Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Drop-Stitch Lace Shawl

I finished my black shawl - this is the one I initially started on needles and then decided to do it instead on the USM:

I'm really happy with the outcome... I used the size 4 keyplate, and a lace technique. Then when I was done I dropped stitches at various intervals. The end result is a more open, lacy pattern.

I wanted something nice and light to go with the dress I'm wearing to my daughter's high school graduation next month. I think this will work well, and it will be easy to pack.

Also, while it was still a bit slower to do on the USM than regular stockinette because I had to stop at each row and prep it for the lace work, it went faster overall than using the needles. I was able to finish this within a couple of weeks, compared to it taking several weeks to finish it maybe a third of the way, so it really saved me some time.

If anyone wants, I'm posting the pattern here - feel free to print up as you wish:

Drop-Stitch Lace Shawl

Skill Level: Easy-Intermediate

Measures approximately 45"x80"

  • Lace or fine weight mohair or similar blend yarn. I used 3-1.75 oz. skeins Patons Lacette in Touch of Black. However, Patons has since discontinued this yarn and does not have a replacement. Possible substitutions are:
    • Rowan Kidsilk Haze
    • Crystal Palace Kid Merino
    • Karabella Lace Mohair
    • Colinette Parisienne
  • Size US11 (8.0mm) knitting needles OR
  • Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine using size 4 keyplate
  • Tapestry or yarn needle
Gauge: 13 sts = 4", 15 rows = 4". Gauge is not important for this project.

  • The knitting needle instructions use the garter stitch as this allows for a simpler pattern that is reversible. This is not possible to do on the USM, but it still works well reversed. You can adjust the knitting needle instructions to use stockinette instead if you like - just purl the knit stitches on the even rows instead of using knit stitches for each row.
  • Patons Lacette tends to catch onto itself, both when unwinding it from the skein and when working the dropped stitches after binding off. For this reason I recommend winding the yarn into a ball before using it to detangle the yarn and make it easier to use.
  • Additionally, when doing the dropped stitches, the yarn may again catch on itself. If this happens just carefully and gently pull it loose from itself, using a crochet hook if necessary. It will require a little patience but is worth the end result.
Instructions using knitting needles:

CO 88 sts.

Row 1: K10, *(YO, K2 tog) 4 times, K12*, repeat between *s four times, (YO, K2 tog) 4 times, K10.

Repeat Row 1 until piece measures 80" or desired length. If you wish to go longer you may need an extra ball of yarn.

Binding off:

*BO 4 sts, YO, drop next st, pass previous BO st over YO.
Next, BO 3 sts, YO, drop next st, pass previous BO st over YO.
Next, BO next 10 sts, YO, drop next st, pass previous BO st over YO.*

Repeat between *s until you bind off the last YO/K2 tog group. BO 4 sts, drop next st, pass previous BO st over YO, BO last 4 sts. Pull on work to make dropped sts go all the way down to the bottom row.

Instructions using the USM:
  1. Bring forward 88 needles to holding position.
  2. Use the closed-edge cast-on (e-wrap) technique to cast on 88 sts from left to right.
  3. Thread carriage and K 2 R, ending COR.
  4. Going forward, prep all ODD rows as follows:
    • Working R to L, leave the first 10 sts on their needles.
    • Transfer every other st from RIGHT to LEFT to the next needle for the next 8 needles, meaning you will transfer 4 sts total. After establishing the eyelet rows, you will basically transfer a normal stitch to an eyelet stitch.
    • Leave the next 12 sts on their needles.
    • Repeat second bulleted step for the next 8 needles.
    • Repeat third bulleted step.
    • Repeat fourth and fifth bulleted step twice more.
    • Repeat fourth bulleted step once more.
    • Leave the last 10 sts on their needles.
  5. Move carriage from right to left.
  6. Going forward, prep all EVEN rows as follows:
    • Working L to R, leave the first 10 sts on their needles.
    • Repeat second bulleted step above, except transfer the sts from LEFT to RIGHT.
    • Repeat bulleted steps 3-8, except again, this time going left to right.
  7. Move carriage from left to right.
  8. Repeat Steps 4-7 until you have K 216 R, ending COR. As the work hits the floor, roll it up around the hem and clip it on either side.
  9. Bind off using the backstitch technique, working right to left. To achieve dropped stitches, thread the yarn behind the stitch you want to drop - do NOT thread it through the stitch. Then, simply thread it through the next stitch over in the same way as if it were the adjacent one.
  10. Remove knitting from the machine and pull on the dropped stitches until they run all the way down to the bottom row.

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