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Tools needed to start knitting Estonian lace shawl

Thinking about starting to knit Estonian lace shawl? I shared this in our Estonian Lace Workshop and I thought you may find it helpful too. Here is a tool list to make sure your knitting experience will be as painless as possible.

I noted down the “must have”s and “may come in handy” tools. I also added a little note on things that you might not know. For example, did you know that Estonian shawl cast on and cast off is made with larger needles and why you need to use natural yarn?

Here’s the list of tools you’ll need:
Must haves:
  • Pair of wooden needles in size 3 mm or 3,5 mm / US3 or US4 (may be wooden circulars); Wooden is crucial here, because those plastic needles are very slippery and knitting process would be just awful. If you can get your hands on those shorter shawl needles then choose these…
  • Pair of (wooden if you have, but if you don’t then no need to buy) needles in size larger than the ones above (for example, if I picked needles in size 3 mm then I also need needles in size 4 mm); We need these needles to cast on and cast off;
  • Long sewing needle (we will need it in the end, on week 13 – no hurry) with blunt tip;
  • 200 g of lace yarn
    o 100% wool – It doesn’t matter what kind of wool, but it’s super important that it’s not acrylic. Why? Because we need this shawl to hold shape after blocking. It must not stretch too much.
    o Lace weight – We need very fine yarn. If these numbers mean something to you then 28/2 or 30/2. Good rule of thumb is that in 100 g should be over 1000 m of yarn (or minimum of 800 m if you absolutely can’t find finer yarn). For our US friends this means over 1500 yards per 100 g.
    o Light color – As you might know, dark colors are very hard to knit. Especially fine lace. So let’s start with something light.
May come in handy, but not a must:
  • stitch markers – to count stitches and mark pattern repeats;
  • lifelines – In case of an emergency;
  • lace wires – for blocking;
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