A Knitted Lacy Collar

20 Jan

I swear this is a sewing blog… I’ve just been bitten by the Love Bug. I can’t stop knitting! We’re still in the honeymoon phase, where everything is fresh & new & super sweet. So forgive me while I gush about another knitting project (or two)!

knitted lace collar
This is the Lacy Collar – it’s from the book Knitting Vintage, which I swiped from my library last week (Sidenote: our local library RULES. Not only do they have practically anything I could want, but you can use their website to request books that are shelved at any of the branches and have them delivered to your local branch. Awesome awesome awesome!). I used yarn left over from my Bunny Slippers, and a button from my stash. Basically – free lace collar! Woohoo! I was inspired by these little autum collars from Casey – I love the idea of a removable peter pan collar, but I didn’t want to spend my precious sewing time making one. Instead I spent a WEEK of precious knitting time on one! No, I don’t get it either.

I only made one change to the pattern, and it was unintentional – I left out a couple of rows by the bottom lace edge. So my collar is a little smaller than the one modeled. Oh well! I learned how to pick up knit stitches with this project, and the lacework is a little more advanced than what I had previously done. I wish it had blocked a little flatter, but whatever – it’s lace, I’ll deal. Isn’t it pretty, though?

lace collar front

lace collar back

knitted lace collar
I am really pleased with how the lace work turned out! And it was such an easy project!

knitted lace collar

Ok, here’s a question for all you knitters – I need some swatch hand-holding!
I had to make two swatches for my knitted cardigan – ribbing and a lace panel. I actually made 4 because it looks like my gauge is a little loose. In both pictures, the left was knitted with size 7 needles (as per the pattern’s suggestion), and the right was knitted with size 6 needles. All swatches have been blocked & dried.
ribbing swatches
The ribbing swatches should measure 2″x2″. As you can see, thanks to my handy-dandy 1″ gridded cutting mat, one measures 2″x3″ and the other is 2″x2.5″. So they are both still a little big! Does it really matter if they are long, though? Or is the width the only thing I should worry about?

lace swatches
Here are the lace swatches. These should be 2″x3″, and the size 6 looks like it baaarely sticks outside of the 2″ margin. 7 is more like 2.5″, so obviously that’s too big!

So I guess my question is, I should use the size 6 needles, yes? Or do I need to go down another size & make another swatch (eeep!)? Help meeeeee!

For your patience, here are some pictures of the current coat progress:
padstitching the undercollar
I started padstitching the undercollar last night, but as you can see I got a little antsy in my pantsy & decided to stop after one row. The undercollar is lightly padstitched (1/2″ stiches spaced 1/2″ apart); there is no need for a fall since the coat has a collar band. At least, I hope that’s the case lol.

coat as of 1/20 - i'm a slacker :(
And here’s where I am so far! Kinda looks like a (sleeveless)coat, eh?

A randumnb news story to brighten your Friday – Dolly Parton & Gaylord just annouced that they will be opening an amusement park in Nashville. Nashville has been mourning the loss of our beloved Opryland for over 10 years now (they replaced it with a shitty mall. Ew!), but it looks like we’re gonna get it back! Yay! Just another reason to love Dolly :)

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24 Responses to “A Knitted Lacy Collar”

  1. Miss Crayola Creepy January 20, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    So cute! And I’m loving your hair!

  2. Joanne January 20, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    I can’t help with the knitting but there’s another reason to visit Nashville right there *love Dolly* quite quite fabulous

  3. Scruffybadger January 20, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Your knit cleverness is streets ahead of mine. Phewee, a lace collar looks super impressive! And too cute. I agree, now that I’m knitting again after Christmas pause I’m itching to get back to it and have been eyeing up cool knitting books for putting on my amazon wislist! Your coat will be incredible too. I just have this feeling. :-)

  4. Michelle January 20, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Be careful when you swatch over a small number of stitches! Sometimes, stitches will sneakily be a half stitch over/under per inch. So, while swatching majorly stinks, I would measure your gauge over FOUR inches, then divide to figure your stitches per inch. Sweaters are a big undertaking, and there’s nothing worse than finishing to find you’ve got something that doesn’t fit. GOOD LUCK!

    • Joyatee January 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

      I agree. Based on the looks of your US size 6 lace swatch, I’d suggest trying a 4 inch swatch (washed and blocked) with US size 5’s. The little bit you do now will pay off later!

      As for the ribbing, I’d go with the tighter rib (US size 6), and length doesn’t matter too much. Most patterns will say “Continue in pattern for 6 inches,” giving the length of the project in inches, not rows. This can be a bit of a problem if you want to finish on a certain row of a pattern, but I think a little bit of fudging in the length (1-2″) is alright compared to a little bit of fudging in the bust/waist.

      Good luck! Can’t wait to see how it ends up!

      • Lauren January 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

        I have heard people suggest this type of swatching, but it confused me because they wanted me to count my stitches in the swatch and that just seemed so overwhelming/difficult. But counting the stitches & measuring and then dividing – I can do that!

        I’ll make another lace swatch tonight with the 5s and see what I come up with. I don’t hate swatching so much as I’m concerned I’ll run out of yarn or something terrible like that, but I suppose worst-case scenario is I’ll just have to frog these swatches and knit them into the sweater :)

        Thanks for your input!

        • Mika January 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

          I agree that you should try the 5s, over a larger space. The ribbing height issue isn’t so much of a problem, but what looks like a little bit extra width in your lace swatch over 2″ really is going to turn into a lot of extra inches in your sweater. If your sweater waist is supposed to be 27″ around, for example, but your 2″ swatch is off by 0.2″, that turns into nearly an extra 3″ around! And there’s nothing worse than a sweater you spend ages on only to have it be too big. Can you tell me more about the pattern & yarn?

