pucker. I've tried changing yarns, knitting looser, knitting tighter ... not sure what to try next. The pattern I'm using is Myrtle Leaf Shawl on page 142 of Victorian Lace Today. The only thing I can possibly think to change is to remove the little plastic markers between repeats. That's the only thing I haven't tried yet, but I wonder if it's more basic: Are my YOs and/or decreases not quite right? Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem.
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Old 05-13-2007, 05:51 PM   #2
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That's normal, it will come out with blocking, don't worry about it!
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Old 05-13-2007, 06:03 PM   #3
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Lace always looks messy until blocked.
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Old 05-13-2007, 11:36 PM   #4
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You mean kind of crumpled up, but when you stretch it out flat, it looks fine? That's what lace does (see a lace post on Eunny's blog for a good description of blocking lace with great pictures). When you block it stretch it out thoroughly. After blocking it will be flat like you want only if you are using natural fibre like wool. Don't knit lace with anything synthetic unless it will be stretched when worn!

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Old 05-13-2007, 11:38 PM   #5
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Some lace patterns will pucker until blocked. However, I would like to know what yarn you are using and what size needle. Some problems of this nature can be caused by using the wrong size needle for the yarn. If that is the case it may not all block out.
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for asking. I'm using Kid Seta, which is 70% Super Kid Mohair and 30% silk. It recommends size 3 or 4 needles. I'm using size 5, at my yarn shop's suggestion.

When I started having problems, I stopped and began a sample of the same pattern using a yarn I thought would be easier to manage. The yarn for the sample is Opal, a wool blend. I'm using a size 4 needle. The sample is a very different type of yarn, but, once I got to about row 7 and started the "offset" of the pattern, the same puckering showed up.

If you picture a leaf pattern, it looks like each leaf is a little pouch.

My thanks to those of you who have replied so far. I appreciate your help with getting this solved.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:59 PM   #7
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Just give it a good wet blocking when you're done, and it will look so much better. Lace is dependant upon blocking.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:08 PM   #8
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Leaf patterns have a tendency to do that because of the juxtaposition of knit and purl stitches. I'm making the French Trellis Border scarf with Kid Seta and am seeing some of that. Kid Seta is an airy yarn.

However, personally I think size 5 is a little small for Kid Seta. If you look at other patterns in the book that call for Kidsilk Haze, a similar yarn to Kid Seta, you will see that the patterns call for size 7 needles. Most likely the reason your LYS recommended the size 5 is because there is a rule of thumb that says for lace you need to use a needle size that is 2 sizes larger than what is normally recommended for the yarn.

However, lace mohairs like Kid Seta are an exception to that rule because they have a halo due to the mohair content which means they should be knit more at a fingering weight gauge with a size 6 or 7. A larger needle will produce an airier fabric and less puckering.
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