To better assure a satisfying experience in both the process and outcome of knitting filet lace, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your materials and supplies.
Choosing a yarn
Tip: Filet lace knitting is probably best executed in fine, crisp threads with tiny needles. The finer the yarn (and correspondingly smaller needles for a finer gauge), the more refined the look of the motifs laid out against the filet lace mesh.
That being said, especially when first learning and practicing, use a somewhat thicker yarn (e.g. fingering weight as called for in this month’s KAL project for I Heart Filet Lace).
Tip: Until you find your rhythm, you might feel like you are going through some stitch gymnastics. You will be less frustrated if you choose a smooth, firm non-splitting yarn.
Tip: Choose a yarn that will hold its shape after tension blocking, such as yarn made of natural fibers, e.g. wool, cotton, etc.. This is because the filet lace knitting has a natural tendency to bias in its unblocked state.
Tip: For learning purposes, choose a light colored yarn for better visibility in seeing what the stitches are doing.
Tip: As with most lace, a solid color will show the pattern best. If you are inclined to use a variegated yarn, choose one with a close tonal range so that the pattern stitch is not lost.
Tip: Because of the stitch gymnastics mentioned above, you’ll want to knit with pointy needles if at all possible.
Tip: Gauge is important, but not in the sense of trying to achieve a particular finished measurement (unless it is a piece that is supposed to fit within a frame you’ve already selected, or a pillow top, etc.). Too large and everything looks like holes, so you loose the detail of the pattern. Too small and you don’t see the holes, so you loose the detail of the pattern. In the I Heart Filet Lace pattern using fingering weight yarn, I suggest US 6 (4 mm) as a starting point. But feel free to adjust if needed.
Any questions before we get started knitting?