While Waiting

I’m sewing up the sweater.  Sewing, sewing, sewing. It’s magnificently boring, and I won’t give you the details of how I do it because there’s tons and tons and tons of great tutorials on-line and in books already.  (There’s a great Norah Gaughan video on mattress stitch here, and there’s a similarly awesome one here for how to set in a sleeve.  I’m doing the same thing.)  Instead of boring the lint off you with instructions that wouldn’t be as good as theirs, I’m instead going to invite you to a debate. 

A few days ago Steven A wrote to me and told me about this.  It’s a contest.  Essentially the yarn shop is challenging people to knit socks and lace for the summer and at the end of the time, they’ll add up yardage knit and see who the winner is. Steven (who might be a tiny little bit of a competitive person. Just guessing, don’t know him very well) is eager to participate in this challenge, but has taken umbrage with the shops definition of "lace".  Apparently the shop is using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s definition, which is that lace is a series of yarn-overs with accompanying decreases used to make holes.

Steven would like to knit this sweater: The Whisper Cables Pullover (rav link, my apologies.) by Veronik Avery, and thinks that it should qualify as lace. He’s outvoted by both the shop rules (which is probably what matters in the end) and by popular local argument. (I believe that his exact words were "everyone is against me.")

Now, his argument is (sort of loose) but he essentially says that if you’re deliberately using larger needles to create "openwork" (on account of how open the work will be, because the needles are so big) that it’s lace.  He thinks that the Zimmermann definition is too rigid, and that the field needs to be opened up.  He thinks that if work is essentially translucent (meaning that you can more or less see through it) that then it should count as lace.  Holes are holes, no matter how you get there, appears to be the central point of his argument. He’s not the only one in the world to think that… I mean, Debbie New called one of her techniques "scribble lace" and it doesn’t have a yarn over in sight… and I don’t know if I’d argue with Debbie New.  (She’s pretty smart.)  He also argues that the point (holes with decreases) is too narrow, and that other exceptions have already been made.  Like – a series of buttonholes created with  yarn-overs and  accompanying decreases fit the definition, but are obviously not lace – or that the yarn-over increases down the centre spine of a shawl obviously are, even though they have no accompanying decreases.

I’m not sure what I think.  My personal definition of lace is "a deliberately created series of  holes created for decoration" (or something like that) and Wikipedia says "Lace knitting is a style of knitting characterized by stable "holes" in the fabric arranged with consideration of aesthetic value." That definition seems to imply yarn-overs, since a hole created otherwise, like with big needles isn’t stable – it can borrow room,  or room can be borrowed from it by the surrounding stitches.  The Lace Guild says "Perhaps the most striking feature is the part that is missing: lace is full of holes! These holes are formed as the lace is made…" which also seem to imply the creation of holes, rather than just the presence of them.  My dictionary (the Canadian Oxford Concise) says "1. a fine open fabric, esp. of cotton or silk, made by weaving thread in patterns and used esp. to trim blouses, underwear etc." which is obviously not a knitting definition (seriously. Underwear is mentioned but not a shawl? These are not our people) but may support Steven’s argument – as unrelated to knitting as it is.
I suppose we could ask Veronik too… I mean, it’s her pattern. Surely she has a definition of lace, and would be able to say that whether or not she thinks her pattern qualifies. 

It comes down to this. Steven is seeking support for his point of view, and I don’t know whether he’s going to find it – and in the end it doesn’t matter much anyway because really, the people running the contest make the rules, no matter how the vote goes (I didn’t remind him of that part yet.  He already seemed demoralized.) but I suggested a blog vote to see what the popular opinion is. The main points seem to be this: Is it lace if holes are present (like with a very, very loose gauge)  or is it lace only if the holes are created as the result of an action, like a yarn over. 

Your choices are:

A. Steven, I’m sorry, but lace happens when you deliberately create and place stable holes on purpose.  Suck it up and pick another pattern.  That’s not lace.

B. You know what? We should loosen up.  Holes are holes man, and if you’ve got holes that showed up because you meant to get holes, than that’s lace no matter how you got them. 

C. I sort of agree that maybe there’s other ways to make lace than yarn-overs, but really dude. That’s a cabled sweater, not a scribble lace scarf and you’re stretched too thin on this one.  Try harder Steven, you’ve almost got me.

D. Something else.

Kindly leave your thoughts and votes in the comments – and Steven? You might want to crack a beer for this.

1,307 thoughts on “While Waiting

  1. I’m going to have to go with A. I mean, if you knit in stockinette for yards and yards on needles that are too big, is that lace?

  2. I would have to say C. I normally think of lace as knitting patterns made of yarnovers and increases/decreases, but admit that the definition is a bit rigid. However, this contest is being done by a group and there are tons of interesting lace patterns out there that you could make if you are trying to churn out yardage.
    Of course, I wish you luck. I would lose the contest of most yardage in a month (or two), because my commute time is most of my knitting time. Hard to knit when the muggles think that I can’t have 2 square inches of space to move my fingers.

  3. OK, here it goes – I think the point of the contest is to knit a whole bunch of stuff over the summer, with a LOT of very dinky tiny slinky VERY VERY thin yarn. And have fun while doing it.
    So Steven – more power to you, you can knit whatever the heck pattern you want to, as long as it uses VERY thin yarn, and a lot of it. There. Enjoy. 🙂
    It’s like running a marathon – only ONE person will win it, so might as well have fun running that very long distance.

  4. God love you, Steven A, and I am looking forward to meeting you at Knot Hysteria, but the answer is A. Otherwise, all of my dropped stitches = lace, and that ain’t right.

  5. Uh. A! Knitting in a loose guage isn’t ‘lace’. It’s open, light knitting, but it’s not lace. Lace has a proper pattern of holes and decreases to make patterned mesh. Knitting little yarn on huge needles is just large guage. Sorry buddy…

  6. A. What Steven is describing is “lace-like” or “lacey” (spelling?) or “pseudo-lace”, but not real lace.

  7. C or maybe D. I think the whole thing (no pun intended) hinges on the fact that the lace holes are Stable. Big holes made with big needles in just knit or purl stitch, are too stretchy and are not stable. Stabilize the hole, and you have lace.
    Steven, go ahead and knit the sweater, but it won’t be lace. Enjoy it anyway, if that’s what you want to knit. Why would you want to force yourself to knit a bunch of socks or lace just for a contest if you won’t enjoy the process? Or the product? Life’s too short!!

  8. A – Estonian and Shetland lace for instance are knitted with very very fine wool and large needles. It’s the holes though that are considered the lace, not the plain stitches.

  9. A for me. Lace has deliberately positioned patterns in it. Not holey fabric. Not I can see through this fabric even though it doesn’t have pretty patterns in it. Not what results when the cat gets hold of your socks in progress.

  10. I have to go with A. I think the sweater pictured at Ravelry might be called lacey if you aren’t looking at the pattern and of course to a muggle. But I think for something to be called lace, it also implies some difficulty. holes and changing stitch counts on each row and really really long charts and confusing instructions etc.
    Does the definition of lace never include the weight of the yarn used? I would guess, especially for a contest, that it would also have to be using lace or fingering weight yarn.
    Sorry. sorta. 😉

  11. I’m going to vote for C, but I have to say that I really love this sweater. And it is arguably a lace-and-cables sweater… from what I can tell from the smallish picture on Ravelry.

  12. What if I deliberatley use big needles to create holes, isn’t that lace? there’s more than one way to create a hole where you want a hole.
    That said, rules are rules. Steve can have his own target and do whatever her wants, but if he wants to compete, go with what the shop says.

  13. Dude, they’re allowing crocheters to enter. You’re gonna lose anyway, no knitter can beat crochet when it comes to yardage.

  14. A.
    I’m flexible with people and their ideas/opinions. I’d let Steven join; however, I’m rigid with my definitions. A definition is a definition. He would need to KNOW he was breaking the rules. And that’d be fine with me. Just so HE KNOWS.

  15. I’ve got to go with C. And, anyways, it’s the shop’s competition. They can make up whatever rules they want…they’re the people giving away free money.

  16. A. I think a deliberate drop stitch pattern in a thin yarn on large needles can be lacey too. But it is all in the words ‘deliberate pattern’.

  17. Oh- and also, to be real lace, there must be tears, angst, frustration, swearing, doing over and over and complete satisfaction when it’s all done.

  18. I’m going with “A,” though with some persuasion, perhaps “C.” (But the Veronik Avery Sweater doesn’t count anyway.)

  19. Sorry Steven. That ain’t lace bud, looks like it but by my definition, lace requires concentration and markers.

  20. I’m going to have to go with A–that it’s not lace. Chiffon is also translucent but we wouldn’t call that lace. However, I think the yarn store is being too rigid. It’s summer and isn’t this supposed to be fun? Maybe they should have a category called Flace (for fake lace)so everyone can play.

  21. I’m going to have to say A, with some possibility of C — after all, some Estonian motifs involve the deliberate creation of patterns involving yarn-overs, but they don’t result in holes. (I’m thinking, for example, of the first section of Laminaria from Knitty. Maybe that kind of pattern isn’t technically ‘lace’?)
    As far as a summer-weight knitting contest, though, obviously any store can make up its own rules, but it seems like a more even-handed category of summer-appropriate knitting would be something like: “X weight or lighter yarn, at Y sts per inch or less”.

  22. I lean toward A, but vote C in an effort to be less rigid.
    I also think that knit and crochet shouldn’t be competing against one another for yardage. No knitter is going to win that prize.

  23. I’m in the A camp, too. It seems the issue is really whether to think of lace as a noun (the finished product) or a verb (a certain type of knitting). For this knitter it’s all about the process.

  24. IMHO, just because something’s lacey doesn’t make it lace. I’m going to go with A.

  25. yeah, dude… sorry but i shall have to go with “C” too… cuz big needle knits do not equal lace. they just equal needing to wear an undershirt.

  26. I’m on the spot with “C” – although I really wish I could give it up for “B.” I can’t just can’t make it there, so “C” it is… (And that contest sent shivers down my back, and not in a good way. My knitting destiny is in cables since lace abhors me. I’ve have enough failures and enough hooch to accept this about myself, but it doesn’t make me love lace items any less.)

  27. I know the pain of wanting to make a point and feeling that no one is behind you.
    But honesty is honesty.
    And honestly, I’m going to have to say C. Pretty cabled pattern and close, so close… but no cigar!!!

  28. A, most definitely. Unless you’re making holes through deliberate action, you’re just making something with a loose gauge (or with a lot of mistakes). Sorry, Steve.

  29. D. I want to say that EZ is not know for being rigid. But think of all the new ideas and techniques we are wading into. I am all for finding out new ways of making lace (Cat Bordhi are you listening?). Unfortunately I wouldn’t change the rules of a contest at this for Steven, but I would change them for next time.
    Maybe we need a contest to come up with new ways to make lace.

  30. I’m going with C. Sorry Stephen!
    While I would call that sweater “sheer” I would not call it lace. Lace creates a pattern. I don’t call fishnets lace stockings, even though they’ve got holes in them, so I can’t call that lace. Nothing against that sweater OR fishnets, because I really like both of them. I just wouldn’t define them as lace.

  31. A. Big knitting can be lacy, but that’s lace-*y* like carob is chocolatey. “Ish” does not equal “is.”

  32. Sorry, I vote A. “Lace” is not the same thing as “lacy.” Just using large needles might be open and lacy, but not actually lace. Grape juice is similar to wine – you smoosh grapes to get a liquid you can drink, but unless you let it ferment it’s not wine. There’s an extra step to creating lace (and wine) that’s not there with the large needles (and grape juice). Just don’t spill your drink of choice on your knitting of choice.

  33. I’m going to have to pick A.
    Loose gauge isn’t the same as deliberately placed holes.
    Also, I heard once that “true” lace has yarnovers and decreases on both sides of the knitting. How demoralizing is THAT?

  34. Gotta go with C- with A running a close second. I can make basic stockinette socks lace by stretching them over my big feet, if we take Steven’s definition.

  35. A. Sorry dude. I have always wanted to be a good lace knitter. I can make holes – that does not make me lace knitter. 🙁

  36. I vote A. That sweater might have lacy elements to it, but it is not lace.
    My definitions are:
    Lacy: Something that resembles lace. Something that has holes and is light and airy.
    Lace: The deliberate creation of a hole for decorative effect. (This excludes buttonholes, since that is a hole for PRACTICAL effect.)

  37. C.
    It has /cables/. If it didn’t I’d be tempted to agree. 🙂
    Good luck Steven!

  38. I have to go with A. And yes, dude, that is a cabled sweater, not lace! Darcy is right though – crochet will always win for yardage!

  39. d.
    I mostly kinda disagree with his definition of lace. I think that definition is for beginners and he obviously is not a beginner if he wants to knit that sweater.
    BUT I think the yarn shop should loosen up! Knitting is knitting. Give him a break. Cables suck up just as much yardage as yarn overs!

  40. C. Big needles make lacy, gauzy fabric, but that’s not the knitting of lace, its the knitting of translucent, floppy fabric. Besides, that sweater is specifically cabled, even if it is also lacy. Knit something else, Steve.
    This will be an interesting debate.

  41. I vote A, with a C chaser, and definitely “tears, angst, frustration, swearing” plus a lifelife if you know what’s good for you. Must be able to count and keep track!

  42. I say d. Thanks goodness I have finally found a subject I have no opinion on. 🙂

  43. I say d. Thanks goodness I have finally found a subject I have no opinion on. 🙂

  44. I’m voting for A. I want to say C but I have that pattern book, and I’ve read that pattern, and that pattern isn’t lace. Now the Juneberry triangle in the same book, THAT is lace!

  45. I’m on the fence between A and C (which is not a vote for B!). I’m going to go with C because I’m feeling generous, but I’m really just taking my eyes off A for just a moment. Sorry, dude.

  46. A definitely. The point of lace is the challenge! Just using big needles is definitely cheating, though I guess you could call it “lacy” because of the wholes. I still stick by my answer — A!!

  47. Sorry but my answer is A. I enjoy knitting lace but just because something is lacy doesn’t make it lace. The holes are part of the pattern not because you use a larger needle.

  48. If I had a megaphone here, I would shout “A” to the Austrian alps and back. Sorry, bud… NOT lace. Not even close. No way, no how.

