I have been awaiting the first pattern installment of Mystic Waters with much anticipation. Got myself some Addi Turbo Lace needles and enough Misti Alpaca (light blue) to knit the shawl... and then disaster. I knit, frogged, knit, frogged, until I was ready to tear my hair out. F'ing thing.. I have to say that a nice pair of simple socks sounded delicious.
So, I posted to the MW KAL that I couldn't chew gum and walk. Not in the least. Frogged one last time, and threw the yarn into the stash.
A few hours later, and after many deep breaths, I went back to Make One (my LYS) and talked to Marilynn about the whole situation. She persuaded me to try again, and helped me pick out some nice Lorna's Laces (a wool/silk blend), showed me how to use beads in knitting (oh mannnnn... I am totally addicted); and best of all, renewed my belief that I could, indeed, knit from a chart. In fact, she told me exactly how to do it using a cookie sheet and a few fridge magnets. Ya Baby.
After I got back home, I found several helpful emails from MW KAL members. Thank you Angela and Sue.
Here are some lace knitting hints, just in case the fancy strikes you to chew gum and walk!
1. Lighting is very important. You have to be able to see the stitches. Also *wear light colored pants or drape a white towel over your lap as you work.
2. Use lace knitting needles. Addi Turbo's are worth every penny. Fighting to get a dull needle under stitches can make you lose your place, drop stitches, etc. If you like straights, Bryspun's tip lends itself well to lace.
3. Use a cookie sheet and a magnet to mark your place on your pattern. You can also buy a metal project board that comes with a magnetic rule to hold your charts and keep your place. Or, some people like highlighter tape that is sold in the quilting section of some stores. (JoAnn's)
I drew a line horizontally marking off every 5 rows.
I drew another line vertically on the chart marking off every 5 rows.
I put markers every 10 stitches and worked 10 stitches at a time, making sure I covered up the rows above the one I was working on and moving another paper to cover all but the 10 stitches at a time.
I'm almost finished clue 1. It was a group effort, and I'm really thankful to have resources like this.