Should I Have Left It Alone?
(Lola's* okay, but it could have been worse; all pics enlarge.)
I revisited this Moose Lace stole a week ago, after abandoning it last summer. A distraction, and it ran from my fingers! The yarn is Berroco's Boho, and the pattern is Star Rib Mesh, (using a vertical double decrease). The first stole, knitted in white, turned out fabulously, and I gifted it to my friend, the fabulous Yvonne Alvarez (happy Puerto Rico Day 'sis)! Seeing it on her, produced a bit of envy of my own knitting––talk about narcissism––so I decided that I needed one in red. Well, don't you just hate it when the same project you knit for other folks…anyway, it became a UFO. So, when my memory of it was revived while meditating upon completion, I figured I had the pattern tamed enough to finish––but you can see what happened.
What The Hell Am I Talking About
Moose Lace, is a description (derogatorily used, by some), for the knitting of lace patterns using very large needles. I became aware of this technique a few years ago, at a knitting circle. An older, experienced knitter who seemed slightly off her gauge, remarked on a stole that a young woman was working on. I thought it was rather pretty.
"Hmmph. It's moose lace," the older knitter said.
"What the hell is moose lace?" I asked, "I didn't know moose could knit."
You don't even wanna know, the look this woman gave me. But her attitude towards the young knitter's lace was worse than toward my smart mouth, so she stiffly explained why she thought the stole so horrible, heightening my interest in this technique; a lace that's a time saver as well––why not?
If It Looks Good, Knit It
Now, I love lace and small needles, but why the narrow definition? Is this a generational thing? Can you achieve a good looking article from a blown up lace pattern? I chose a stole for its simplicity. Keeping in mind the big picture, I considered the optimum effect. First, I wanted a lace that would repair easily if snagged. It also had to compress to be conveniently carried, yet expand enough to wrap cozily, on a cool summer night. The mesh rib won out, and I went to town using size––gasp––11, 24" circular needles. Six balls later––success! What happened the second time?
If You Stick Your Hand in A Moose's Mouth, Have Nice Fingers, and Other Lessons
One: Boho contains 3 types of yarns, two of which will produce visible snags from your fingers; make sure your manicure stays on point. Two: stay focused––don't get caught up in the beauty of the yarn. Star Rib Mesh is a simple, 2 row pattern, but one that can trip you up big time, as there are no obvious clues that you're messing it up; check often to see that you are indeed knitting a star shaped mesh, because, you can't hide a mistake on a moose. Three: please use needle guards! One of the yarns is rayon, which will fall apart with lightening speed if you drop a stitch. If you do make a mistake, rip back slowly to either the nylon or the cotton section, preferably on a purl row.
Moose Lace Rescue Plan
Notwithstanding the aftermath of the fracas in the photo, the stole is on my needles again. It won't be a constant travel project––too dangerous to get jostled around in my bag, but I should be able to let it out in another week or two at most. Moose lace, using a suitable yarn and pattern, really is a time saver––and beautiful! Just be gentle, and take the proper precautions.
*Lola, is the name of my dress form.