  49. Sorry Steven…C. I’m in the “that’s lacy, but not lace” camp. But wow, it’s a pretty sweater.

  50. I have a firm opinion, but not one that demands agreement from others.
    I have to choose A (sorry Stephen, honest).
    Knitting on big needles is just a difference in gauge, not a different technique, and definitions of ‘lace’ vs. ‘not-lace’ hinge on technique, rather than whether something can be worn without a bra (or jock strap) or not.

  51. A with the part of C about there being other ways to make lace than yarn overs. Big loose stitches are not lace.

  52. I keep looking at the Whisper Cables Pullover and as much as I WANT to say that it’s lace, it’s not. It’s floaty. It’s sheer. It’s beautiful (and I might knit it for my sister for Christmas). But it’s not lace.
    That being said, I could be convinced that there’s more than one way to make knitted lace beyond yarn overs. (There’s an article title for you – Lace Beyond Yarn Overs.) That sweater still isn’t lace.
    So, I vote C.
    Then again, rules are rules and if the shop decides that lace is ONLY yarn overs with appropriate decreases, then that’s what you’ve got to go with. How about this one? http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lacy-cabled-scoop (yes, it’s another rav link… sorry…)

  53. Sorry Steven, but lace is YO and K2tog or some such combination. Loose knitting with big needles don’t cut it. Gotta go with A.

  54. A and a little bit of C. There is no way that sweater is lace. And cables eat yarn for breakfast, unlike lace, cheater cheater pumpkin-eater! Though, as said above, the crocheters are going to own this contest.

  55. I’m with Diane @ 4:14PM. It’s lacy but that’s not the point. Lace needs no other reason to exist other than for itself. So my vote is A

  56. A. Knitting garter stitch with big needles is not the same as doing increases and decreases to create a pattern.

  57. I really do think it’s A. But in the interest of being more open-minded, I could be a C. Sadly, neither is the answer that Steven is probably looking for. Sorry dude.

  58. C, with a leaning towards A! That’s definitely a cable top…
    …and I burst out laughing when I saw Darcy’s comment about crocheters.
    Yep, relax and knit whatever you want this summer (the jumper you’ve chosen is lovely) – as you’ve got very little hope of winning a yardage war with crocheters in the mix!

  59. C — there are various techniques for making lace… but that sweater isn’t really one of them. Sorry!
    Also, my vote for best quote thus far:
    “Oh- and also, to be real lace, there must be tears, angst, frustration, swearing, doing over and over and complete satisfaction when it’s all done. –Deb”

  60. I’m not usually a traditionalist, and I would never go up directly against Debbie New, but…I have to vote C. I believe in A, having just spun and knitted a lace shawl for my wedding, and anything that isn’t that much trouble isn’t lace IMNSHO. Sorry, fella.

  61. I have to vote A simply for the “deliberately created” and “on purpose” parts of the statement.

  62. A – just because you knit the stitches bigger doesn’t mean that it is lace. Lace – IMHO – implies that the stitches have been manipulated by means of YO, PSSO, K2TOG, etc to create the lacy texture. Nice try, but not lace.

  63. A. No doubt. Cables can be lace, too, but the lace has to be of the “intentionally created, stable hole” variety.

  64. A. That lace holes are stable is the key point that supports my choice. Hope you’re enjoying that beer, Steven, and please don’t take any of this personally. You have lovely taste in sweaters.

  65. Steven, I’m sorry, but lace happens when you deliberately create and place stable holes on purpose. Suck it up and pick another pattern. That’s not lace.

  66. Vote for A. I have had holes in my knitting and believe me it was NOT lace.

  67. A, with a slight possiblity of C- you might be able to convince me that something else qualifies as lace, but not that sweater. (And not really the scribble “lace” either.)

  68. That’s a beaut, but it’s definitely an A from me too. What if he added a lace panel down each sleeve (such as the lace Branching Out pattern from knitty)? [http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring05/PATTbranchingout.html]
    That would add lace to the garment without changing it too much, although, as someone else said, lace ain’t technically lace unless it’s knit on both sides.

  69. Hmmm…this makes me wonder. I have been considering my Clapotis part of my summer of lace. The holes are made with dropped stitches rather than yo’s and the stabilization is done with twisted stitches on either side. Would the holes in that project be considered lace?
    As far as Steve goes, Dude, I have to pick “C”.

  70. I am choosing A. Even though there are other forms of lace(of which I know a bit). I love lace, I make lace, all sorts of lace, bobbin lace, tatted lace, knitted lace (including lace knitting), needle laces. All are formed creating wholes by design to create an open and stable work. None of it is due to a loose guage or gauzelike appearances. So much energy for something that should be fun and enjoyable-even relaxing. Suck it up and move on. I am sure there will be other contets to make that lovely sweater.

  71. I’m torn between A and C here. I’d go with A, except for the fact that I actually do believe that waterfall effects/deliberately dropped stitches (like in the Clap) is a type of lace. But again, those are deliberately created, so doesn’t that fall into A, even if it isn’t a yo?
    HOWEVER, in defense of Steven, when I checked the pattern out, I distinctly saw A’s definition of lace in that sweater, so…

  72. A all the way.
    It seems to me, in my quick scan of previous votes, that Steven might want to pick another pattern

  73. C. Let’s invent a new term, suggest: Faux Lace
    That way, Lace is Lace and we have Faux Lace too.

  74. C, but with strong leanings toward A. That sweater is not lace, sorry! And Stephanie, I can’t wait to see your finished sweater!

  75. I’m going to have to pick A.
    Loose gauge isn’t the same as deliberately placed holes.
    Also, I heard once that “true” lace has yarnovers and decreases on both sides of the knitting. How demoralizing is THAT?

  76. Sorry, Steven. I vote A.
    Big knitting is not lace. Ultimately the rules are set by the contest moderators and whatever they said goes. You’ve got to play by the rules as set out and if they say no, it’s no. No arguing will fix that. If you want to do something else, don’t join that contest – or run your own with your own rules.
    As a secondary note, sometimes those type of contests/rules are made to equal the playing field. You can’t get the speed up as easily on “real” lace with yo’s and decreases that you can on garter or stockinette on big needles.

  77. D – just because rigid definitions were ignored by the late great EZ and rigid definitions prevent intelligent mistakes from becoming something awe-inspiring and because there always should be a something different – in life, in knitting (when those two are not one and the same) and in art.
    GO Steven GO D and for goodness sake – lace is not boring – but fabric created to be less than staid and solid!

  78. Sorry Steven big needles and stockingette does not mean lace.
    I am a A inline with the competition rules. But if we had another competition where we were to develop lace with alternative stitches – ie a stable fabric construction then I would be a C.

  79. personally, I think B. but if I were to enter a contest, I’d want to make sure my entry qualified. maybe I would think they should change the rules…but their contest, their rules. *shrug*

  80. I’m going to have to pick A.
    Loose gauge isn’t the same as deliberately placed holes.
    Also, I heard once that “true” lace has yarnovers and decreases on both sides of the knitting. How demoralizing is THAT?

  81. I’m on the fence between A and C. I think A is correct, but I want to say C because I don’t like things to be so defined. “Scribble lace”, for example, is not just called “lace” for a reason – it isn’t lace, but it has the false appearance of it.

  82. I just knit a hole-y market bag, and it is far from lacy. And I’m certain that what moths leave behind is not lace. So I’m going C, with a side-order of A.
    Why don’t you start a hole…errr, whole other contest, Steven?

  83. Sorry, Stephen, but it has to be A. The holes have to be stable and holey.

  84. C. I don’t know exactly that I care how lace achieves its lacy-ness, nor that I agree it must be had by virtue of y/o’s and decreases, but that’s a cable sweater, so suck it up!!
    Tatting, pin lace, counted thread lace – they’re not knitting, but they’re lace, so I guess lace is lace is lace .. but cable ain’t lace.

  85. A or maybe C. It’s really all about deliberate, stable holes. I would count Clapotis as lace even though there are no yarn overs because the columns of dropped stitches are stable. As much as I think that’s a gorgeous sweater and could concede that it’s lacy, I don’t think it’s lace. Sorry Stephen.

  86. C.
    At first I was thinking A…but then I got to thinking about the difference maybe between “lace” and “lacy.” Like I don’t think of Clapotis as lace…but it’s very open. So, really, all this to say I don’t think there is one clean cut definition…but this sweater wouldn’t meet it. Sorry.

  87. A…gotta be A. I’m firmly in the camp of the late, great EZ. Sorry Steve. Enjoy that beer!

  88. I’m going C, but almost A. The point of a lace challenge to me would be that it be a little challenging with the YO and decreases. Big needles just doesn’t do it.

  89. Suck it up, buttercup, A. I will add a side of D, too. In a contest, there must be rules/regulations/standards, and we can either agree to the terms and participate, or not join. I have grown rather weary of the debate society popping up and tangling the skeins.

  90. A. Steven, I’m sorry, but lace happens when you deliberately create and place stable holes on purpose. Suck it up and pick another pattern. That’s not lace.

  91. C. Pattern seems like more like a light cable sweater than a lace one. But what do I know? lol If it was called “Whisper Lace Pullover” I might agree with you.

  92. I vote A. To me lace is a technique, as well as an effect, and using big needles are not the same technique.

  93. A. Dawn said it perfectly: “A. What Steven is describing is “lace-like” or “lacey” (spelling?) or “pseudo-lace”, but not real lace.
    Posted by: Dawn at May 27, 2010 3:57 PM

  94. C. It’s lacy fabric, but that’s not lace. Lovely pattern though – I’m adding it to my queue!

  95. I vote A. I appreciate the force of your argument, Steven, but lace is lace because of the holes you put there on purpose. Sorry!

  96. For the purposes of definitions, who cares?
    For the competition though, it’s absolutely a. Deb hit the nail on the head. To level the playing field, patterns should all hold the same probability of causing tears, swearing, etc.

  97. I am going with C.
    Firstly – I want to remind Stephen that if he wants to enter a contest and he did not make up the rules, then he must go with the existing rules or not enter.
    Secondly – I can see lace being made by dropped stitches so I would say that yo’s are not the only way to go.
    Third – Loose stitches are just that to me – open and airy but not lace. I am currently knitting the Aran Necklace Cami from the 2010 spring Interweave Knits issue. This pattern calls for size 7 needles with fingering yarn creating a very open fabric. In no way would I call it lace.
    Nice food for thought discussion though.

  98. C with a strong leaning towards A. Sorry Steve… it’s a nice sweater, why not just pick an equally nice lace sweater for the contest and make the non-lace one for something else? Like pleasure?

  99. A. In fact I wouldn’t classify the scribble lace scarf as lace….that’s lacey.

  100. How’s that beer, Steven?
    A with a little leaning towards C. It just ain’t lace.

  101. Put me in the A camp. When Steven finishes a real lace shawl, let’s see what he thinks of his theory then!! Sorry, buddy. A

  102. There is a difference between “lace” and “lace-like.” We all know this. So A. There are definitely more ways to make holes in fabric, but those aren’t lace. If I purposefully cut holes into my sweater, it doesn’t make it a lacy sweater. It’s just a sweater with holes in it.

  103. I’ve got to say A. Lace is YO’s and decreases – that make a decorative pattern. Lace has motifs. Big stockinette is not a motif. 🙂

  104. I vote for C. I’ve knit a couple of scribble lace shawls, I consider them “lacey”. Its not like I’d go around wearing them without something underneath!

  105. Voting C before I look at all the other votes.
    But, even more excited when I saw your description that I was pretty sure it was the yarn store just a mile or so away. The owner, many years ago in a previous store, helped me finish up my first ever sock. Several years ago I even finished the other one. ;-D

  106. Sorry, dude, but A it is. Just because you use knitting needles that look like props on Buffy does not make the pattern lace – it’s still a cable pattern.
    Also, EZ is watching ;P

  107. A. Fer sure.
    Also, pick your battles. Fighting the rules of a contest isn’t the best use of time, IMHO.

  108. C with strong A urges. I believe you can used cables in lace and that lace can be made in various ways, some of which may not covered by EZ’s definition. However, that sweater is not lace, it’s a beautiful lightweight sweater that uses cables and stockinette. Sorry Steven and good luck in the contest.

  109. Sorry Dude, I have to go with A for the purposes of the contest. They have to come up with a uniform definition and guidelines or even something as simple as the dishcloth my 6 year old stepgranddaughter is making could count (big needles, bright WW cotton yarn…. she’s 6 and it keeps her occupied, we’re all good) in the contest.

  110. A. Lace is a beautiful synchronization between that which gives and that which takes away.

  111. A. Steven, I’m sorry, but lace happens when you deliberately create and place stable holes on purpose. Suck it up and pick another pattern. That’s not lace.

  112. I am apparently, and much to my own surprise, a lace purist, so I’m going to have to go with A. The stablity of the holes is where I get hung up I think. Skinny yarn + big needles can be lacy, but I wouldn’t call it lace.

  113. I’m going to have to go with C. I was on the fence until I looked at the picture of the sweater…there isn’t anything “lacy” about it!

  114. I go with C. Although if you are judging lace on a purely traditional front, A. But I like the idea of C better. 🙂

  115. My vote: There has to be more than one way to knit lace.
    The sweater in question though is not lace but clearly a cable sweater.
    How’s that for riding the question fence? I’m good at that.

  116. A. That sweater is pretty, but it’s not lace knitting. In my opinion, Clapotis is pretty, but isn’t lace knitting, either.
    I love both knitting and crochet, but I agree that they should be competing in separate categories. Crochet not only uses more yarn than knitting, but in general it works up much faster.

  117. I’m dithering between A and C – and I think it’s going to have to be A. You can knit things that are ‘lacey’ or ‘lacelike’ but that doesn’t make them lace. And that sweater is so not lace, by any definition!

  118. I’m mostly in the “A” category. I kind of agree with C but A’s where it’s at for lace. Lace has purposefully placed holes for decorative purposes. Knitting cables, bobbles, popcorn stitch, stockinette, garter, with needles larger than your yarn calls for, doesnt count as lace.

  119. A for me, while I like the sweater, it’s more of a cable pattern and definitely not lace. Sorry Steven – I bet Steph would like a nice ale to go with all the heat! 🙂

  120. I also have to go with A. It may be *lacey* but it’s not Lace, IMO. Still pretty though!

  121. Sorry Stephen, I am going with A as well. Large needles creates a ‘lace-like’ effect but not lace per se.

  122. I’ll go with “A”.
    Similar to a previous comment above: There is a difference in “lace” and “lacey”. Something knit in fine yarn on big needles would be “lacey”, but without the deliberatly created, stable holes of lace knitting I do not believe it qualifies as “lace”.