          • Lauren January 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

            Ooh, that makes sense. I should have figured that, being a seamstress and all!

            The pattern I’m working on is the Agatha pattern and I’m using Cascade 220 wool. The gauge instructions on the pattern say “3×1 Rib: 11sts x 15 rows = 2×2 in; Lace Panel: 13 sts x 15 rows – 3×2 in.”

        • Shana January 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

          If it’s not too late, try pulling the yarn from the other end of the ball. If you are a “thrower” you may be twisting the stitches which would affect the gauge.
          Also, as others have said, your row gauge only really comes into play if you are going to be doing shaping within the garment. If you are getting 6 rows to the inch and the pattern calls for 4 rows, the rate of decrease/increase would be off and you’d need to take that into consideration.

  5. Lynn January 20, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    The collar is pretty! I think the size 6 swatches look good. You can always do less rows of ribbing if it’s coming out too tall.

    Going forward, I wouldn’t trust a 2″ swatch, though. It’s just too small, and too hard to measure – Knit up a larger swatch, 4 or 6,” and measure the repeat well in from the edges – you can place a straight pin at the beginning and end of the repeat, and measure from those.

  6. leahfranqui January 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    I love this collar! So adorable! Now I must make one, challenge, accepted. And I love the bones of your coat, I can’t wait to see the completed garment. I know what you mean about sewing, I’m totally in love right now, we’re just getting to know each other and it’s scary and exciting and I spend way too much time with my new hobby. But we are in LOVE and HAPPY and you don’t KNOW knitting like I DO. (Slams bedroom door shut, writes in a notebook 10,000 times Leah + Knitting = TRU LUV)

  7. zilredloh January 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    I was gonna respond to your swatch question, but everyone else has beat me to it. :)

    I love your knitted collar, I’ve been meaning to make myself a crocheted one for some time now too. Your knitted one is adorable and I like it the length that it is!

    You’re turning into a knitting fiend. heh

  8. Ashlee January 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Your collar is adorable and fantastic for your third knitting project! Look at you, diving right in. I’m a bad, bad knitter in the sense that I rarely swatch. Ooops. Knock on wood, but I’ve been okay for fitting sizing thus far, but I’m sure my luck is bound to run out. I would agree with the above comments about creating bigger swatches, though. If you’re going to tackle a sweater, it’s worth the time and effort to swatch big, get accurate numbers, and go to town (and yes I realize I should eat my words). Good luck!

  9. Sarah W. January 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Uh, your lace collar probably would lay flatter with those knit rows you skipped. But it looks totally cute and you did a great job picking up stitches and finishing!

  10. Amanda January 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    All your knitting is totes inspiring me to give it a bash! The lace work looks so delicate!

  11. symondezyn January 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Oh i love your lace collar, so very cute ^__^ and your jacket is coming on so well, though I see I have much to learn before I attempt one myself… I’m learning jacket-speak by watching though, even though I feel like I’m learning another language sometimes LOL

  12. Marie January 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    You are so fearless with your knitting, I’m in absolute awe! I saw the collar on your Ravelry the other day and had to bookmark it for myself. You inspire me to learn faster and be fearless too ;o)

  13. gingermakes January 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    Looks great!! I agree with the other gals– make a larger swatch and measure the middle. Edges tend to be super wonky and non-uniform.

    ALSO. A new Dolly-themed amusement park?! AMAZING. It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to go to Dollywood… might just have to make it a double feature once the other park opens!

  14. Gem January 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Very cute knitted collar! As for the swatches – what other people have been saying about knitting larger swatches is right. I’ve discussed swatches with friends in the past, and we are agreed that the horizontal gauge is extremely important, but the vertical gauge is less so. As another commenter said, it’s easier to lengthen a garment than it is to stretch it sideways. For the Agatha pattern, it says it’s a top-down sweater, meaning that when you get to the bottom of the sweater, try it on and feel free to add an extra set or two of lace repeats for more length before you do the bottom ribbing. And don’t fret over an inch or two of it being too small, that’s what blocking is for. I rarely pay attention to my vertical gauge and I haven’t had a problem yet. Good luck! :)

  15. Stina January 21, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    It’s so pretty! Well done! I’ve had a bit of a knitting break lately but this made me want to pick up those needles again.

  16. Montana January 22, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Oh man! Can’t really help you with the knitting part myself, but let me say, so excited about the theme park! I’ve been to both Dollywood and I went to Opryland many times when it was open! ~grins~ ’bout time they brought one back!

  17. Anna January 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    I agree with the earlier comments about knitting a bigger swatch. Accuracy is the name of the game when knitting a fitted garment. But I wanted to share this article about swatches: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEspring03/FEATswatchout.html Marilyn does a great job explaining it.
    You don’t really need to worry to much about the row, just read through the pattern and make sure you haven’t got anything like “knit another 7 rows…”, usually it’s more like “knit until it measures 10 inches” (and then it doesn’t matter how many rows you have to make).

    Btw, the lacy collar is super cute! :)

  18. Michelle January 23, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    Not a knitter, so can’t help you there but hell yeah on the Nashville theme park, Dolly gonna save us all :-)

  19. Kaelah Bee. January 23, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    everything looks so darling! i can’t knit or anything but definitely hope to take it up one day! you are absolutely adorable, too! hopefully if we make it to that side of the river i can ask you for all of your favorite east nashville spots! ;)

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