Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Join Our Spring Knit-Along Featuring the… Spring Lace Shawl!

March 28th, 2014

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Each season we host a crochet- or knit-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together. There’s no need to sign up! Simply follow along with the blog posts at your own pace as you knit your project, and feel free to share your comments and/or photos as you progress. KAL_BADGE_2014
81058adaWe asked you to vote on what knit project you’d like to make, and you picked our Spring Lace Shawl! Almost 6,000 of you voted, and we’re so excited to knit-along with you.Click here to download the pattern for the Spring Lace Shawl and click here to get the kit in Kelly Green or in Silver Blue (free shipping for a limited time).

To get this knit-along going, this week is about gathering your materials so that we can jump right in the week of April 7th. This lovely shawl is made in our Vanna’s Choice yarn, a versatile, easy-care, acrylic worsted-weight yarn that comes in a huge assortment of stunning colors. If you’re more in the mood for a cotton blend, Cotton-Ease is a great substitute, and will be light and lovely as the temperatures get warmer.

As with any yarn substitution, you’ll also need to figure out how many skeins of the yarn of your choice the pattern will require. Here are the number of balls for our other recommended yarns:

Yarn OS
Vanna’s Choice 12 skeins
Cotton-Ease 12 skeins

Click here for our FAQ on substituting yarns.

Starting the week of April 7th, our KAL host Grace DiLorenzo will be posting her progress through the lace shawl project, with updates coming every Thursday. You’ll know it’s a dedicated KAL blog post when you see our special badge in the upper right-hand corner of the post. Don’t forget to join our Ravelry group for this KAL as well!

In the meantime, please introduce yourself below–let us know who you are, where you’re from, and who you’re making this top for!

About Grace: Grace DiLorenzo has been knitting for the last 10 years. What started as a hobby quickly grew into a passion. Her favorite things to make are garments and lace. As a teacher at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City she has been able to share her love of yarn crafting teaching beginning through advanced knitting and yarn dyeing classes. She has lead the first four in studio knit alongs and is excited to do it again! grace_200px

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  • Kit

    I have never done a KnitALong (KAL) before, but I came across two where I really liked the pattern in the same week, so I am trying both of them. I am going to do this one in a boucle yarn in size 6 (Chunky or Super Bulky) in a bluish green probably with a 13 or 15 needle and either one or two repeats to make a lacey scarf for now. I have the yarn in my stash and have been looking for a project to use it on. That will let me make sure that I am doing the pattern correctly while I have other people working on it too who can answer questions if I have any.

    Later on I plan to come back and do it with four strands of WoolEase in four different colors of blue and green, sage, blue heater, seaspray, and fisherman. I plan to do the whole full size shawl, just as specified, and I am hoping that the four colors will not obscure the lacy effect. If that much color does distract from the pattern, I will either choose colors that are closer to each other or two strands each of two colors or something similar depending on what I can do that will give me some color interest as well as a clear lace pattern. And I would then use those four colors of WoolEase with a different pattern. Half the fun of knitting for me is trying things out until I find the colors and textures and patterns that work together the way I have in mind. I love that there are so many alternate ways of making things out of yarn.

    • Susan Bell

      Me, too! : )

  • Susan Bell

    Following Ruth’s lead, I am also sharing after 3 sets of the pattern. I wanted to follow the description as closely as possible for the first shawl, and I found a soft, supple yarn in my stash that cooperates comfortably with 4 strands on large needles. The width is 17 inches unstretched, so not far off the one-strand Homespun. When this one is done, though, I will try one in a single strand as so many others are doing, but with 49 stitches.

  • Susan Bell

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  • Susan Bell

    Yoiks! Is there an easier way to post a picture?? Lol

    • Ruth Silva

      Lol when you find out let me know…so I can do it myself.

  • Kit

    By the way I live in North Dakota, so it is very rewarding to knit here. Lots of chances to wear nice warm clothing. We still have snow on the ground and last week we had about a foot of snow in one storm. I have only been knitting about five years now, but I tend to knit a lot, both at home and most places I go, including on car rides, buses, trains, planes, waiting in lines, waiting in doctors offices and other waiting rooms, in class, talking with friends, even sometimes in odder places. For new knitting challenges I am likely to knit where there are fewer distractions, but for simple patterns I can knit in the dark too, and without those cute knitting needles with lighted tips, although those are fun too.