  123. Sorry…A. If it makes you feel better I once got a pretty similar question wrong on a test at school. I put “Scribble Lace” as my answer. My professor said this was unacceptable, regardless of all proof shown. By textile industry standards knit fabric that is knit with an exceptionally loose gauge is a “Sleazy Knit.” Makes you feel dirty and want to knit the sweater even more doesn’t it? Ahh….F ‘um. You don’t need their stupid rules/definitions/contests. Kinda like college.

  124. I’ve never ventured into lace — way too new at knitting to even think about it yet — but I’m pretty sure I can use big needles to make holes. So, I would probably say big needles don’t really make lace.
    But I think the question, for contest purposes, might be more about technique and speed. Would there be a significant speed/quantity advantage to someone using the big-needle technique instead of the yarn-over technique? If so, I can definitely see saying “no,” because it would be akin to entering Twinkies in a gourmet foods contest. (The analogy’s probably not quite right, but it’s all about effort.)

  125. I’m with A generally as well… although I could be convinced by a strong C example.
    When I was little I was lead to believe that Carob and Chocolate were the same thing (and that trail mix was candy if it had carob chips). But I eventually realized it was all a BIG FAT LIE. Calling something that’s a loose gauge “lace” is like calling carob chocolate (or for that matter, calling trail mix candy).

  126. A, most definitely. I agree with Kelley (smallwhitedog) who said cables eat yarn for breakfast. The sweater he wants to make is sheer and beautiful, but not lace. If one wants cables in one’s lace, pick one of those gorgeous, intricate Japanese patterns in the 250 book. They have real YOs and decreases with cables mixed in.

  127. OK, it’s got to be Option D for me. 8^) See, there’s more to it than has yet been explored! (Somehow you knew that, didn’t you?)
    The yarn shop write-up says some things with potentially sinister (and undoubtedly unintentional) implications that kind of slipped under my radar at first … “Who can knit … the most … lace?” and “What is lace? We’re using the Elizabeth Zimmermann definition: lace is a series of yarn-overs with accompanying decreases used to make holes.” It’s just not enough information, people!
    Once upon a time (Margaret Stove, anyone?), there was a distinction between “knitting lace” (as in the first question above quoted) and “lace knitting” (word order matters!). You were said to be “knitting lace” if patterning occurred on each and every row of your work, which resulted in the most airy product while requiring the ability to work a decrease that caught up a yarn-over loop from the previous row, but you were doing “lace knitting” if patterning was only every other row, with a wrong-side purl or knit row in between. (As an aside, I have no earthly idea what it was called if your work combined the two types of patterning, like most of my own stoles and scarves.)
    So … I am picturing all those hoodwinked “lace knitters” going into that shop at summer’s end, satisfied that they’ve met the Zimmerman definition (and having avoided cables, sorry), unaware of the true meaning of “knitting lace” and …

  128. Sorry Dude, but I am casting a vote for A. I agree with the previous commenter **Bonnie H.** I tend to feel a too loose gauge looks sloppy and it is too much of a stretch to call it lace.

  129. Sorry my knitting friend, but A it is. Lace isn’t lace if it doesn’t include all the angst mentioned above, not to mention the tinking back of umpteen hundred stitches because a lifeline wasn’t put in at appropriate intervals (ask me how I know…)

  130. Wow, everybody IS against you Stephen! LOL.
    But not I. I say “B” because I think lace is like obscenity: I can’t define it but I know it when I see it. And I don’t feel I need a more rigid definition of lace in my life.
    Also I think the contest rules are ambiguous because they accept crocheted lace which is NOT a series of yarn-overs. But it’s their game and if they won’t bend, I suggest you knit a stockinette poncho that has a series of yarn-over increases down the center.
    Because that’s lace, right? 😉

  131. As a member of a lace guild, the members are constantly trying to explain what lace is and what qualifies as lace to the general public. We have arrived at option A as the most valid option. While there may be some “lace appearing” fabric, it is not lace unless the holes are created deliberately and with stabilization, e. g. tatting, bobbin lace, romanian point lace, drawn thread, crochet lace, etc.

  132. I have to go with A, with a possible side vote on C — but I think lace is a deliberate and planned action and that implies YO and decreases.
    Now, this does beg a BIGGER question in my mind — is the famed Clapotis from Kate Gilbert lace? I can argue that is is pretty much without YO and decreases, BUT I can also argue that those holes were a deliberate and planned action.
    Why do I stress “planned”? Because breaking the ‘rules’ (and I use the word rules LOOSELY — pun intended) on gauge isn’t often planned as serendipity that then gets repeated by others.

  133. I have to go with “A”.
    I looked at the pattern and it seems to me that even if you thought the presence of holes qualifies it as lace, these are some mighty tiny holes!!! I wouldn’t classify that as a lace sweater, maybe a “slightly see-through” sweater.

  134. I wanted to pick A, but kindness over took me, so C it is. I have knit enough lace to know, loose knitting that generates holes is not lace.

  135. Voting for A. See through does not mean lace. And it is a cable sweater.

  136. For the purposes of this contest, sadly, my answer is A, since those are the rules they’ve declared.
    That said, I’m not sure I consider those rules entirely fair. They are allowing crocheted lace, which obviously doesn’t involve yarnovers, since it’s an entirely different beast. So if they want to be strict with their definition of lace as involving yarnovers and decreases, then crochet shouldn’t count.
    Generally speaking, though, I personally would call it lace if it has decorative holes made on purpose. Does knitting at a loose gauge count? Mm… Tough call. Intent plays into it, I think. Accidental floppyness certainly doesn’t count. But if you’re knitting at a loose gauge with the intent of getting a very airy, holey piece, then maybe.
    I think, ultimately, I’m leaning toward Stephen’s side of things, but not for the purposes of this contest, I’m afraid.
    Sorry that was long.

  137. I vote for A, although I could be pursuaded to switch to C if someone came up with a good example. Sorry Stephen, just using big needles doesn’t make it lace (and IMHO neither does deliberately dropping stitches or making a shawl that only has yo’s down the center spine).

  138. Well, I was completely with you until I checked out the Ravelry link of what Stephen wants to make. My first impression was “OOOh….pretty lace sweater!” Since I am that kind of person I would come down on Stephen’s side on this one. If your first impression is Lace Sweater than it is a lace sweater whether or not there are YOs.

  139. I vote for A. I’m sure you’ll be great at a lace pattern, Steven! Just pick something new, and embrace the lace. 😀

  140. I agree with many who have already said this, but just because something is lacey doesn’t make it lace. So I vote for “A”.

  141. I would have to say C. With a really strong leaning towards A. I was thinking about those “Magic Scarves” that you can knit – you knit a scarf about 1/3 of the length you want it, and when you bind off, you drop every other stitch and then pull each end of the scarf – and it magically grows by about 2/3. It’s another way of making holes, but most definitely not by yarn overs… Although I do agree with KathyRo, who noted that they are accepting crocheted lace, which is not made by yarn overs… maybe the contest rules, as well as the definition of lace, need to be made more definitive.

  142. stuck between A and C… it’s possible for lace to be created without yarnovers, but i can list the examples of that on one hand. and none of them include a cabled sweater.

  143. c, with a leaning towards a. I would describe that sweater as finely knit, not lace.

  144. I am vacillating between A and C. Actually, I’m in a good mood – so let’s say C. However I do also lean towards A.
    Sorry Stephen. Crack another beer.

  145. I also vote for A. Its a lovely sweater, but its not lace. Does it help to think of the difference between knitted lace (pattern, i.e. yos every row) and lace knitting (alternate plain and pattern rows). That would seem to imply that one is required to do something more than just knit on large needles.

  146. I have to pick C. The sweater Steven wants to do certainly looks like lace and cables and is very pretty. But rules are rules and that breaks the rules. It’s like when a contest says, “Enter with your name and addy on a postcard” and you send it in on a regular piece of paper. A regular piece of paper is not a postcard so your entry is discarded because you did not follow the rules.

  147. I vote C. Sorry, Steven. life’s tough, get a helmet (oh, and pick a different pattern).

  148. Sorry dude but I’ve got to go with
    A. Steven, I’m sorry, but lace happens when you deliberately create and place stable holes on purpose. Suck it up and pick another pattern. That’s not lace.

  149. C but only to be kind spirited really it has to be A.
    For my second project as a knitter I wanted to “do lace”. The kind woman in the LYS gave me small yarn and big needles. I made a pretty scarf that satisfied me at the time – but even then – I knew it was not lace.
    Sorry Steven.

  150. A. Knitting something with big needles to make big holes is just knitting big holes. Lace is created with certain types of stitches, and it doesn’t matter what size needle you are using, it will still be lace.

  151. As someone who crocheted long before I learned to knit, I’m going with A – stable holes made on purpose. Big needle knitting won’t cut it, Stephen.

  152. C with a dollop of D. There is ALWAYS more than 1 way to skin a cat. I think that YO and decreases aren’t the only way to make deliberate stable holes.

  153. Sorry Stephen, I have to go with C. The look of the sweater makes it tempting to decide otherwise, and I’m sure it will be a striking knit, but I have to concur with others that really, it’s a cabled sweater that happens to have ‘lacy’ bits. Of course if you modified the pattern somehow to include lace……

  154. I have to go with A. Why? Because I’m partial to the Wiki definition you point out, Stephanie: “Lace knitting is a style of knitting characterized by stable ‘holes’ in the fabric arranged with consideration of aesthetic value.” Stability matters, yes, but I think the “consideration of aesthetic value” is key. When we picture lace, I think most of us see a fabric that is designed in such a way as to show off a clearly “arranged” pattern, not just stockinette or garter knitted on needles large enough to spread the stitches out and make it see-through. I don’t see anything wrong with defining lace somewhat strictly; it’s a centuries-old fabric of which people have specific expectations, and to me that expectation is aesthetic arrangement of holes, not simply “openness.”

  155. B.
    Crocheted lace, tatting, and that lace made on pillows by knotting dozens of strings have no yarn overs – but they are still lace.

  156. Steven, I’m going with whatever answer gets me that skein of cashmere. (Otherwise I’d have to go with C leaning towards A) But I really, really want that yarn, so if you like I will write a Treatise on Lace Options if needed and send it to your Store Ruler. Yup, I’m on your side.

  157. A, A all the way. Calling loose knitting lace is preposterous. Knit loosely if you want to, but please find another name for it; “lace” is already taken.

  158. B. Based on the fact that I opened the picture, looked at the sweater and though, “yup, that’s lace.” Not unlike the US Supreme Court’s definition of pornography. 🙂

  159. Dude, I’m going to have to go with A… All in all though, I think the stability of the holes is very important, regardless of decreases.

  160. A
    Even fits in with the Debbie New scribble lace, since the scribble part is stablized by the non-scribble parts. And the deliberate pattern is that the scribble part is deliberately placed and its pattern is random on purpose.

  161. A, because I’m knitting a REAL lace scarf that I might finish in the next 12 months. 50 stitches, 10 row pattern, absolutely nothing that can be memorized, lace weight yarn on US#5 needles. THAT’S LACE! I don’t know how the holes are made in that sweater, but it AIN’T lace, it’s a cabled sweater.

  162. Tossup between C and A. Either way, no. It may qualify as “lacy,” it is indeed finely knit and a lovely pattern, and maybe what a muggle would think of as lace…but in my mind while that sweater may well be translucent in part due to the gauge-induced holes, it’s not knitted lace.

  163. B – there are more important things in life to worry about than “is it lace or isn’t it?”

  164. D. Modify the pattern so it’s lace with cables 🙂 (between each cable column, I’m seeing a centred double decrease flanked by yarn overs, executed every other or maybe every third row…)
    Pretty sweater, thanks for publisising it 🙂

  165. A. If you drop a stitch or start knitting the wrong direction, do the holes become lace? I will have to revisit some of my old tragedies with a new eye.

  166. Sorry Dude, A. There is technically a difference between lace knitting and knitted lace. Although I think open mesh stitches may qualify as lacy or lace like it doesn’t make it lace.
    Use YO for your increases and you’ll be good to go.

  167. I vote for A; it’s the intricacy of the stitch pattern (relative to simple stockinette) that makes lace LACE.
    I just can’t endorse stockinette knit on large needles as comparable in difficulty to a yarnover/decrease lace pattern.
    Sorry, Steven. Especially since the coordinator of this knitalong-thing is counting finished yardage to determine a winner, it would be unfair to allow a knitter to simply knit stockinette on big ol’ needles and call it “lace.”
    It might look lace-ish, but it ain’t quite lace.

  168. A. For sure. Although, I do like to scribble on occasion, it is not lace. “Lace” and “Lacey” are not the same thing.

  169. C’mon – if the pattern isn’t considered a lace pattern, then it’s just not lace knitting (or knitted lace – not the same thing). At a local fair around here someone submitted a BEAUTIFUL tea cosy that was knitted quite plainly, felted, and then needled felted over the top in a beautiful scene (a field with sheep, apple trees, and even a sheepheardess) but it was submitted into the knitting category. Sorry, it was NOT knitting that made it beauftiful, and I think we can all agree it’s not LACE that makes this pattern LACEY. EH ALL THE WAY. Or A 🙂

  170. A. If you really want to knit that sweater, Steven, go for it, but it’s not lace and won’t ever be.

  171. I go with A & C
    Lace involves deliberately placed holes. However, I do think you can make holes with something other than yarn-overs (heck, look at crochet or hairpin lace.
    I can make a loose gauge swatch by using bigger needles & simple stockinette, but that’s not lace.

  172. I’m kinda torn between A and C. I think the definition of lace could stand to be a bit loser, but I just don’t think the sweater Steve wants to make is lace. It is a lace-like fabric but I feel like there is a pretty big difference in skill and technique between using large needles to make an airy fabric and being basically a knitting ninja to create the complex combination of stitches that make up lace.

  173. I think A, but there are other ways of deliberately creating holes than yarnovers. By the competition definition, Clapotis wouldn’t be lace. I think any drop stitch pattern – with vertical or horizontal drop stitches (vertical as in Clapotis or horizonal formed by wrapping the yarn around several times on each knit stitch and then dropping the extra wraps on the next row) must count as lace too.

