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Knitting Lacey Shawls for Beginners – Part Deux

I’m not going to lie to you, kids: I respect you far too much for that.

There is a moment, about one lace repeat into the lacey shawl you have unwisely undertaken, when doubt creeps in.  Lace shawls are the most fun thing to knit ever, and you will watch with enchantment as the pattern emerges.  However, once that first repeat is done, you’ll smooth it out and tilt your head this way and that and admire it; and the slow, creeping thought will emerge:

“This looks like crap.”

Seriously, all the magic of my macro setting does nothing.  It looks like a weird, ripply sea of…yarn and holes.  Like a kinda wimpy scourer.

At time of writing, I have not yet (a) completed or (b) blocked the lacey shawl. I’m planning on using both those steps as separate blog posts, too, so don’t think you’re going to get off lightly. However!  There is abundant anecdotal evidence to suggest that blocking is complete, absolute dead-set magic for shawls and that I will be able turn this bizarre green scrubby dealie into a heavenly wrap that will elevate the wearer to Dame FancyFlounce status.  Updates pending.

So, when this moment hits you, I would urge any of the following in order to help you cope:

  • Deep breathing: this is essential.  You will undoubtedly have a moment when you think you have just invested an hour or so of your valuable and attractive time into making what is only describable as ‘weird-lookin’.  Take some time to put it aside and think and rest and breathe and do yoga or whatever else you like to do to relax.  Not to be confused with Depp Breathing, a particular variety of breathlessness and lightheadedness.
  • A small and modest drink: far be it from me to encourage the consumption of any compromising substance. I’m just saying — if you got ’em, swill ’em. Swill ’em good.
  • Reading other lace knitters’ blogs: I can’t speak for everybody, but I found tremendous comfort in looking at other people’s in-progress lace.  It’s tremendously reassuring to see that everybody’s lace looks, well, arse-ish, when it’s in-progress.

Good luck, brave knitters: now is the time when you will need courage, perseverence and bravery to continue all the way to the bind-off.  I can understand if you want to turn around and close the door now…but will call you a chicken.  Fair trade, I reckon.

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