First Lace Project - Help!

Hello there, useful people :mrgreen:

I chose Sivia Harding’s Hanging Garden Stole for my first project, because people said it wasn’t too hard.

Now I want to cry. :waah:

I have pretty thin lace yarn and special addi lace needles, and I’m a pretty careful person, but dang it, I keep having the wrong number of stitches on my needles! Aaargh!!!

Should I drop this project? Did I delude myself into thinking I could do this? The thing is - the stitches aren’t difficult to execute, and I can count to 100 - why isn’t it working??? What am I doing wrong???

Should I try again? Or should I get thicker yarn? Would that make a difference? Say no. I want to knit NOW.

Please help a frustrated novice!


Now calm down, breathe… It’s very easy to lose yos or add them when not called for. I don’t have the pattern but if you post a line or two, I might can help you. If not, there are some incredibly talented lace people on the forum that can. You CAN do it!!!

Stitch markers between the pattern repeats can help. This way you can count the sts between markers and know right away when you’re off and it’s easier to go back and fix it rather than 80 sts later.

[FONT=“Georgia”][B][I][COLOR=“Navy”]Hey All,
The greatest ever creation for my pattern (lace-based on a beaded scarf pattern but minus the beads) has to be lifelines to protect against angry frogging/frogging the work and loosing the place and starting over.
That stole looks really beautiful -bagsy seeing photos of your finished work.

DO NOT give up, you CAN do this! :slight_smile:

It’s hard to say exactly where the problem is without seeing it. Are you ending up with too many or too few stitches on your needle? Are you using stitch markers between repeats? That can be incredibly helpful to make sure you’re doing each section right, and to pinpoint where the problem is. If you don’t have any ‘real’ stitch markers, you can use a loop of contrasting yarn, or any other small object that won’t fall off the needle or snag the yarn. If you’re ending up with too many stitches, you may be doing an extra yarn over somewhere or missing a decrease. Too few? You may be missing or dropping a yarn over somewhere. Work through each repeat one at a time, stop and count to make sure you have the right stitch count, then move on to the next repeat. You’ll get it! :slight_smile:

There are quite some yarn overs in that pattern. Maybe you might try something with not as many yarn overs, since you tend to get lost in the yarn overs, or might miss one.

There are some wonderful patterns out there.
I started with Branching out scarf. Maybe 100 stitches is just too much to begin with as well…
Keep it simple and go up from there.

From a comment on this site last year I learned the following:

  1. Re-type (copy/paste?) into your computer each row of stitches, only type them as a seperate row.
    Like this Row 1 of stitches equals row 1 of typing
    Row 2 of stitches equals row 2 of typing
    Row 3 of stitches equals row 3 of typing

Do this all the way through a complete pattern. By the time you come to the end you will KNOW (really know) much more about the pattern and each repeat much better. That knowledge will help you when you start to knit again. There is something about teaching the mind to see before you ask the hands to task.
The other lesson I was taught was to be sure to put markers before and after each repeat. I chose a number of stitches that may have included one or two different elements. So, that I became internally aware of what was supposed to go on between the “red markers”, and then also what was supposed to be happening between the red and blue markers, etc.
Finally, I learned by doing and re-doing the beauty–supreme beauty of a life line. I laid out my work then with the knit stitches showing drove a darning needle with different colored yarn through the knit loops on the needle. DO NOT CHOOSE a fuzzy color, or red, or black, or dark blue. Rather choose a contrasting color just darker, or just lighter. FROGGING MAKES YOU A BETTER PERSON!
Good Luck!:yay:

oh Woops. I forgot to say that you need to print your newly typed instructions. Print them in a big font, but one that allows you to keep a whole line of instructions on one line of type. If that is not possible put an extra line of white space between each row. So that your mind will “see” the different rows of type as different row of knitting. Also, once you have knitted each row you can check it off, or make other penciled notes on the paper: notes that you might not make if you were making marks in your book.

If you are using stitch markers, loop and tie a long thread/thin yarn through the marker. Let the tails dangle down from your work–you will be catching them through your stitches. They don’t become part of your stitches, the tails will just slip through your work and as your piece grows longer the tails keep moving up. This keeps your stitch markers “anchored” to your work. I find this helps for two reasons, first when you slip a marker they don’t go flying off the needles and if you have yarnovers on either side of the markers the yarnovers tend to stay where they belong.

Does the stitch count vary from row to row, and could that explain it? The yarn over issue that others mentioned might be part of it, and putting in a lifeline as Phoenixmoon mentioned is an excellent idea. Here’s a tutorial:

Also, as you suggested, getting some thicker yarn (fingering or even sport weight), might make your lace project easier for you. But please don’t give up. You can do it!

[FONT=“Georgia”][B][I][COLOR=“Navy”]Hey All,
Marria -You mean I have got something right! (Has a little party, notices your strange looks and sits down pretending nothing has happened!)