  174. It’s going to have to be C for me, because that Veronik sweater is definitely not lace. I can kind of see his point, and while I would consider the scribble lace as lace, I think the important point might be the adjective – in this case SCRIBBLE lace.
    Related, I’m currently knitting a Featherweight cardigan by Hannah Fettig wherein I am knitting in stockinette with size 4 needles and laceweight yarn and deliberately making a holey fabric, but this is not lace. In my opinion.

  175. C/A Sorry Steven. It’s the store’s game and they can make the rules any way they want. I agree with many comments above. Skinny yarn on big needles can be very nice – but it’s not lace – unless you are a muggle.
    Colleen in Kansas

  176. I have to go with A as well. I love the sweater, but it is not lace by my definition, which is something along the lines of strategically placed holes and more solid sections. The space create by knitting with really big needles is not holes, it is just loose knitting. While it can be very attractive, it is not lace. If we start to make something like the term lace all inclusive to loose knitting, then were are we going to draw the line. If 3.75mm needles and sockyarn is the new lace definition, how about worsted weight or bulky yarn on 3.75 mm. Who is going to decide where the “new” definition stops?
    Bless you Stephanie for hosting this debate, and are you actually tallying the votes? Thank you as well, as it certainly is proofing to be an interesting read. 😀

  177. A. The stable deliberate holes are what makes lace, regardless of how they were accomplished. However, YOs are not the only way of making lace. I think a lot of straight knitters are forgetting that crocheted lace is beautiful lace that involves absolutely no YO or K2TOG to create the stable holes. I also would consider some drop stitch patterns to be lace.

  178. For my own purposes, lace is A, and only A, but I’d be willing to go with C for the purpose of argument. However, this sweater still doesn’t cut it… sorry!

  179. Sorry – A is my definition of lace. Getting holes by happenstance, as when using huge needles, is not the same as creating lace deliberately with YO’s and Dec’s.

  180. This was a very tough choice, but in the end, I have to go with C.
    I see the argument that it’s a lace and cables sweater. I think that since the holes are deliberate, that makes it fit the definition for the most part. I’m not a rigid person, and I can’t say this really isn’t lace.
    Additionally, crochet lace isn’t made with yarn overs like knit lace is. Yet we call it lace, and it’s allowed. And the knit holes are not necessarily stable in the strict definition – if I make the stitch before or after the hole a little too tight or loose, it affects the size of the hole.
    The defining factor in the end, though, is that when I look at that sweater, the defining feature is the cables. I prefer when people follow the spirit of a rule/law rather than just the letter of it, which is what made the decision for me.
    In the end, a contest needs clear rules and a clear person who makes final rules interpretations. The line had to be drawn somewhere, and they made the line before that sweater. I’m sorry.

  181. Sorry, Steven, but I’m voting with C, but it was a close call and I still love that cable-yet-mysteriously-lacelike sweater. 🙂

  182. A.
    Possibly influenced by the fact that I don’t like the sweater, but I don’t think so.

  183. A: I agree with this statement. Sorry Steve.
    “Unless you’re making holes through deliberate action, you’re just making something with a loose gauge (or with a lot of mistakes). Sorry, Steve.”

  184. I’m halfway between A and C. Something can be *lacey* if it’s translucent and has a very loose gauge, but it’s not technically lace. The shop could have further specified that to count it must be “knitted lace” where both right sides and wrongs sides are patterned, but they didn’t. “Lace” needs YOs, dude. Sorry!

  185. B – I think we should loosen up. Didn’t EZ herself suggest that knitting is how we want to do it and there aren’t any rules except maybe you shouldn’t split your yarn.

  186. A, for reasons along the lines of what Maryann at 5:32 PM wrote. I don’t think it’s as much about how it’s created, although that’s important, but more about the final appearance. Lace forms distinct shapes and patterns which may vary throughout the piece. Knitting stockinette or garter on big needles isn’t lace; it’s too homogeneous. It’s more like a mesh or lattice.

  187. I’m going with choice D: the people who make the contest make the rules.
    However, couldn’t Steve, instead of knitting his holes on larger needles, keep the same needle size and do a line of YO K2TOG either every other round or every round (which would make it knitted lace, rather than lace knitting–and maybe earn him double)? That would certainly meet the yarn shop’s requirements.

  188. C
    and Steve – i really really wanted to come out 100% for you but just couldn’t get there. sorry.

  189. Sorry Steven, but it gotta be A. Lace is lace, cables are cables and large gauge is just that, large gauge. Suck it up, pick a different pattern, or knit it on the side.

  190. Definitely A. Steven, I’m sorry, but lace happens when you deliberately create and place stable holes on purpose. Suck it up and pick another pattern. That’s not lace.

  191. C and not A because I cannot doubt the ingenuity of smarter knitters than I to create new and exciting ways of making lace.

  192. I vote A. Large needles and fine yarn don’t equal lace in my world.
    I would even be a little stricter with the definition and say EZ is correct. Perfect example of the difference is the the Swiss Cheese Scarf pattern. Not lace but definitely deliberately placed stable holes.

  193. I have to go with A. The fact that the word “cables” and not “lace” is in the name of the sweater, should have been his first tip off. Granted some lace has cables, but not this sweater. I know of some really loosely knit spa scrubbies and market bags, but that doesn’t make them lace.

  194. My first glance at the pattern made me think lacy. I don’t think you can fight with the shop making the rules—but as a community maybe we could open up and broaden the definition. I’m a fan of EZ and so agree with her definition. But if you think about her contribution to knitting, you think of someone who broadened the definitions in a lot of ways! So depends on what is most important to you, Steven—the contest or the “lacy” sweater!

  195. Totally C, maybe even A.
    Lookit. If I were knitting a garter-stitch shawl on huge needles for my mother-in-law, let’s say; and she said “what beautiful lace!” and I did not correct her, then that is completely within bounds. HOWEVER, telling a bunch of knitting experts that it’s lace would clearly be a non-starter.
    Also, I think Steven is trying to give himself a speed advantage, which is probably not within the spirit of the law, either. It’s a good try and all, but no go.

  196. Couldn’t agree more with C. My apologies Steven, but I don’t think you are going to win this war.

  197. C. Nice try though. If it was a clapotis, maybe. Then again, Nahhh.

  198. A – and I think it should be super complicated and require lots of stitch markers because they are fun to use!

  199. A. All the way. Working on your second six pack yet? Sorry, voting with the more commonly accepted definition of “lace”

  200. My opinion? A.
    then there’s the definition of “knitted lace” versus “lace knitting” (knitted lace meaning patterned on both sides, where as lace knitting has purls on the wrong side)…but that just complicates things even more, doesn’t it?

  201. i am going to say C because i think it sounds a lot more middle of the road but i strongly lean towards the A side! sorry Steven!

  202. Sorry Steve…”C”
    And…I am not sure you would win…if its big needles, may not be enough for someone doing a lacework shawl or stole.

  203. Sorry Stephen, the answer is A. The sweater is nice and lacy-looking, but is not lace. As I have knit and ripped out thousands of yards of lace, I’m pretty familiar with the concept, if not with the product, as finishing a lace project is somewhat elusive, that clearly spells out the difference between what you want to call lace and what is really lace. If you have to work at it and insert lifelines and sweat blood, then it’s lace. Large gauge is not lace.

  204. While I admire your tenacity and persistence, I’d have to go with A. The Whisper Cables pullover is primarily cables. My friend describes lace as
    “advertent holes” as opposed to beginner knitters who make inadvertent holes.
    Marlyce in Windsor, Ontario

  205. A. But I’d go so far as to call that sweater “lace-like”, or “laceish”, it’s not textbook lace.

  206. I’m going with A
    I also agree that the shop can set the rules on their own contest however they want.

  207. I feel like I should apologize before stating that “A” really is the only interpretation that I can stand behind…. “Holes” created by a loosely-knit fabric is just a loosely-knit fabric. “Lace” infers a pattern, a deliberate placement of something other than knitting (i.e., HOLES).

  208. B. You wanted holes, you got holes. The pattern is designed so that the holes are located in a specific spot. It’s a defined pattern of open and filled space. Steven, I’m with you (although, I can see that the majority does not feel the same way and the store sets the rules for their contest). Throw convention to the wind and knit this lace with abandon, sir!

  209. Definitely A. I have knit lace and knit loose gauge. Lace is lace. For starters, it’s a darn sight prettier!

  210. A, of course. If it was as easy as using big needles, we all would have had knitted lace as our first project at the age of 5.

  211. A. I see lace as having holes made from extra yarn employed strategically–ie only in certain spots. This differentiates it from netting; even though I could knit a cargo net with big enough needles, and you might call it openwork, I wouldn’t call it lace. A YO, in essence, slaps some extra yarn over the needle and into the knitting, but stitches on either side of it don’t have to be affected by this change in fabric circumstance–they can be solid, normal stitches.
    The joy of knitting with YOs is that you don’t have to have a loose gauge everywhere, to have a hole somewhere. This lets knitted lace achieve delicacy and beauty from alternating solid and airy portions.
    And while it’s not an argument deal-breaker, lace is the high-wire act of knitting, in which you can go without a lifeline, but you know what the consequences can be. Lace should make you feel you really need a beer or a nice cocktail after, if you decided to not use one. If the biggest danger in ‘openwork’ is a dropped stitch to ladder back up, then I’m not so much feeling the thrill.
    If you knit an ‘airy fabric’ or make knitted netting, that’s lovely, but I think the heart of knitted lace involves the use of yarn-overs.

  212. B! Heck, a guy who wants to be involved in the competition… I say “Let him in!”. That sweater looks lace enough to me. I know I wouldn’t have the guts to wear it (to many holes for me). LOL

  213. I say C.
    We need a word to describe all those fancy stitch patterns with holes in them, and we already have the word “lace”, so I don’t think we should be changing the scope of what is considered “lace”.
    However, this sweater might be defined as “openwork” (or some other similar term) and I would really like it if the store let Steven have it be an entry in their competition.

  214. Have to go with A….otherwise there are a lot of beginning knitters whose first (and maybe even second or third) projects would have to be considered “lace” given the number of holes, increases, and decreases that appear throughout their work!

  215. Sorry–I vote A. I looked at the sweater and I wouldn’t classify it as lace. I think Steven may be the person who won the competition last year so he wants a repeat! He may have failed to mention that.

  216. A all the way. I think there’s a distinction between “lacey” and “lace.” The former is a descriptive term for work like the Whispers Cables Sweater. In my head, lace as a noun is something with PATTERNS made by holes, not just columns of loose stitches or even yarnovers that blanket the entire fabric.

  217. Gotta go with “C”, Stephen. I’m making the Geodesic Cardigan, and while it’s translucent, there’s no way I would count it as lace.

  218. Grab yourself another beer, Steven…I vote A. It’s a lovely sweater, but it’s called “Whisper Cables” not “Whisper Lace.” (You’ve snagged 17 B’s so far, though!)

  219. A. If there aren’t yarn-over’s, it isn’t lace.
    Sorry, Stephen, that cardigan is just regular knitting at a looser gauge.

  220. Sorry Dude. I’ve got to go with C. The Whisper Cables sweater has lacey (as in semi-sheer) panels, but it’s not lace. Lace is something that has deliberate patterns made by holes. I think there’s a lot of ways to make patterns with holes besides yarnovers and deliberate decreases, but that sweater doesn’t qualify. To be honest – I don’t think “scribble lace” is true lace either (for the same reason) – Sorry.

  221. sorry Steven dude but it’s C for me as well. I like your feistiness though

  222. A
    Just checked out some Scribble “Lace” and that’s not lace – it’s big knitting

  223. B.
    I think knitting loose gauge is intentionally placing holes. I don’t think a yarn over is any more “stable” than loose gauge knitting either. A yarn over can borrow from nearby stitches.
    If I knit a garment with very loose gauge panels blocked in by tighter gauge stitches, I would feel like that would be a lace panel.
    Besides the cables in Veronik’s pattern clearly control the placement of the holes.
    Unfortunately it doesn’t meet contest requirements no matter what, but intentionally placing holes of any sort is lace in my book. But maybe not as impressive.

  224. My vote is A. Lace is a specific pattern of yarn overs and decreases. Some is done with “pattern action” on every row, and others are done with a plain “reset row” between, but it makes lace.

  225. Not being a type A, I’m going with: B) “You know what? We should loosen up.Holes are holes man,and if you’ve got holes that showed up because you meant to get holes,then that’s lace no matter how you got them.”
    Inclusion can be the mother of innovation……..

  226. C. I’ve almost finished a sweater that would qualify as lace by Steven’s definition – knit in straight stockinette and then every 4th stitch laddered down to the bottom. Very pretty, but not lace.

  227. A with an openness to C. Loose knitting is gauze, not lace. Totally different.

  228. A. He can’t be serious… Since when is cable knitting with fine gauge yarn and big needles lace?

  229. C.
    Sorry Dude. That’s cables, not lace, I don’t care how loose you knit it for holes. It is possible to have cables and lace, but I would have to say that achieving that requires yarnovers and decreases with the cabling.
    See-through doesn’t equal lace. You can reach see-through with an old T-shirt that’s been washed too many times. Not that I would recommend that.

  230. Totally A. Sorry, Steven. But just as “chocolatey” is most definitely not equivalent to “chocolate,” “lacey” is not “lace.”

  231. I really think that I’m strongly leaning towards A. Sheer fabric can be a loose weave with “holes” but it’s still sheer fabric and not lace. Lace really needs to have distinct, intentional holes.

  232. A from me, too…
    But really, in the case of this competition, it doesn’t matter. They’ve set out the rules. If you want to take part, you need to follow them.
    Ultimately if you want to call it lace in your own heart, go for it, but in a competition, just knitting along with your big needles, while the other competitors are are diligently making all those yarnovers and decreases sounds like an unfair advantage to me.

  233. A. Steven, I’m sorry, but lace happens when you deliberately create and place stable holes on purpose. Suck it up and pick another pattern. That’s not lace.

  234. Sorry, it has to be A – I didn’t learn how to knit lace with all those yarn overs and teeny needles to have someone claim that lace comes from knitting with telephone poles …

  235. C. I sort of agree that maybe there’s other ways to make lace than yarn-overs, but really dude. That’s a cabled sweater, not a scribble lace scarf and you’re stretched too thin on this one. But it is pretty!

