Calling all laceweight yarn knitters

I’m not understanding something…it must be mathematical or scientific in its application!:hair: :teehee:

I’m thinking about making another Pi shawl as a gift. I finished mine recently, and used some 100% wool worsted weight yarn. I love it, but it’s VERY heavy…over 2 pounds! I wanted it to be extra warm (and it is!), but it’s a bit bulky because you wear the circular Pi shawl doubled.

Elizabeth Zimmermann recommends using a laceweight yarn to make this shawl, and recommends the needle size anywhere from a US size 7-10½ (recommended gauge is about 3 sts per 1"; says gauge should be loose), and says you need about 12 oz. of laceweight yarn. She doesn’t give any yardages, but based off of KnitPicks’ laceweight yarn line (their laceweight yarns are 50g hanks yielding 440 yards each), this would mean I’d need to buy 7 skeins to give me 12 ounces of yarn (well, actually, 12-1/3 ounces, which is about 3,080 yards).

I’ve knitted up gauge swatches before of laceweight yarn on the larger needles, and it always looks like a loopy mess to me, even after I block it. I just can’t believe that this is how knitted lace is intended to look…I’m not happy with the result. The thought of buying a bunch of laceweight yarn, working up this large shawl, and having it be all loopy and sloppy looking makes me want to cry. But I have to admit that the thought of making another 2½ pound shawl in worsted weight yarn as a gift, with it being so bulky, doesn’t appeal to me. I really wanted the end result to be more delicate. My worsted weight shawl used about 2,119 yards of yarn and I used a US size 10½ needle to make mine, but there are people on Ravelry that used half that amount of yarn in laceweight to make theirs, and with a smaller needle, no less. How is it possible for you to use less yarn with smaller needles and get the same size shawl? Again, I know this must be scientific or mathematic, because I’m stumped as to the way this can be possible. I was browsing quickly through the book “Knit So Fine” at my local bookstore last night and they touched on this very topic; I wish I would’ve read a bit closer at how this is possible but I was in a rush.:verysad:

Here’s kind of some quickie samples that I knitted to explain what I’m talking about. Please ignore the painfully tight bind-offs.:oops:

Hmmm, I had a test knitter do the Valentine Tablecloth into a shawl. It turned out to be over 72", she did it with size 5(US) and used around 2000 yards of a laceweight. I did it on size 1(US), took around 1200 yards of an 8/2, came out to 45". The pattern has a good bit of YOs but alot of stockinette as well. Seems that the amount of yardage your pattern is calling for is based on the size of those needles. I agree that the stringy mess would be terribly disappointing and you’d have alot of time involved.

Couple of suggestions(just my opinions): Go with a wool, laceweight or light fingering yarn and reduce the needle size.
Lionbrand has a laceweight called “LB 1878” and it comes in about 5-6 colors. The cone has 2045 yards, pretty thin but would be nicely done with size 4-5 needles. Check out THIS The detail is super. I’m not pushing my pattern, just showing you the detail…

Her project details are HERE

I’ve knit laceweight on size 10 and 10.5 and it comes out fine; the sts were actually nice and even and not too loose on the 10 in the stockinette parts. It also depends on which lace yarn you use; Alpaca cloud is a lot thinner than shimmer or gloss lace yarn. If you get one of the heavier ones, or go to a fingering weight you can easily use a 7 or 8 with it, or even go up to a 10. Knitting with lace is tricky, I couldn’t do it the first time I tried, even doubled. Then I began knitting with lace and fingering together and got the hang of it; you have to keep a loose tension with the thinner yarns.

I like knit picks Gloss. It has a little bit of silk blended in and really softens up the wool. I’m knitting SOTS 3 on size 3 needles and I’ve also used knit picks Palette (which is a fingering weight) on size 7 to knit Alix’s Prayer Shawl. The Palette is 100% wool and I bought 5 skeins to knit the shawl.

Also if you are having a hard time you can email school house press and they will answer any of your questions in a reasonable amount of time.

Maybe try fingering?

WEBS has some reasonably priced lace wt yarn on cones that is a little heavier.