  • Patty Callahan Shular

    Hi. My name is Patty. I learned to crochet and knit when I was a kid. But i took more to crochet. I know basic knit and purl stitches and I thought I’d like to try to perfect my knitting. I’m hoping with this blog I can get the assistance I need to get through any parts I get stuck on. I also have a friend who knits a ton, so I have someone I can go it if needed. I’m excited to see how far I get.

  • Ruth Silva

    Thanks Sue…my son put up the pic for me. I’ll have another soon I can get my son to cooperate:)

  • Ruth Silva

    Thanks Susan, yours look lovely too. I will try another later with more stitches for a wider shawl. This one is to use now when the AC is too high at church. :)

  • Kit

    When you start to type a comment there is a box that opens under the comment box with a little rectangle in it with a funny shape in it – if you hover your mouse over the frame with the teensy picture inside the words “upload an image” appear next to it. Click on this box and follow the directions to upload the image. I am using FireFox as my browser but I can try it out with Internet Explorer, Safari, and Google Chrome if anyone needs to find out if it works in those browsers too.

    This is a picture of two strands of Homespun Thick and Quick (not regular Homespun) knit on size 19 needles, showing that two strands of Homespun Thick and Quick is pretty thick for knitting double on these size needles and probably would not work well for defining lace, although I haven’t yet tried knitting lace with these yarns on these needles. I was doing a swatch for a very heavy weight winter sweater for wearing in North Dakota, one of the coldest states in the lower 49. Yes Alaska has places that get a lot colder than here. None of the other states do.

    I posted this just to make sure that my directions for how to post pictures are correct.

    • Susan Bell

      Thanks, Kit. I’ll try that. I couldn’t get photo and text to post together, and I still don’t know what I did to finally get the photo to upload–just kept pushing buttons!

      • Kit

        You are welcome. Looks very pretty!

    • Susan Bell

      P.S., Kit, I feel for you in your cold state! Here in BC, I have my windows open all day already! Touch wood.

      • Kit

        Tomorrow it should be warm enough for that here too. I have only lived in ND about three years, but I actually enjoy the climate here most of the time. You just have to be prepared to dress for it. If you don’t dress for it and listen to weather reports frequently, you can be in big trouble, but if you are prepared and moderately careful, it can be a fine place to live.

        I have heard wonderful things about the weather in BC before now too, and other wonderful things about BC. I would love to visit there someday.

    • Ruth Silva

      Thanks kit for the tip on posting pics…I finally did it without my sons help…yaaaay! :)

  • Ruth Silva

    Well here I’m 3/4 ways along. I like what I see but next one I make ill c/o 49 stitches.

    • Susan Bell

      WOW!!!

    • Kit

      Gorgeous. So glad you are now able to post your own pictures. And I love the subtle color shifts in Homespun that are enough to add interest but not enough to overwhelm the lace as the main feature. I think I will try Homespun in this pattern too at some point. I love using the same pattern in different yarns, and seeing how the same pattern varies in appearance in small ways with the changes in yarn and yet how it maintains many of its principal characteristics. That looks really special in those rich reds you picked.

    • Lori lee

      why would you c/o 49 stitches? just want it wider
      I think its so pretty

      • Ruth Silva

        Well I would like the next one a bit wider for chillier days. I’m also working on the Yolanda Lopez shrug in a homespun color “Montana Sky” blue. I might make this pattern in that blue color…it’s beautiful. Thanks…PS have you started yours yet?

        • Lori lee

          Hey Ruth- your shawl looks great– no unfortunately I have not started mine- had lots of appointments out of town this week- my goal is to start it this weekend, keeping my fingers crossed!! now I am debating on how many to cast on?

  • Lynn

    Ruth- I really like the look of the homespun. I will have to try my second one in that yarn. I’m not that good with using different weight yarn than the pattern calls for. What size needle would you use if you used 2 strands of homespun? Maybe a 15? Also, how many skeins do you think you will use?

    Thanks!

  • Ruth Silva

    Hi Lynn…I probably would try a size 13 needles. Thanks

  • Kit

    I cast on 17 stitches and worked the first 9 rows using size 15 (US) 10″ needles and one strand of a super bulky yarn. The 10″ needles kept me from spreading the work out fully for a picture, so I will probably knit them onto 14″ needles in the next 8 rows so I can get better pictures, but I wanted to post a couple of pictures of what I have managed so far. I am still not sure if I am doing it right. But the pictures probably are not good enough to tell.