  236. Another A, and I’d like to repeat Deb’s LOL comment from a few hours ago:
    Oh- and also, to be real lace, there must be tears, angst, frustration, swearing, doing over and over and complete satisfaction when it’s all done.
    Posted by: Deb. at May 27, 2010 4:06 PM

  237. I have been debating (with myself, I do that often ;)) between C and A. I’m so sorry Steven, but I must go with A. Holes are holes, and I honestly believe that lace must be stable…. holes are not stable. Have fun knitting whatever you want, as long as it makes you happy, just realize that you probably won’t be winning this particular contest.

  238. Answer: A
    BUT: For the ornery out there (I would be, and you also seem the type) Jared Flood’s “Grove” mittens are technically lace since there are yo’s all over the place, though you would not be able to tell by casual glance. I say knit a pair in every color!! And knit the sweater, because it is awesome!

  239. I’ve got to go with A. Using the fabric analogy, tulle or netting is translucent because of it’s large gauge, but not lace.

  240. C
    That sweater is a cable knit as far as what you are doing with your hands goes. Steven are you doing this to compete or because you just want to make that sweater? If it’s the sweater, make it anyway, and have fun!

  241. I’m going with B, but I’m also one of those freaky people that doesn’t care what needles people knit with, as long as it gets the job done and makes them happy…

  242. I’m unafraid of rigidity, A it is. We could all use a little more rigid. It’s a different world, EZ. Sorry, Steven, there it is.

  243. A. Completely and totally A. Not sure what Steven is trying to accomplish with pitching a fit about this. From his blog I see that he’s certainly capable of knitting real lace, so just pick something else dude.

  244. Hi! I vote for C. My thinking is that while the sweater in question is “lacey”, it is not lace. Seems too bad that the rules aren’t flexible enough to allow a nice sweater to be made and counted, but as my high school history teacher used to say: “It’s my yard and my toys and I get to make the rules”.
    I would be interested to know if there are other garment shaped pieces that do fit the rules.

  245. After I have a glass of wine and spend some quality time in front of a fan to recover from a sweltering afternoon in (basically) an airplane hangar I may feel charitable enough to vote C, but for the moment I’m solidly in the A camp. Sorry Steven.

  246. I have to go with A with a nod to C. Knitted lace is made with yarnovers and decreases.

  247. After looking at the sweater (but not reading the other comments before voting) I honestly have to go with C. I would be open to a different definition of lace, but that sweater ain’t lace. Sorry, Steven. Have a beer on me.

  248. A. I would never hazard to disagree with Elizabeth Zimmerman. If they chose that definition for the rules, then that’s it. A.

  249. C with a side of A. Loose gauge may make create a lacy effect, but that doesn’t mean it’s lace. Sorry, Steven.

  250. Yet another A-leaning-towards-C vote here. Lacy and lace are not synonyms for a reason. To be honest I wouldn’t call scribble lace a true lace, either.

  251. Sorry Dude, I’m totally voting A.
    And trust me, you don’t want to knit that sweater anyway – if there is one thing I learned fast when I began knitting is that small yarn on big needles = big knitted mess after the first wear. It’s just not going to hold it’s shape

  252. I’m with all those who voted “C, with leanings towards A.” I see lace as a form of openwork, but not all openwork is lace. Sorry! Despite the way the vote is going, I hope you feel the love Steven! I’m really glad you asked the question and made me think about it for a bit 😉

  253. I am going to say A, with a leaning towards C. I suspect that I would be cool with yarnovers alone–as in the spine of a shawl, or with another way of creating a hole. (I have a pattern that sometimes calls for making one by picking up between stitches to make a small lace hole.) Big needles, however, does not count, at least not in a contest about lace. The thing is that lace has a pattern that requires concetration. That could potentially slow a knitter down. (It certainly slows me down.) And so in a contest, big needles=unfair advantage. (Yes, I know. The cables mitigate that a bit. But the definition needs to avoid stockinette on big needles.)

  254. I’m going with A. Loose threads or yarn may make a translucent open fabric, but lace has structure.

  255. Sorry man, but A.
    If you knit a swatch and it turns out that you knit so loose that the resultant fabric is looser’n a hooker the day the troops come home, then you shrink your needle size. You don’t say “Hey look, LACE!” and incorperate it.
    Fat needles do not (necessarily) lace make.

  256. C. Well, sort of A, but yarn overs can be increases without the the neutralizing decreases and still contribute to an overall lace design.
    But, hey Steven, pick your battles. Their contest, their rules.

  257. Steven – feel free to knit up whatever you want and call it lace or whatever you like since you made it.
    but in terms of the knitting contest which requires clear definitions and rules, i pick A “deliberately create and place stable holes on purpose”. note that A doesn’t require yarn-overs.
    C is also true for me too because tatting and crochet can make lace without yarnovers. and really no matter how you look at it, that’s a cabled sweater, no matter how loosely knit. a nice one too – personally i’d pick cables over lace any day!

  258. It’s a pretty sweater, but Steven’s going to have to play by the rules if he wants to win. Have to go with “A” on this one.

  259. I’m an A…you almost got a C out of me…but I’m not quite there. I mean…lace knitting has to be HARD in my opinion, and knitting a stockinette on huge needles would qualify if we agreed with this NEW definition of lace.

  260. As a descendant of Shetland knitters, I have to say A. As someone whose creativity doesn’t always fit a ‘traditional’ mould, I would have to say C. But in this case, lace is lace so A it is. Big guage is no more lace than Bohus is Fair Isle. Sorry Steven. (I really hate to discourage a bloke who knits – so sorry. Chin up, there are plenty of lovely lace patterns out there.)

  261. A. I mean, aren’t there sticklers who say that “true lace” is when there’s fancy knitting on BOTH sides, and that even things like the ubiquitous Swallowtail Shawl aren’t “true lace” because they have all-purl “rest rows”? I’m not sure where that terminology originated, but I definitely see hoity-toity lace knitters using it from time to time. So if “true lace” is holes on both sides, then I think you’ve gotta have holes on at least once side to even qualify as “false lace.”

  262. Definitely A, although I could be persuaded on C – the negative space in lace has to be a design, not just a loose gauge. The difference here is between lace and lacy fabric, which is lace-like in that it has holes, but isn’t actually made of lace.
    Personally I think describing simple yarn-over eyelets as lace is pushing it!

  263. I was going to say A, and then I saw the pattern photo, and it looks lacy! If I didn’t know better, and I didn’t have the pattern to look at, I would say it was lacy. I’m going with B.

  264. D. I’m not really sure why Steven needs to justify his choice. If he wants to knit it and the contest organizers say it’s not lace, then he needs to decide which is more important–the actual process of knitting a sweater he likes or the contest. Of course, I haven’t been bitten by the lace bug yet, so maybe I’m too detached.

  265. Sorry, Steven, but I’m also saying C with a strong inclination toward A–even if it is a lovely sweater. There are plenty of lovely lace sweaters out there, though, if you must consume huge quantities of yarn while sweltering under a lacy sweater.
    I guess I wonder what the purpose of limiting the contest to lace and socks is, though–small weight of yarn? Challenge of complicated patterns with lengthy, difficult to remember repeats? Must the socks be lacy to qualify? I’m curious about the motivation behind the contest’s parameters, even if I really don’t think that the sweater meets any definition of lace (even the quoted, non-knitting-centric one, as I doubt you could stand to make that many cables out of inelastic silk or cotton. Just the thought of it turns my stomach and makes my hands hurt!).

  266. A. Sorry Steven. I’m a purist. You have to make the holes on purpose! I’m not saying you can’t make your Whisper Cables Pullover; it just won’t count for the contest.
    This poll isn’t looking so good for Steven, is it?

  267. C. When I first started knitting, I thought small yarn on big needles was lace. There are some very floppy cowl-like tubes that have never been worn. . .

  268. A. I mean otherwise, my first droopy, full of dropped stitches piece of knitting would be lace and I don’t really think it is.

  269. C. I’m willing to be convinced that yarn-overs aren’t the only way to make lace (especially if we include non-knitted lace), but that’s not lace.

  270. Steve – A. but why the battle? If I was your therapist (I’m not am I?) I’d have to ask you why? Why do you want everyone to be up in arms? We’re all for you man! We like that you are a bit competitive and you want to get in there with your needles and fly atter but hey there are a million ways to spend one’s limited time on this earth. Let’s go have a beer and talk about Irish lace – just be glad anyone who wants in to the contest doesn’t have to go blind with that shit. man oh man.

  271. It’s “A” friend. Make the darned sweater and forget the contest or enter the contest according to the contest rules…can’t have it both ways. We are grown-ups after all. Knitting is for enjoyment. Come on.

  272. C. It’s a cabled sweater. I’m all for the underdog, but they had to draw a line in the (metaphorical) sand. And if you want to play in this sandbox I think you’ll need to find another pattern to play.

  273. I’d say A. Lace is making deliberate holes not just something that has holes in it (worn socks, perforated tea bags etc!). Pick another pattern, and lets face it, there are GORGEOUS lace patterns out there, how hard can it be to find one you like?

  274. The question wasn’t what WE would consider lace.
    The only question is what the person who is giving out the prizes considers lace.
    The answer has to be A in this instance.

  275. I’m on the side of A. The sweater does not say “lace” to me. It says, “cabled sweater with a looser gauge than normal.” I also wouldn’t define scribble lace as technically being lace, either, since holes created with loose knitting, not by a pattern of holes, don’t look like lace to me.

  276. I vote B. Looks like a lacy sweater to me. It’s made that way on purpose, man. But, he’s going to have to suck it up and follow their rules.

  277. I say yes for Steven. And, if you make exceptions for others, you can make an exception for this. It is lace in my opinion, just not EZ’s definition.

  278. I’d go with A. See-through-ness created by too big needles only look lacy, but they are just loose stitches, not really holes. Sorry Steven, I think you have a very good taste to pick up that cardigan, but it’s not lace for me.

  279. A. Sorry Steven. Holes must be placed deliberately in a pattern. Just loose knitting doesn’t qualify.

  280. A. And for the record, I do not consider scribble lace to be real lace either. Lacey and lace-like are NOT lace.

  281. C. While I applaud Steven for wanting to knit a lovely sweater, its not lace. Sorry, Steven… pick another pattern.

  282. I’m with Steven on this one. That sweater gives an impression of ‘lace’ to me. Technique is to be used to create an effect, and does not in an of itself define that which it used to create.

  283. I think I’d have to vote C, but agree with Meghan on this: what’s the purpose of this contest? I would think there are a lot more interesting/creative contests out there than who can use the most yarn. I’d run from this one as fast as I can — it sounds awfully frustrating for $50 worth of yarn.
    [Wait. Having just reread my comments it seems the purpose of this contest is to *sell* way more than $50 worth of yarn, so it obviously makes sense from a business point of view if not from a sanity-of-knitter point of view.]

  284. A solid C. I checked out the pattern, and yes, that is a cable sweater with neat spaces between them. Any airy knit is lace in my books, but I agree that THAT particular pattern, although now in my queue, should not count.

  285. Sorry Steven, gotta go with A here.
    To me lace is lace because it is holes that are hard to make!! You are deliberatly making holes by manipulating stitches.
    It takes longer (because of those extra hand-movements for yarn overs), requires more skill than regular knit/purl, and uses more yardage.

  286. C with an A on the side!
    Tried to convince myself on B but I just couldn’t do it . Sorry 🙁

  287. I like to support gumption, of which Steven shows signs, but … A. Sorry, dude.

  288. C. I sort of agree that maybe there’s other ways to make lace than yarn-overs but that sweater is absolutely not one of them. the sweater is simply loose knitting, not lace.

  289. Well, I see it differently. When I looked at the pic of the sweater, I saw “lace” between the cables.. no matter how it got there. So B or D, which seems to be the minority opinion. I am not saying this is Shetland lace.. but that openwork look sure looks lacey to me.

  290. Obviously the store needs to give up the control freak aspect of trying to define lace, and instead make the yarn weight the focus of their contest. Just specify the YPP, and that the yarn can’t be held double or as a carry-along, and let the chips fall where they may.
    That’s my advice as someone who was raised by a family of lawyers, and has often had to design strategies that minimize the potential for endless arguments.

  291. A – Lace is lace. Other stuff can be lacy. Next you can start a discussion about bead knitting vs. Beaded knitting

  292. A.
    I mean knitting fingering yarn with size 13 needles in St st is just creating a mesh-like fabric, not really lace.
    Close but no cookie.

  293. I have to go with A. The crappy stockinette rectangle I knit on too big needles when I was first learning does not count as lace (though how clever would I be if my very first attempt at any knitting was lace?!)

  294. I’m going to go with C.
    What about crochet lace? I’m assuming that that doesn’t involve yarn overs as such… or iron lace?
    But I don’t think the space between the cables is open enough for me. Also the fact that there are cables makes me think it is a ‘cabled sweater’ rather than a ‘lacey sweater’. Given the presence of the cables, the ratio of hole to not hole would have to be bigger for me to be happy calling that lace. They make it more structured, or something, I think is what my brain is thinking.

  295. Definitely A for lace that’s made by knitting. There are lots of other ways of making lace (crochet, bobbin etc), but they all involve making planned holes to create some kind of pattern. Very big gauge knitting is not lace.

  296. My vote is for C with a nod to D. The yarn shop has clearly defined guidelines for it’s contest. If you wish to participate, you should respect that in my opinion. Rules is rules.

  297. A. If you want to enter a contest you have to follow their rules. Maybe there’s another contest that you could knit the sweater for…

  298. C.
    and I’d also say he should let it go. it’s so not worth the energy to argue over this. it’s a knitting contest…who cares what some shop is doing? knit the sweater, don’t knit the sweater, whatever.

  299. It’s cold here in the antipodes….all this talk of holes in knitting is rather draughty at the moment.
    Besides, everyone knows that lace is negative space surrounded by structure – loose knitting won’t count.

  300. C with A leanings…but knit on steven! and have fun, even though someone else may be holey-er than thou…

  301. A
    Loose knitting is not lace just because it can mimic it in some situations. Acrylic can mimic wool in some situations, but it is not wool. I can call the stockinette sleeve I’m knitting “uncrossed cables” as much as I like, but it’s not a cabled sleeve.
    I’m all for exploring fabrics and techniques, but I don’t see the point in confusing terms. I don’t participate in a lot of contests and knitalongs because I like to knit what I like to knit when I knit it. So I understand where he’s coming from if he doesn’t not feel like knitting lace for that contest. But the answer is to not enter the contest, not to try to confuse the meaning of lace.

