Correcting mistakes in Lace

Summer 2008 is the Summer of Lace, as far as I'm concerned. Lace, Lace, all the time, Lace. I'm working on a few doileys, and I'm working on my Here Be Dragone shawl, again. I'll post about that later...

I bought a cone of laceweight alpaca that I've had my eye on for over a year - see, it waited for me! - and I got right to work on a doiley design. Alpaca probably isn't the right fiber for this doiley project, but I don't care - I'm an alpaca freak, and I wanted to knit this doiley, so there!

As an aside, I've let go of some hangups - I no longer aim to knit something "useful" or "needed" or "practical" or "desired by somebody." From now on, if I want to knit it, I will! So there! The way I see it is this - folks work sudoku puzzles or crosswords for the pleasure of working these puzzles, right? When they are done, they don't have something useful or needed or whatever.

Well, for me, lace is a puzzle and if I want to work a doiley in alpaca, then I will for no other reason than I want to.

Anyway, so I'm knitting this big old alpaca doiley and before I knew it, I made a mistake. This doiley features a background of diamonds, and I had screwed up on two of the diamonds. I tried to fix it by dropping a couple of stitches and knitting them back, but I got all bumfuzzled and gave up. Then, I suddenly remembered these posts, by another Rosemary, Lace surgery...

Just so you know, when I first saw these posts on her blog, it literally made me gasp! Oh My Gosh! How complicated! What dedication! It made me so nervous, I had to go take a quick nap.

You want to know something? It's not as bad as it seems, honestly! It is sooooooo easy to repair a problem this way - try it, you won't believe your eyes! (I have no idea why I pinned everything to the very EDGE of my pinning board... sigh.)

Everything is all laid out, in plain view, and you can see what's what.
My mistake only involved a few rows, and a few stitches, so I found it quite convenient to just pin down each stitch, rather than work them on needles. I pulled each new stitch through with a teeny crochet hook.

I started the second one in the middle of the board, because I am capable of learning from my mistakes, heh heh heh.

I made this pinning board out of a piece of some sort of Styrofoam building insulation. I have no recollection, whatsoever, how this stuff came to be in my garage, but I have quite a few pieces of it - it's about 2 inches thick and pink and it works great! I covered it with dark purple fabric so that I could see my white yarn.

...just consult your chart, and work slowly...

The second time around went really fast. This time, I knew it could be done, and I knew that it was no cause for panic, heh heh heh.
If you are given to making mistakes in lace, then you really ought to visit the Lace Surgery posts at Romi's blog and see how she does it - be sure to check out the rest of her blog, too. Then, just give it a try! It's MUCH easier than it looks. Really.

Edited, later in the day, to add....

I am SURROUNDED by GENIUSES!!! Tammy Rizzo, Rosemary Hill, and now, Fleegle! Oh my goodness, look at what Fleegle posted in my comments, below. Just in case you aren't a comment looker, here it is:

fleegle said... I actually pin graph paper with the stitches in question inked onto it and then pin the lace on top of the graph paper. I don't have to take my eyes off the work to look at the pattern that way.

Now, why didn't I think of this? *smacks forehead* It make absolute perfect sense. Thanks, Fleegle! Oh my goodness, THANKS!!! In a sick and twisted sort of way, I'm kinda hoping for another mistake so I can do it this way and feel *especially* smart!



fleegle said...

I actually pin graph paper with the stitches in question inked onto it and then pin the lace on top of the graph paper. I don't have to take my eyes off the work to look at the pattern that way.

I agree with you--I love to knit lace because it's an interesting puzzle. I have a drawer full of never-wron shawls, but who cares?

Romi said...

You did an awesome job! See? It's actually not terrible to do once you get past the fact that you are ripping part of your knitting out. :g:

Katie K said...

I used her technique to correct the complicated shawl I just finished knitting. I put all the good stitches on lifelines to the left and right of the section I needed to work on and pinned the area around the problem to a pillow. Glad it worked out so well.

fleegle said...

You know, that "wron" in my comment should have been "worn." I am so bad a typist.

Thanks for your kind words on my Hyra. And my hint for the lazy lace repairer :)

meg said...

Oh, my - that picture actually fills me with anxiety! Yikes! I'm in awe.

Anonymous said...

This looks very complex. I haven't read through all the instructions from Romi yet, so maybe it would work out OK.

I had problem when I was tinking back to fix a lace mistake (for the umpteenth time), and I dropped a stitch somehow and it started running down in the middle. I discovered and safety pinned it to stop it.

My idea was--could you pick up stitches further down in an still OK area, insert your needle in across a whole row, and then rip down to that level? How hard is it to pick up the stitches correctly in lace, get all the yarn overs, etc. Is this an insane idea? It sounds safer to me than tinking, because the whole row you would pick up below would be like a lifeline. Diana