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Lace Knitting

  • Try This Stitch: Crystal Chandelier

    Crystal Chandelier is a lovely lacy stitch that would work well for a shawl or scarf.

    chandelier lace

    This lace would look lovely on many different projects, and the width is extremely adjustable. The pattern is eight stitches wide, with one more cast on for symmetry. So you would cast on 9, 17, 25, 33, and so on.

    The sample above is three repeats, so I cast on 25 stitches, using DIYarn in Hot Pink.

    In general with lace, it's best to choose a yarn that's not too fuzzy, so you can really see the stitches. You may also want to steer clear of colors that change to often. Something with a gradual or ombre effect might look nice without being distracting.

    We have a large selection of knit and crochet stitches and motifs, called the Stitch Finder. In it, you'll find all kinds of interesting things. Lace, cables, flowers, trims, you name it. You can make an entire blanket from the blocks you'll find on that page, too. All the patterns listed are reprinted with permission from various books.

    Crystal Chandelier

    Cast on multiple of 8 stitchess plus 1.

    Row 1 (RS): K1, *k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k2; rep from * to end.

    Row 2 and all WS rows: Purl.

    Row 3: K1, *k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k1; rep from * to end.

    Row 5: [K2tog, yo] twice, *k1, yo, ssk, yo, S2KP, yo, k2tog, yo; rep from * to last 5 sts, end k1, [yo, ssk] twice.

    Row 7: K1, *k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k1; rep from * to end.

    Row 9: K2tog, yo, *k5, yo, S2KP, yo; rep from * to last 7 sts, end k5, yo, ssk.

    Rows 11–19: Rep rows 1–9.

    Rows 21, 23 and 25: K1, *yo, k1, ssk, k1, k2tog, k1, yo, k1; rep from * to end.

    Row 26: Purl

    Rep rows 1–26

    This pattern comes with a chart, as well, if that's the pattern method you prefer to use.

    If you are unsure how to do any of the stitches mentioned, see our Learn section for instructions.

    Reprinted from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume Five: Lace, with permission from 6th&Spring Books; copyright 2010; photos by Jack Deutsch Studio. All rights reserved.

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  • Try this Stitch: Arrowhead Lace

    Arrowhead lace is a beautiful stitch that looks intricate without being too complex or difficult.

    arrowhead-1

    The four-row pattern repeats across 10 stitches, with one extra cast on for symmetry. A single repeat (11 stitches) makes a great headband, or can be incorporated into a larger piece, like a hat or sweater. Two or three repeats (21 or 31 stitches) make for a nice, open scarf. Cast on even more -- 61, 71, 81 -- for a wide shawl or wrap, perfect for summer nights or inside a chilly office.

    While the intricacy of arrowhead lace really shines in a solid yarn, something with subtle variegation could look lovely as well. You may want to avoid something with color changes that are too bold or too frequent, as they may detract from the stitchwork.

    We have a large selection of knit and crochet stitches and motifs, called the Stitch Finder. In it, you'll find all kinds of interesting things. Lace, cables, flowers, trims, you name it. You can make an entire blanket from the blocks you'll find on that page, too. All the patterns listed are reprinted with permission from various books.

    Arrowhead Lace

    arrowhead-2

    Cast on a multiple of ten stitches, plus one (11, 21, 31, 41, and so on).

    Row 1 (WS): Purl

    Row 2 (RS): K1, *[yo, ssk] twice, k1, [k2tog, yo] twice, k1; rep from * to end

    Row 3: Purl

    Row 4: K2, *yo, ssk, yo, sl 2 knitwise-k1-p2sso, yo, k2tog, yo, k3; rep from *, end last rep k2

    Rep rows 1-4.

    The sample pictured is knit with 24/7 Cotton® on US 6 (4.0 mm) needles. However, the Arrowhead stitch pattern would look lovely in any weight. One with good stitch definition like the cotton would be best, so for a slightly heavier knit, Woolspun® would be a nice choice. The sample is 11 stitches wide, which is one lace repeat.

    This pattern is reprinted with permission from  Vogue Knitting Stitchionary: Volume One, Sixth & Spring Books, 2005.

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  • How to Knit Lace: The Basics

    Lace knitting can seem daunting at first, but it's actually not as hard as you might think. You are using the same basic stitches, increases, and decreases as always, just arranged in such a way as to make beautiful patterns.

    The stitches you need to know to make simple, beginner lace are knit, purl, yarn over, k2tog, and ssk. If you need a refresher course on any of those, click on the term and it will take you to our tutorial on each. More advanced lace patterns may use other increases and decreases, but for now, those are enough.

    Left-leaning vs. Right-leaning decreases Left-leaning vs. Right-leaning decreases

    The various lace patterns are created by alternating the yarn overs, which make holes, with the decreases, which create direction in the pattern (ssk leans left while k2tog leans right). If you are working a pattern that is even, like a scarf or blanket, there should be the same number of yarn over increases as decreases. Something like a shawl or hat, or even some sweaters, will likely have an unequal number on some rows to create shaping.

    The key to lace knitting is following the directions exactly. These will be either written out or shown as a chart. Sometimes a pattern will provide both -- in that case you can use whichever you prefer -- but often there will only be one or the other, so you should understand both. Written instructions are exactly what they sound like. The stitch pattern is written out in words, for example:

    k2tog, yo, k1, rep to end

    You will see some variation on "rep to end" a lot. It just means you repeat the stitch pattern over and over until you get to the end of the row (or round). Sometimes, the pattern will only want you to repeat part of a row. When this happens, the repeated part will be marked, usually with brackets, parentheses, or asterisks. It may also tell you to stop a certain number of stitches before the end of the row and do something else. For example:

    k1, k2tog, yo, [k3, k2tog, yo], rep to 2 before end, k2

    Charts take the same information and present it visually. They look like a grid filled with various symbols, usually with a key to tell you what each one means. You read them from bottom to top. When knitting flat, you will go right to left on right side rows and left to right on wrong side rows. In the round you will go right to left for every round.

    The benefit of using written directions is that they're easy to follow, but the drawback is that it can be harder to visualize if you're doing it right. Charts lay everything out so you can see what the piece should look like, and are great if you're a visual learner. But it's easy to lose your place, which is why row counters and stitch markers come in handy. For example:

    Basic Lace - Stitch Fiddle

    The best way to learn a new technique is to just jump in and do it. Below are a few of our easier lace patterns. Good luck!

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