  302. Sorry, dude. A. Doesn’t really look like lace to me. But it does look like a beautiful design well worth the knit. Enjoy!

  303. Sorry, Steven, but it’s A. It’s not lace if you just use big needles. It may be pretty, but it’s not lace.

  304. Er… D. I think it’s important to consider the intent of the contest. It’s SUMMER. I’m guessing the shop wants to find out if sock knitters win year round, or if lace takes precedence in the cooler months? If that intent is considered, I think the sweater is ‘summery’ enough to constitute a ‘lacy summer’ type of garment – it’s totally wearable in heat, at least for evenings walking on the beach or something like that.
    Of course, if I’m wrong on the intent and the shop says no, then he should get over it and knit a super big wisp 🙂

  305. Vote A. I almost always knit what I want to knit without worrying about knitalongs or contests, so I can’t say I have much sympathy. Sorry!

  306. I say B. When I look at that pattern, I see lace, regardless of how it’s made. Lace is light and airy rather than a solid, substantial fabric. When I buy lace a the fabric store, it doesn’t necessarily have holes in it; sometimes it’s just a plain ruffle, but it’s lace just the same.

  307. Sorry Steven,
    I think the holes in the Veronik Avery sweater would be correctly called a mesh rather than lace. I think lace needs to have a more aesthetic placement of the holes to be considered lace. And by my definition, I probably wouldn’t call a whole stole of YO, K2 tog lace either, even though it fits the EZ description. I’d call it mesh. I’m going with C, because I think you might be able to aesthetically place holes with a technique other than yarnover/decrease but in a pinch I’d also take A. Veronik’s sweater is lovely and you should go ahead and knit it, but I don’t think it qualifies as lace. Sorry.

  308. A. Maybe C, depending on the new “lace”.
    If anything knit with big needles that created holes were considered ‘lace’, then this would mean projects with the wrong gauge could be considered lace.

  309. A. But maybe you could argue you are going to put the sweater on your feet while sitting on the sofa knitting, therefore making it socks.

  310. b – but I also want to state that lace is what you make it – why put so much of a strict definition on something that we’re not personally making.

  311. I go for A. While it is a beautiful sweater, and does have a “lacy” look to it, it is not really lace. Time to go to Plan B.

  312. I HAVE to go with A. Otherwise, knitting Lopi with size 19 needles would be lace.
    Sorry Stephen.
    PS I enjoyed meeting you (admiring your shorts) at MDSW

  313. B – It looks like a lace type sweater to me. If I wasn’t standing close up, I’d think it was lace panels. The impression of something ought to count a wee bit.

  314. A. I don’t agree that overly large stitches make it lace. It may be pretty, but it just isn’t lace.

  315. I’m feeling mostly A and a little C. There may be other ways to do lace, but just knitting on big needles and calling it lace is cheatish.
    Beautiful sweater though – maybe just save it for a cable knitting contest!

  316. D. Lace is like porn, you know it when you see it. If you can see a bra through it I say call it lace.

  317. Holy Crow, that’s a lot of replies. I have to go with the majority ( I think?) and say “A”. Lace is made by a deliberate pattern, not just “airy” knitting with large needles.

  318. I have to go with C. I remember reading that crochet was created to make cheap lace quickly. So, a poor man’s lace. It’s clear that lace doesn’t have to be knitted to be lace–the thing that makes lace lace seems to be the strategic arrangement of holes in an attractive and purposeful pattern. (Socrates would have a field day here…this leaves open the definition open to saying that if you take a box cutter to a t-shirt you’ve created lace, but I digress.)
    That being said, the pattern he’s chosen is not lace. It’s cables done on larger needles. Nice try.

  319. A. Lace is stable. What Stephen is describing is “Lacy”, not “Lace”, IMO.

  320. P.S. Darcy made me laugh. She’s right, it’s tough to beat crochet for whipping up yards of lace!

  321. A. Definitely. Stockinette – no matter how loose, is still stockinette. You gotta add some yarnovers or something to make it different… Good luck.

  322. whoa! already 511 posts before me? i see this is a very debate-able (sp?) issue! without much thought or research into the question on hand (or without reading previous posters’ opinions) i am going with my instinct and voting for Option A.

  323. The yarn shop is hosting a contest. They established rules. It’s done. You don’t want to play – then don’t play.

  324. Hmm, I think we can argue this one till the end of time, but I tend to go for A. In every “true” lace pattern I’ve ever read or tried, yarn-overs and decreases are used deliberately to make the pattern. Good luck, Steve.

  325. My vote is C.Isn’t it obvious in the name of the sweater, Whisper CABLES pullover? Happy Knitting!

  326. Sorry dude, gonna go with A. I think there is a whole other unnamed category for deliberately loose and dropped stitches, though I’m not sure what it should be called. Hanging cables, the ever-popular Clapotis, decorative dropped stitches and large needles used to create open fabrics like the scarves that were popular awhile back should all be in that category, but that category is not lace.
    I would give him a cookie for creatively trying to make what he wants to knit work for the contest though!

  327. A – extra large needles for loose gauge is “cheater lace” at best. And I’m good at that stuff! =)

  328. it’s A for the contest rules because it is aiming for yardage and not beauty, so an easier pattern undermines the goal of the contest. But outside of contests, I think people can characterize their work however they like.

  329. I’ve got to go with A. The holes have to be made on purpose, with actual technique. Not just by using big needles and comparatively thin yarn.

  330. Sorry, Dude; I go with A. “Lacy” is an adjective for lace-LIKE, but not always lace. Netting has holes but isn’t lace. Large-gauge knitting is LOOSE but not lace. Demanding a new definition because the old doesn’t suit your wishes doesn’t make it lace. The fellow I date doesn’t like the rules of the English language; they don’t suit his preferences. No matter how tightly he clings to his version of what the language SHOULD be, he will always be misunderstod when he speaks sentences that make no sense.. He (and you) may wish some standards weren’t immutable, but dammit, some standards just aren’t part of the grey areas that can be p*ssed with.
    But it really IS a gorgeous pattern – just do it some other time.

  331. A.
    If I was knitting something that had complexity and delicacy, like a lace shawl, and it was competing alongside something that was lovely but simply made lacy by using big needles with fine yarn, I’d feel a bit ripped off.

  332. I’ve got an A vote from Oregon. Or possibly D. I’m hung on the difference between “lace” and “lacy.” To me, knitting on big needles is “lacy” meaning “kind of like lace without being lace.”
    Then too there is the difference between “lace knitting” and “knitted lace” but that’s a discussion for another day.

  333. A for sure. Lace is intentional; large holes (even if planned) are incidental. I thought it would be a closer issue, like, is it really lace if one has to purl back on the even rows instead of patterning on every row. This is not even in that league. Sorry, Steven!

  334. I’m with Jill & mjzen too. It’s up to the yarn shop, it’s their rules.

  335. B – Holes are holes.
    That being said, the yarn shop is running the contest so I suppose they can set up whatever rules they want. But I would hope they would be clear about their definitions up front.

  336. I vote B. I stretch knitting definitions all of the time and highly encourage others to do the same.

  337. I vote for A — although I might be persuaded to C. It’s not lace without yarnovers…

  338. as the person who put this question to stephanie, all i can say is wow. i know what i’ll be blogging about tomorrow.
    and my vote is obviously b.

  339. Mostly A with strong elements of C, but that is most definitely not a lace sweater; it’s cabled.

  340. A. Sorry, dude, that’s not lace. Fine yarn on big needles blocked huge is not lace. Holey, yes, maybe lacey, but not lace.

  341. C – It’s the Whisper Cables Sweater and not the Whisper Lace sweater. If he were wanting to knit something on the order of the Roseleaves Tunic, I could see his point, but lace weight yarn does not = lace pattern.

  342. B. This “sweater” needs to be worn with a substantial undergarment, and is therefore rather decorative, rather than substantial. There are many ways to make holes, and many ways to make things “lacy”. If in doubt, the benefit must be given to the knitter. I believe is is blasphemy to discourage an enthusiastic knitter – Period.

  343. A. Sorry, but it’s barely holey anyways. And it’s not lace. The pattern will wait until it is ready to be made. This is a sign that this sweater was not meant to be-for now. Pay heed to the gods of craft.

  344. A has my vote. If I called every mistaken YO lace, I would have many, many, many new patterns. My new knitters make YO’s in projects, where they were not intended. I think the Belgian and Flemish lace are the perfect examples of “lace”. Imagine, if you will, a wedding dress embellished with larger holed intricate stockinette stitch, rather than true lace? Not so much. But each to his own! ;-{

  345. A definitely. Part of lace is the inherent complexity of the pattern created, and its beauty. A bunch of big holes created by baseball-bat-sized needles is neither complex nor beautiful.

  346. A gets my vote, too, though I understand completely about the need to make things (including rules) be the way *I* want them to be! LOL

  347. I mostly think that, well, it’s open, it’s lace. It won’t look good unless severely blocked it’s lace. And shetland lace starts with a giant square of garter made on too big needles.
    So, B. Loosen up, it’s lace.
    BTW, in “real lace”, as described in Little Women, which is bobbin or needle lace, the ground is open work, just basic weaving or braid like techniques done with fewer threads than a fabric would be, and *that* makes it lace. So, since bobbin lace predates knitted lace by several hundred years, just as needle lace predates bobbin), using older lace techniques as examples and extrapolating forward, using bigger needles and blocking it out, qualifies, logically, as lace.
    If you argue that it’s not, you gonna tell me that the ground I spent 3 years making for my daughters’ tallis in bobbin lace isn’t lace? No, I didn’t think so 😉 http://www.flickr.com/photos/9562035@N02/2110371901

  348. A.. but i think there could be wiggle room here.. Steve just isn’t in it..

  349. Thank you for sharing the links to the tutorials, I needed those for *if* I ever finish this sweater I’m working on, I suck at piecing it together!

  350. I vote for A. And besides, if Steven is competitive, he will lose with that sweater. It isn’t nearly in the running considering how much yarn people used for lace in the contest in previous years. My daughter was runner up 2 years ago, using almost 5 balls of malabrio lace.

  351. Wow – this guy needs to find more ways to spend his time than trying to go up against the knitting gods by re-defining techniques. Sorry Steven, but my vote is against you. A ‘holey’ sweater is not lace, nor does it sound very nice to knit up or wear (have yet to look at the pattern). To me lace seems light, airy, delicate, with intentional holes. Just sayin.

  352. In my mind, there’s a difference between “lace” and looking “lacey.” I think the sweater pattern is lacey, meaning that it’s holey and see0through and has the look of lace, but is not specifically lace itself.
    I also think that it wouldn’t be fair to knit a cabled pullover (even if it looks holey and lacey) while everyone else was doing lace. Those aren’t the same, and there would be different yarn amounts used, time spent, etc. It wouldn’t make a very even playing field.
    So I guess I go with A. Lace is made by putting in holes on purpose, but you can make something look lacey in other ways.

  353. A but with a possibility of C. One way or another the holes have to be deliberately made -beyond just changing gauge- by adding stitch complexity beyond the basic knit and purl stitches. While cables do manipulate the stitches the knitting of each stitch is still only an individual knit or purl action and does not therefore count as lace knitting. This is also supported in the differentiation between lace and knitted lace with the former complex on every second row and the latter lace knitting on every row- those who knit lace also like to emphasise the difficulty within lace knitting.
    Surely part of the issue with the competition is knitting at a big gauge you can just speed along and get through projects and yarn more quickly than if you’re checking a chart and making more fiddly stitches all the time? I can see where they’re coming from

  354. Steven, I hate to break it to you, but A. Besides, I don’t think you should tweak your plans to some knitalong or contest — it’s knitting. It should be fun. Make what you want to, and who cares if it’s lace!?

  355. Sorry bud, but it’s A. And if you REALLY want to start something, by definition (by some) “knitted lace” is lace that has holes (made by yo’s) on both RS and WS and “lace knitting” has the yo’s only on the RS. 🙂

  356. C, with a strong inclination for A. Sorry Steven, although I did enjoy my brief peek at your blog (love the hotpants).

  357. C, leaning strongly toward A. Sorry Steven, though I did enjoy my brief peek at your blog (love the hotpants).

  358. Oops. does anyone else have trouble believing that the post button is like the elevator button? One click just doesn’t seem to do the job.

  359. I’m sorry but I’m going to have to say:
    And I’m not entirely sold on the “scribble lace” either–though that does not imply I am doubting Debbie New’s “smartness” in any way.

  360. B! I’m totally with Steven on this one. If one intends and achieves the desired lacy look, I don’t see why the specific techniques are important. I like LoriAngela’s idea of a “new way of making lace” contest.

  361. Can I be part of the group that splits their vote between A and C?
    For those looking to expand/redefine the definition of lace, I propose to more broadly and specifically define lace as “intentionally manipulating individual stitches to produce stable holes arranged in an aesthetically pleasing manner.”
    This covers the traditional yo and k2tog staples in lace, but would include dropped stitch patterns (such as Clapotis). And for the purposes of the store’s contest it would also be broad enough to include crochet lace. (And tatting.) But not a loose gauge. The key is that the stitches have to be treated differently; some are knit together to lean left, or right, or created out of thin air, or crochet three in a single stitch/space.
    Sorry Steven. Beautiful pattern though.

  362. Sorry, Steven, if you’re just knitting at what is arguably too large a guage, that’s not lace. I knit a lot of lace, and EZ’s definition is right. A is the answer.

  363. I have to go with C.
    Dude, this top, while see-through due to loose gauge, is not lace. Sure, it can look lace-y, but it’s not lace. Sorry. It is however, pretty. Best of luck with it!

  364. A. C is close, but I think things like scribble lace are like false solomon’s seal or something, where they look similar but they really aren’t the same thing.

  365. There’s Lace.. there’s lacy.. and then there’s that sweater. Which is neither. That said, as both a knitter and crocheter, if they are letting the hooker’s play in the contest, you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, so you might as well knit what you want.

  366. I think the best option is to go with the store’s rules and definitions. The bigger stink you make, the less they might want you around…just speaking from retail experience.