    • Kit

      Second picture, slightly different angle.

  • Kit

    Okay now I am doing 17 Stitches Cast On Super Bulky on Size 15 14″ Needles so I can get a much better picture. I have completed 17 Rows or 2 Repeats plus a purl Row and it is beginning to look like the pattern!

  • Kit

    How will we find the new blog article that is supposed to be coming out later today and every Thursday until our fearless leader is done? I don’t know very much about Blogs.

    I also signed into Ravelry and could not figure out how to find this KAL on there. Can anyone tell me a simple way to find whatever is on Ravelry for this KAL? I am willing to poke around if I have to, but it might help more than just me if someone could explain step by faltering step.

  • Kit

    Okay I answered one of my questions. On Ravelry, look under groups, and there is a section for KALs and CALs and OALs (Other A Longs) and Lion Brand Spring Lace Shawl is listed, and you just click on it. I would not have thought to look under groups, because this seems to me more of an activity than a group, but now that I know that is where it is, putting it there makes sense in hindsight.

  • Vicki C

    Am I too late to join?? I’ve been wanting to make a harder knitting project and this looks so cool

    • http://lionbrand.com/ Danielle Holke

      Join the fun! We’re just starting. A new post went up today: http://lby.co/1iASHpL

      • Vicki C

        Thank you!

  • Marie Cox

    Another silly question….sorry I seem so confused about knitting with 4 skeins. Can I just cast on normally and knit one skein at a time? What is the advantage in knitting 4 skeins at once? It looks like from the photos that everyone is knitting the usual way, one skein at a time. If I use 4 at once, do I combine them into one – like a single big fat 4-strand strand – or drop and pick up each strand at a time? Seems to me that would take a lot more time. I feel like a total idiot on this.

    • Susan Bell

      Hi Marie! Yes, you knit the 4 strands as a “single big fat 4-strand strand” as you say, lol. This method creates a thick fabric knit on fat needles, and the 4 strands add an extra effect to the lace pattern, as well as knitting up quickly, once you get used to the fat needles. I suggest that you take your time at first to get used to keeping all the strands together. Marie gave us an excellent suggestion of winding 4 balls into one; that’s what I’m doing. I quite enjoy the “big knitting” experience. Good luck! (I’ll add a close-up picture.)

      • Marie Cox

        AHhh! Now I get it! I also went to your blog post and saw the picture with the ziplock bags. Ok, all makes sense now. LOL Fortunately, my skeins all arrived in their own plastic bags, so all I need to do is make a hole and pull out the ends. I’m going to throw them all into a knitting bag so I can tote it around with me. Yay! I’m all ready to get started! Thanks again for all your help and your patience.

    • Susan Bell

      4 strands

    • Grace DiLorenzo

      Hi Marie, the advantage to knitting with 4 strands at once is that it forms a strand that is 4 times as thick. To do this take 4 balls of yarn and pull a strand from each of them and hold them all together. Once holding them all together you can work as you normally would, pretending that they are just one strand. There is a tip for how to keep them organized in this weeks post, check it out!

  • http://lionbrand.com/ Danielle Holke

    New post up today: “Spring Lace Shawl Knit-Along — Gauge Swatching” http://lby.co/1iASHpL

  • Susan Bell

    Hope this one works, Marie! 4 strands

    • Kit

      Susan – Beautiful knitting and a great picture showing the effect of using four strands.

      • Susan Bell

        Thanks Kit! I, too, wondered how we were going to find the host’s blog, but I guess we both stumbled into it through the “gauge swatch” link Danielle put up on the original blog.

  • Sharon

    My name is Sharon and I taught myself to knit several years ago with the LionBrand instructions. I have never done a KAL and, while I really like this pattern, this Spring will be crazier than some. I’m afraid I’ll not keep up with everyone. Can I work at my own speed and read the posts or must I officially join the group?

    • Susan Bell

      Hi Sharon, I tried to reply to your message, but it seems to have disappeared! Did you see anything from me, Susan Bell?

    • Susan Bell

      Hey Sharon, I hope you found out that you don’t have to register, you can join anytime, and you can indeed work at your own speed! : )

  • Carol

    Hi, I’m a wee bit late getting started, but better late than never. :) I have just a few minutes ago ordered my yarn…I tried to substitute another colour, but it didn’t work out., so I’m going with the lovely green. Thank you for your helpful suggestions and hints, I appreciate your efforts to help. Best wishes, Carol

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