Branden really likes geometric stitch patterns. I tend to like flowery, curvy ones. It’s not often that we both look at the same stitch pattern and immediately say “I like it.”

I wasn’t sure that I would like this pattern when I saw it in the book, but as soon as I started knitting, I fell in love with it.

This is Herringbone lace from BW #1. The yarn is South West Trading Company Bamboo. I love this yarn. I used it once before, to make a halter top for my sister. (I would add a link, but I can’t find the post, and those pictures are broken now, anyway. I can’t wait to be able to fix the server and archive issues this summer!)

The bamboo has beautiful drape, though it makes a heavy fabric. Branden informs me that I only think it’s heavy because I’m a knitter used to working with wool. He’s probably right. It’s still heavy.

The fabric definitely stretches lengthwise. Even a small swatch has enough weight to add 25-30% to the length of the pattern repeat, which is no small difference. I’m actually finding it hard to knit to the appropriate length measurements, because it feels so short. But the swatch says that it will stretch, and I believe it.

I’ve had this yarn in the stash for about two years. I got it on clearance on a local yarn shop crawl, and there were only two balls left. It wasn’t enough for a big project, and it’s ended up just sitting and waiting for a long time. I frequently take it out and look at it, and then put it back. But this time, it was ready.

The lace shell-turned-tank got me thinking about this yarn again. Two balls is enough for a tank, and bamboo doesn’t have the warmth that I’d want in a shawl, so a garment seems like a good option. It’s harder to work increases and decreases into this lace pattern unobtrusively, so this time I’m experimenting with different needle sizes. The bottom section of the swatch was knit on a size 6, and the top (above the black marker yarn) was knit on 4’s. You can just barely tell them apart by feel in the finished piece, and the difference in pattern size isn’t as noticeable as it looks in the picture.

Switching needle size gives me a 10 inch decrease at the waist (which is what I used on the last tank), so I’m going to try shaping with needle size.

I’m almost to the armpits on the front half, but I’m at a bit of a standoff with the lace at the moment. I thought about what to do with the wavy edges along the side seams, but I haven’t really come up with a good solution for the armholes. The side seams will just be grafted in a zig-zaggy line, but I don’t want points along the armhole edges, and I think point avoidance will involve some lace pattern modification. I didn’t feel up to this morning when I discovered the problem. (Yes, it took me that long…) I need to start the decrease section soon, so I need to come up with some kind of a stable edging for the opening before I can get much further.

It’s hard not to work on this lace, so hopefully I’ll find some time to do stitch engineering and get back on track soon. Shouldn’t be that hard, right?