  367. Definitely A. Big needles will get you a sheer fabric, but sheer is not the same as lacy.

  368. I’ll have to go with C. You can certainly make lace by crochet or drop stitch patterns, neither of which are paired YO/decreases.
    But the important thing is those require PATTERNING, and large gauge knitting to make open, airy knitting isn’t a pattern, it’s a happy coincidence.

  369. Sorry Steven, but “real lace” in knitting to me is A. Whisper Cables is “lace look.”

  370. Never apologize for a Ravelry link! It’s such a treasure trove of useful knitterly information.
    So, I went to see the sweater; very nice, and I wondered about the sections in between the cables, but did not see lace.
    Then I searched “lace” in Ravelry. 334 pages of ‘lace’ came up. Now some of those can be discounted because it refered to Lorna’s Laces Yarn. Dropped stitches such as those used in Clapotis are classified as lace…but that’s even a stretch I think. (stretch? hehe)
    As far as the debate? “A”
    Enjoy the 334 pages of Ravelry projects to choose from Steven and have fun with your summer knitting.

  371. D….I think I’m going into space here but…if lace is about stable holes, isn’t it really the negative space that defines it? Kind of like a stable black hole? The consistency and stability of the space that is created defined the lace.
    Kind of like Escher.

  372. C. To be nice. But after I’ve knit orgy bitty stitches and all those yos. THAT is lace.

  373. I gotta say “A”. The effect is ‘lacey’ and it is see-through and quite beautiful – but not lace. I created a stunning ‘lace’ shawl with big needles and Habu silk – people gasp and touch it when they see it. Then they blink and remark how beautiful the effect is and it isn’t lace at all. That remark isn’t a negative, just a remark of wonderment and truth.

  374. Oh, come on!!
    Steven, just suck it up and cope. Be a man and accept it. Large needles to make a ridiculously loose fabric is. not. lace. Never was. Never will be.
    And, no, I’m not opinionated at all. Why do you ask??

  375. I guess it’s up to the makers of the contest what they want to consider lace but I’m waffling between A & C. If I cracked a few beers feeling sorry for Steven I may end up voting B or even D because by then I’m sure I’d have a better idea.

  376. I’ve got to go undecided as I can’t tell from the picture what the stitch pattern really calls for. Nice looking sweater, though.

  377. C, but kind of mostly to A. I’ve knit patterns that say they’re lace with no yarnovers, but a cabled sweater isn’t it.

  378. A, all the way. That sweater isn’t lace, it’s lacy. Lace-Y. Which tells you it’s ‘like lace’, which says it isn’t lace by definition.
    You can knit anything on too-big needles, and that just makes the fabric loose and floopy. Hey, I can block regular knitting until it looks lacy.
    Nah, lace makes patterns via deliberately placed holes, not just big holes all over. Now if that pattern had faggoting between the cables, it would be lace. If it had drop stitches between the cables, it wouldn’t be. In that case, it would be an example of different techniques to achieve a similar (but not identical) result of dense stitches next to airy stitches.
    But the sweater shown? Not lace, in my book!

  379. My vote is with A. Not to muddy the waters further – but – shall we spook Steven even more by pointing out the existence of “knitted lace” vs. “lace knitting”.

  380. Definitely A, but also part of C (really dude, that’s a cable sweater). Lace & see-through are not mutually exclusive ideas.

  381. Ya know I was on the fence between not caring about definitions so much and wondering why there are so many rules until several comments reminded me that lace means counting and stitch markers and swearing and scowling and muttering and screaming NO NO NO!
    So, as much as I would love to be the lone voice saying – sure it’s lacy enough for me – I have to go with C

  382. I’m with C. I wouldn’t use the strict Elizabeth Zimmerman interpretation of lace, but just knitting something on big needles so you can see through it is NOT lace, which is a decorative additive to a pattern and done deliberately. So, sorry Steven, you’re wrong here.

  383. Normally I would say A, without hesitation. However I think Stephen does have a point; I had a look at the pattern being debated and it *does* have a “lacy” feel. At first glance I would’ve said it was probably lace. So I guess I’ll go with C, more or less, but I do feel that he has a point.

  384. B but I think Franklin Habit, King of Lace, should make the final decision.

  385. I have to say C – it’s a pretty pullover, very dainty but very NOT lace! Lace is a series of artistically arranged permanent holes, not simply dropped stitches!

  386. Steph, did you realize what you are getting yourself into? That said I have to vote for C with a large touch of B. I really think we should loosen up, but the sweater in question while gorgeous doesn’t look like lace to me. It’s cables and it’s not all that see through. I’m sorry to be unable to support you on this one Steve. I really wish I could, but it’s just not my idea of lace.

  387. I vote A, with a touch of C.
    Several (somewhat long-winded) comments:
    1) That sweater is gorgeous. I am drooling, in love, and musing on what colors might be best to knit it myself (thanks for bring it to my attention!). You have excellent taste. But it isn’t lace.
    2) I am a seriously obsessed lace-freak. I have made bobbin lace, tatted lace and knitted lace (in both the “lace knitting” and “knitted lace” definitions). I have not made crocheted lace only because I have zero knowledge of or skill at crochet (yet…). I feel strongly that there is more than one path to lace. I also feel that “lacy,” “airy” or “translucent” fabrics are not the same as “lace” fabrics, regardless of the technique used to create them. Both Clapotis from Knitty and the Peacock Feathers shawl from Fiddlesticks are beautiful and in my queue; the former is lacy, but the latter is lace.
    3) In any technique, I feel the key is stable holes aesthetically placed to form a motif. Some lace is denser, some airier; it may be intricate or simple. But it’s still a deliberate motif.
    4) For the contest, SOME definition is needed. The definition chosen by the store is not perfect, by any means, but it is reasonable. That sweater doesn’t fit, sadly.
    5) Knitting is a joyous thing, both in the process and the results (not always painless, granted, but joyous nonetheless). Choose a different pattern that speaks to you from among the many beautiful lace patterns out there to knit for the contest. Then turn around and knit that Gorgeous cable sweater for the sheer pleasure of it. And take pride in your ability to create something both beautiful and useful in whatever technique!
    6) If you’re ever in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro area, let’s meet up someplace to knit and freak out the muggles!

  388. C. I sort of agree that maybe there’s other ways to make lace than yarn-overs, but really dude. That’s a cabled sweater, not a scribble lace scarf and you’re stretched too thin on this one. Try harder Steven, you’ve almost got me.
    I will say, though, that the idea that small yarn on big needles and calling it lace hasn’t worked for me since I learned how to make real lace knitting. In fact, lace doesn’t even need larger-than-usual needles. So while that sweater looks fairly lacy, I wouldn’t call it actual lace.

  389. A. Lace can be knit with larger needles to give the sense of openness, but doesn’t become lace without purposeful “holes” made by yarn overs….sorry Steven.

  390. Definitely A. The definition of lace is a generally-agreed-upon thing. Wanting it to be different doesn’t make it so. Why not make something for the contest and then make the sweater? Twice the fun!

  391. I vote B, I think lace is lace is lace. It’s a new knitting world now and lace should be real holes (yarn overs), or loose knitting or knitting with your feet, that would probably end up with holes. I say anything goes. Cool contest. I think I’m going to have to go for it if you decide to do it.

  392. A man. Sorry dude, but that really isn’t lace. It’s lace if you’re making something that is exulted by the deliberate holes and becomes something more because of them (kind of like Swiss cheese, in fact).

  393. My choice is C.
    Changing needle size on this will not prevent/permit holes appearing – and being “lace”. It would change the size of the cables, but the cables would still appear as cables.
    Changing needle size on a lace/lacy sweater will make the lace-holes closer together/farther apart. But there will still be holes.

  394. I hope that this is a multiple choice exam, ’cause I’m going to have to go for C and A both. The sweater is “lacy” due to the guage/needle sizing, but not “lace”. Sorry Steven.

  395. C – maybe there are other ways to make lace, but your cabled sweater isn’t one of them 😉

  396. Sorry Steven, but it’s A. You have to deliberately make and place those holes….

  397. A. They need to be deliberate and placed, and why are you trying to win by finding the fastest biggest use of yarn rather than winning by the shear force of your knitting prowess?

  398. Well, I was totally on board for A, because my definition of lace is intentional holes for design and/or structure. But buttonholes aren’t my definition of lace, and he makes a good point for that. And I consider Clapotis a *form* of lace in the finished product, but I wouldn’t say it was lace in knitting.
    I guess I’m at C. Looking at that sweater, it’ ain’t lace as I see it, even as flexible as I can be. Big knitting does not equal lace.

  399. I would say B because you are deliberately using big needles with small yarn to make an open fabric that is lace looking and there fore be construed as lace. You can have lace and cables in the same pattern so definitely B.

  400. C or maybe D. I don’t think lace has to be open and being open doesn’t make it lace. I made a scarf with thin yarn and big needles and a lace pattern, quite open, unquestionably lace. I made an afghan with the same pattern and needles but thick yarn. Not a bit translucent or open, but it’s also lace. I just finished the Hermione hat with cables and a few yarnovers, but it ain’t lace. Steven’s sweater looks like it has delibrately placed holes, but it isn’t lace either.

  401. I vote A but think he might be trying to win by doing something that is faster and easier?

  402. I’m going with C. I think we can all be creative and inventive and change the way we think about “lace” (or whatever established term there is, like gurnsey sweater or selbu mittens,…) but in the end there’s a definition for what’s what. Call the sweater “new lace” or “modern lace” or “contemporary lace” or whatever you want, but imho it does not fit the classic definition of lace that Stefanie dug up.

  403. My vote is C, with a generous smattering of A. Sorry Steve, but lace should mean doing something more than just using oversized needles to knit holey stockinette.

  404. Definitely A. Big knitting may be lace-like but it isn’t the real McCoy. My bad analogy is a real flower & a plastic or silk imitation – both can be lovely, but definitely not the same!

  405. I gotta say C. But I also say that according to their definition, things like Clapotis aren’t lace, either. And if someone knits that and they say it’s okay — then I think you have a shot. Maybe you could sneakily suggest the Clap and if they say yes, you can give them a big “Ah – HAH!!!!” 🙂

  406. I am going with D. I think it all depends upon your audience. If you were going to ask a professional lace designer, I think they might say ‘dude- that is just a loose cable, not lace’. However, if you were sitting on the bus and a non-knitter came up to you and asked you what you were working on, you could probably call it lace because ‘see, it has holes’.
    Suffice to say, we as knitters do weird crap with our needles all the time. There is more than one way to knit a sock, so I suppose there is more than one interpretation of what lace is. I mean are yoga socks socks? They don’t have a toe or a heel. Ultimately I think it is up to the person to have their own definition. Stephen thinks it is lace, so it is. The competition organizers think it is cables, so they are. All in all, we just have to remember we are making art. Art that is oftentimes functional, but still art and that is hard to put labels on.

  407. A . . . mostly. I can understand C but I have a hard time defining what I’d allow (ex. drop stitch patterns might qualify but Clapotis is not a lace pattern). Given the all sniping about lace knitting vs knitted lace, I think I’d at least require yarn overs if I was making the rules.

  408. C, not to say A.
    Using large needle only creates “muslin” knitting in my opinion. Sorry dude. The sweater is lovely btw.

  409. Def A or D, which would be another method of making holes, but it’s now 4am and I can’t think of one as I’m so tired, but have to finish these mitts….they’re a gift.
    Loose knitting isn’t lace! It might be “lacy” but isn’t lace.
    And that’s the truth ppppllllaatttt (ala Edith Ann! haha)

  410. Not thought much about it, thus not voting. I DO know many people who get a bit (or a lot) miffed if I say I’m knitting lace because they do not consider it real lace. And yes, I’ve met people who do it the French lace way with all those bobbins and … it looks complicated. To them, that is the only way the term “lace” should be used and I’m being terrible calling my knitting lace. Then I struggle of what to call it – frilly? Not sure I like that term either…

  411. -A-
    I’d be pretty bummed if I’d spent ages doing YOs and SSKs only to find my yardage was beaten by someone doing stocking stitch on giant needles!

  412. I’m with C, and A gets an honourable mention. I find that when I disagree with EZ it’s time to pause and reflect, so I don’t choose C lightly.
    I have strong feelings on scribble lace that are not pertinent to this discussion. I also have strong feelings on what lace is and looks like and should be viewed as. (Did you know that a crazy scary number of people think anything that looks lacy was crocheted? Now, you can crochet some damn fine lace, but it doesn’t look like knitted lace or lace knitting. Nor does it look like tatted lace, bobbin lace, or needle lace.)
    Obviously this is a can of worms for me. I’ll stop here. 🙂

  413. He’d have no luck with weaving either… you can make “lacy”fabrics, that are sheer and thin but the term “lace” has a very clear and excliding definition and just plain weave that is see through is not it.
    That said, some of the shawls I see promoted as “beginning lace” would not be “lace” by my definition either, I mean, just because you do the increases by yarn overs instead of something more solid, the rest is still massive. To be “lace lace” it would have to look lacy too, at least in my head.
    Guess that makes it a C?

  414. A.
    I was going to go C, but even though I think that a tight definition for lace is a bit daft, y’know, there’s no pattern in those holes. Holes in a pattern = lace. The cables don’t come into it (because they’re clearly not lace). Now this (http://www.stolenstitches.com/pattern-shop/laced-leaves/) is cables with lace.
    At the end of the day, it’s the yarn shop’s competition, and their right to set the rules, even if you think their terminology is wrong. If they said that you had to knit lace with spaghetti, you’d just breeze on by, muttering “Crazy folks.” So why not do likewise, and just let it go?

  415. Sorry Steve, Gotta go with C I’m afraid 🙁
    Whilst I think lace can be achieved by just using very large needles and possibly other stitches than YO and decrease, for example winding yarn twice to get dropped, elongated stitches, Really Now! That is not a lace pattern its cables!

  416. I’m in agreement with Nathalie above I think.
    Deffo a C, maybe even an A – mainly because of the scribble lace mention – scribble lace ain’t lace as far as I’m concerned, which is tipping me toward A, even though I think the definition should be more flexible.
    But, seriously – that’s a cabled jumper!! I think lace should rely on something other than gauge to make it lace. It strikes me if that jumper was knitted with a nice aran weight yarn on appropriate needles, this argument would look a little daft.

