Managing a lace chart

The Seaweed Scarf is coming along much more quickly than anticipated now that I’ve found an efficient way to follow the chart. This small notebook that I created holds a page for every charted row. When I’m done with a row I flip to the Chart_notebook_closed next page which has the current row highlighted.

I chose to display all rows on each page so that I can easily “read” the previous row on the knitted piece. This is handy when figuring out if a mistake was made on a previous row. I also put a sticky note to mark the current page in case I get distracted.

To make the notebook, I transferred the chart into an Excel spreadsheet and printed a copy for each row. This chart shows 6 rows so I made 6 copies, each with one of the six rows highlighted. I then trimmed the pages to half the original size and cut a transparent report cover to the same size. The pages and cover were then bound using a plastic binding spine that I got in Japan.

I checked around at the various office stores here in the US and found a similar binding system called Proclick. These types of bindings are very useful. The spines allow easy editing of the pages and unlike a binder, the pages flip 360 degrees. This biggest downside is the cost of the machine that punches the holes. Staples has it listed for $63. The Japanese version was a bit cheaper.

Another recent addition to my knitting bag is this small accessories bag from Eagle Creek. The front is made of a strong clear pliable plastic. I can now see all the tools before opening the pouch and easily pick out the one I need. My mini kacha-kacha row counter is conveniently attached to the side hook.

I’d love to get my hands on some of this clear plastic material to make a small organizer for the tools. Each item would have it’s own pocket. After doing some Google searching I think this plastic is called UVX and is mainly used for the windows of high altitude tents. Unfortunately I haven’t found a source that sells it.

Do I need to make a swatch?


The Seaweed Scarf was started this past weekend.

Feigning ignorance, I happily started off on 4.5mm needles as specified in the pattern hoping that everything would turn out well and I could avoid the whole swatch thing. After all, this is just a scarf. Isn’t that why beginners start with a scarf? No swatching needed.

As I finished row 48, I got curious and pulled out the measuring tape to see how close my tension was. The measuring tape plainly revealed that the darn thing was a couple of inches wider than the dimensions given in the pattern. At this rate, the end result wouldn’t be good. If I continued in this manner I would probably end up with a wide scarf that wouldn’t be as long as I would like. If I had purchased the yarn from a local source I could just pop over and pick up a couple more skeins but this yarn came from Virtual Yarns in the UK.

So, on row 49 I switched needle sizes and started a swatch on the first 34 stitches.
Turns out that size 3.75mm needles give me the correct tension.

Today I’m on row 77. The biggest challenge now, will be hanging in there until the thing done. While this lace is interesting it’s very repetitious and I foresee the remaining 523 rows getting a tedious. So, in the near future I’ve decided also work on some pop up paws.

Trellis Grapevine


I’ve had Alice Starmore’s Seaweed Scarf (or wrap)   on my mental “gotta do” list for over a year now, but have so many projects waiting in the wings that I just can’t justify purchasing and storing one more project. Besides, now that I spin, I love creating and knitting with my own yarn so, while I’m sure she has lovely yarn, I’ll admit it – I’ve  really only wanted the pattern.

Well, last week while searching through my library’s copy of  A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker for her version of Frost Flowers, I happened to stumble upon another lace pattern that she called  Trellis Grapevine. If it’s not exactly the same stitch pattern as the one used in the Seaweed Scarf and Wrap, it’s pretty darn close.