  417. Well, it’s A, obviously – but ONLY if you are doing it on BOTH sides. No wimping out with girly rest rows in between. Oh, nooooo…

  418. It’ll be C for me too. Can see why one would want to knit that sweater though, it’s cute. By the way, I don’t even think the Oxford Canadian Dictionary supports Steve’s case. It defines lace as “a fine and open fabric made by weaving thread IN PATTERNS”, the knitting equivalent of that would not seem to be plain garter or plain stockinette in my understanding.
    And thank you very much for the inset sleeve tutioral (referral to excellent and visual! manuals totally counts as excellent teaching in my book).

  419. Sorry, guy. A gets my vote. Lace is lace not something you would like it to be.

  420. A.
    I’ll give him that it looks ‘lacy’, but that doesn’t make it lace. The way I see it, if it were lace the pattern of holes would show up if you knitted it with smaller needles aswell (albeit smaller holes), but if I understand this correctly, this pattern wouldn’t look like lace if knitted on smaller needles, or with thicker yarn. (I’m sure others have already made this point, but with over 700 comments I’m not going to check!)

  421. Gotta vote A. I’m a lace knitter and I love it. There is a technical aspect to knitting lace that you just HAVE to take into account when considering whether it is or isn’t lace. Lace is technical, fiddly and not everyone’s cup of tea. That sweater is a sheer, open guage cable knit sweater.
    Oh, and “scribble lace” isn’t lace either. That’s just fancy stockinette.
    Sorry Steve.

  422. B — in my view, knitting is like the Constitution — it is a living artform and constantly evolving. I mean we are knitting with tree fiber, milk fiber and soy fiber. I bet none of our forebears could have foreseen that happening! So if holes happen on purpose, I would call it lace too.

  423. B. If I saw the sweater hanging in a store, I would say “it’s a lacy cable sweater”.

  424. C. I see his point with the pattern. I mean, it should be lace if you can see a girl’s bra through it right? But it’s still cables and NOT lace.

  425. If you can see your bra, it is lace. I am sorry to hear you wear a bra, Steven, they suck, don’t they?

  426. A. That is a cabled sweater. Scribble lace? So not lace. An interesting technique, however.

  427. I’m between A and C. Sorry Steven!
    I think the YO and decrease may be too narrow, but I also think their needs to be some kind of pattern to the holes besides loose gauge. And the sweater if definitely “summery”, but I’m not sure about lace.

  428. My answer is A. I have empathy for Steven’s ideas and notions about the space between which to me is where his decision-making for calling it lace is located, but it’s not the space between that makes it lace for me — it’s how I bend the yarn to get to the structure that contains the space. So, I’m working out that for me it is about stability and containment around the space. I really like his passion and perseverance in exploring this argument.

  429. Steven, you may want a shot and a beer at this point, but I’m going to go with option A also. You can see through a lot of things but that doesn’t make them “lace”. You need some purposeful holes in your project to qualify. Sorry!

  430. We’re a tough group. I also go with A. Just knitting something really huge so it has a lot of spaces in it, is not lace. More power to you for wanting to knit, of course, but I have knitted a lot of real lace and so I think I’m entitled to be slightly picky here.

  431. PS: Just saw an earlier comment and now remember that a competition sometimes has rules to fashion a more equal playing field. It’s right: I’d be miffed if I’d done my yarnovers etc, only to find Steven beating me with giant needles and stocking stitch. At this point, it has to be either or for a contest. and I also like the idea of walking by the contest if it doesn’t fit your parameters. no one’s forcing anyone here.

  432. A.
    hole-y = m*ths
    big needles = fast but not necessarily skilled or delicate
    lace = artistry, patience and sometimes miserably slow

  433. A. Definitely A. Lace is not the same as mesh. Want mesh? Buy a screen. Want lace, suck it up and find a real lace pattern and skinny string, dude.

  434. I’m going to have to go with A. The holes have to be created not just happen because the needles you are using are large. Anyone could knit a ton of stocking stitch with say laceweight yarn on 10mm needles, would that make it lace?

  435. “Sheer” isn’t the same thing as “lace.” Sorry, Steven, but a sheer cabled sweater doesn’t qualify as lace. It’s pretty, though.

  436. A
    The sweater looks open, airy, maybe even translucent, but I still don’t define it as ‘lace.’ Fishnet stockings aren’t lace to me, either.

  437. Oh my gosh!! That’s my yarn shop! Well, I don’t own it…I just love it!
    I vote C…in general, I’m open to a wider definition, but for a specific contest, I think you have to be more rigid.

  438. A. I do think they should have one more category – total knitting, crocheting yardage. Any type of project. Fat yard may knit up faster, but uses less yardage. Since it also costs more per yard, it could be a win, win for the store. 😉

  439. C. With many apologies from a hypercompetitive person who completely understands where Steven is coming from (theoretically, just not in actuality).

  440. I’m afraid I vote A. There’s a difference between “lace” and “lacy”. I love to knit lace, but sometimes I want to do something quick and mindless, but lacy–then I use needles that are way too big, or use dropped stitch techniques to make an open, lacy fabric. But it’s not lace. As for the Whisper Pullover, I would describe it as sheer, or mesh, but not lace.

  441. I choose C. I think when you see lace, you know it. That sweater, while lovely, is not lace.

  442. A with a strong leaning toward C.
    And on a side note. First Natural Stitches gets mentioned in Sweater Quest. Now it’s on the Yarn Harlot blog. Man, this shop is on fire. Woot for Pittsburgh knitting!

  443. Ask Steven whether he thinks fishing nets are lace: stable holes deliberately made, no decreases. I vote for A.

  444. D.
    Personally I have no problem with the sweater, but them that makes the contest gets to make the rules.
    Is the beer still cold?

  445. A – with no apologies. Bigger needles and holey knitting does not by itself make ‘lace’. That’s just cheating to get yardage. Someone will think that those big old broomstick-sized plastic needles will make yardage like crazy, but I’ll bet manipulating them will actually make the (w)hole thing slower.

  446. D
    Rules are rules, and if you don’t like the rules you don’t have to play the game.
    It’s the shop owner and contest awarder’s perogative to make whatever rules she wishes and, so long as she is consistent in enforcing the rules consistently for everyone, nobody has a foothold to complain.
    If he really feels strongly that the cabled sweater should be counted as lace, he should make his own contest which revolves around his definition of lace.

  447. Sorry Steven, I vote C. That’s a cabled sweater no matter how big your needles are. It’s even called “Whisper Cables” not lace something.

  448. A, definitely. To call knitting on large needles or any knitting with holes lace diminishes the power and glory of true lace.

  449. That’s my LYS and Steven is a friend, but I have to go with C. There’s “lacy” (meaning sheer) and then there’s “lace,” and I think this sweater is an example of the former.

  450. B. This should be fun, no? Stephen, I’m going to have a beer tonight, too.

  451. I vote A, but I think there should be another category called mist, or something similar, for the translucent effect of knitting thin yarn on big needles.

  452. This is looking a lot like a consensus, but I’m going to have to go with C as well. There may be other ways to create lace (like the infamous Clapotis with the dropped stitches), but that pullover isn’t it.

  453. Another vote for A – when I look at all the types of lace out there (tatting, bobbin lace, needle lace, knitted lace, crocheted lace) it’s the precise placement of holes and solid parts to make a decorative design that makes it lace. Loosely knit is pretty, but I don’t think it rises to the point of lace.

  454. My two cents.
    At its heart, “lace” is a textile chiefly distinguished by the deliberate placement of openings, eyelets or holes within the fabric.
    How the holes are created is less important than the fact that the holes are a) there and b) deliberate. To limit ourselves to only allowing holes created by yo, k2tog limits the scope of what can be achieved in creating lace with knitting needles, and it also ignores the not-uncommon use of *double* yarn overs, as well as yarn overs that may not be accompanied immediately (or at all) by a corresponding single decrease. And holes that are the result of other maneuvers (such as lifted-thread increases). And on and on and on. That these techiques have not yet been widely exploited (give me a little while) doesn’t make them illegitimate.
    That said (and I’m sorry, Stephen, but you did write and ask) for the purposes of *this contest* I’m afraid I would have to side with the shop. That fabric is very open in nature, but the sweater is not a lace project. You want to compete in the lace category, man up and pick a shawl or something akin.
    Also, Natural Stitches completely rocks and everyone should go there.
    That all I have to say. Thank you and good night. Or is it morning?

  455. I say C. My students in my lunch time knitting club are constantly getting upset that they have holes in their scarves. I tell them “it’s lace” and they’re happy as larks and keep knitting.
    salam wa sa’aadah Linda

  456. My choice is A. Lace is intentional, in my humble opinion. I have seen a lot of beginner knitters with holes in their projects but this certainly wasn’t lace.

  457. I vote A.
    The term for cloth woven at too loose of a sett is sleazy.
    Sorry dude, not only is it not lace, but it’s sleazy.

  458. A, with perhaps some sympathies toward C.
    Sorry man. Having gauge issues is not the same thing as knitted lace.
    (And seriously, “the YOs up the spine of a shawl aren’t lace”? OK, sure, your argument can have that completely optional 0.5% of the garment. I’ll be over here with the other 99.5% of a knitted lace shawl. This, kids, is what is known as “Trying too hard” or as my mom used to call it “Defending the indefensible.”)

  459. Steven, I wouldn’t call that lace.
    HOWEVER, I would argue that the current rule is a bit sexist.
    I mean, honestly, at the end of it, the shop wants people to knit stuff they can USE, and I don’t know if a single guy I know would wear a lace sweater.
    Perhaps they could open the definition up a bit?

  460. Usually I would say, do what you want, but serioiusly, I have to be a stickler with this go with A.

  461. A, with C as my second choice. Think of all those crappy acrylic/nylon scarves people made 10 years ago on size 13 needles…holey, yes…lace, definitely not!

  462. A. I think the contest rules are already loosened up enough by the fact that they let us knit things that include lace sections, even though they aren’t totally lace.

  463. With apologies to Steven, my vote is for A, but, as many others have mentioned, with a note on language. Lace is a technique- bobbin, knit, however its made, is DONE, not simply appearing because of gauge. A garment can appear lacy due to gauge, but that does not really mean that the artist has necessarily done something with their technique to achieve a lacy effect.
    And…back to work.

  464. Sorry Steve ~ I’m voting “C”. Save the sweater for another time and find something lacy to make now. {question ~ would you consider granny squares to be lace because they have holes in them? Just asking}

  465. C. I sort of agree that maybe there’s other ways to make lace than yarn-overs, but really dude. That’s a cabled sweater, not a scribble lace scarf and you’re stretched too thin on this one. Try harder Steven, you’ve almost got me.
    (e.g., my Clapotis is full of holes – chock full of ’em – and it’s not lace.)

  466. A, definitely A. Although I was really entertained this morning while drinking my coffee. Gotta handed to Steven, he sure is trying, but that pullover (while lovely and breezy) is still not lace.

  467. For this contest: A.
    The shop is having a contest; the shop has articulated the conditions and rules; you(sorry Stephen) have a choice to make. You can play by the rules that every other contestant has to follow. You can vote with your feet and choose not to join. You can put in place your own contest with rules you like better. You are NOT entitled to change the shop’s rules for the current contest. Choose another pattern or choose another contest. It’s that simple actually and no need for a huge debate.

  468. Gotta go with A.
    Sorry to say, but it is their ball and they get to play however they want, make up whatever rules. If the contest said we are counting only blue yarn, would we say, well he should be allowed to use green since that is from blue and yellow.

  469. C. definitely C. with a slight lean to A. Although my first thought when looking at the pattern was REALLY Steven??? You think THAT’S lace???

  470. My vote is for C.
    Barbara, I’d say that granny squares would totally count as lace because the holes are deliberate and stable.

  471. Doesn’t seem to be a very popular answer, but I have to go with B. Holes are holes, man. };-)

  472. Loose gauge is not lace. It is loose gauge. It can be attractive and useful and all of that, but it’s still not lace.
    Sorry, Stephen – I go with A. You’ve got to purposely make the holes and those holes have to be stable (i.e. locked into place and shape by their construction).

  473. I’m going with B. I think knitting should be fun and if he wants to knit this sweater and call it lace, let him.

  474. Sorry Stephen – A. I am not a lace knitter, because I just can’t get it down. I think I could make the cable knit sweater… Maybe we should ask the Panopticon, he is an exceptional lace knitter and should know lace from imitation lace? I hate to bring anyone down. 🙁

  475. A with some C-like exceptions. My first knitting project (a scarf) ended up with a few very stable holes, which I can now see were created with a yarn over – can I count that as lace? (I’d say no to that since these holes were unintentional). Bigger needles used to create an open fabric does not count as lace in my opinion. That sweater, although beautiful, is not lace.

  476. I’m going C. I would count other things such as intentionally dropped stitches as lace (think Clapotis and similar), but just knitting at a really open gauge isn’t lace. Sorry.

  477. I’m voting A….I could be persuaded to C, but the bottom line is that I don’t look at the sweater pattern he chose and think “look at that lace work!” or “Wow, what a great lace pattern”. I think, “Cute, lightweight cabled sweater”.

  478. A. I see it as being the different between something being “airy” vs “lacy”. Lace is deliberate, stable holes. Airy is something like kidsilk haze being knit on US size 10 or 11 needles.

  479. erm, C I’m afraid – but/and I’m willing to hear more arguments/rationalization! I know – have your _own_ contest for those creative individuals who refuse to have their pegs be wedged into the wrong shaped hole! ha!! Take that you dratted conformists!!!

  480. Sadly, in this case, A. I think for the sake of contest, having a more firm definition would be best. I’m thinking that if you just “knit big” to make a lace-like garment, that’s not really as challenging at the traditional YO/dec method, so you’d have an unfair advantage.
    That being said, I think I could call that sweater a “lacy cable sweater”, but I’ve gotta say it’s not really lace. Sorry. I feel bad, since I read his blog too, but I think sometimes you’ve gotta set some rules for fairness.
    Oh, and can’t wait to see your sweater.

  481. Can you knit it out of sock yarn? Won’t that count as “sock” in this instance? Or is that opening another can of worms?

  482. If that’s lace, then the shawl I just did using #19 (U.S.) needles is a lace project……but it’s not, it’s a simple garter stitch shawl with lot’s of holes…mostly planned ones….so I’m going to have to go with A. Sorry Steven…keep looking.

  483. I think A, with C having some merit. Dude, someone early said it best: Knit what YOU WANT TO KNIT.