Knitting Lace Preparation Tutorial
Lace is made by combing yarn over increases paired with decreases. It is the arrangement of the yarn over’s which gives
the details of the lace. Oftentimes, lace is knit on needles that are larger than the recommended needle size for that
yarn. Lace items are almost always blocked to open up these details even more.
Sometimes the decrease will be k2tog which everyone should be familiar with by now if you have done the Fifi scarf.
Another decrease used is the ssk (slip, slip, knit). To work the ssk, slip 2 stitches as if to knit, then insert your left hand
needle into the front of both stitches and knit them together. The deciding factor between which of these decreases the
designer uses is whether the resulting stitch needs to lean left or right. The k2tog leans right and the ssk leans left.
Another left leaning decrease is the skp. SKP stands for slip one stitch (purlwise),knit one stitch, then pass the slipped
stitch over the knit on and drop it off of the right needle.
SKP – h
Yarn overs are the key to lace knitting. This is how the hole is made. They are written as yo. If you make a yarn over
next to a decrease, your hole will be made larger. Basically a yarn over is made by bringing the yarn between the
needles and back over the top to the next knit stitch. There are some variations. Occasionally you’ll be making your yarn
over from the purl position with the yarn already in front. Sometimes you’ll be making a yarn over that has to come back
around the needle to the front position for a purl stitch follow.
One thing you should remember when knitting lace, quite often you may have to knit more than one pattern repeat in
order to see the design develop.
Lace patterns are often repeated across the row. When this happens, use a small stitch marker between each pattern
repeat so that it will be easy to find and repair errors.
Lifelines! Place lifeline at the end of each successful pattern repeat. Remove the old lifeline when you put a new one in.
Then if you have to frog your work, you never have to go back past your lifeline.
TIME TO PRACTICE!
With what every smooth scrap yarn you have laying around and knitting needles at least 2 sizes larger than the
Cast on 45 stitches using long tailed cast on or Grandmother’s thumb cast on. Every row will begin and end with k2.
These stitches are not mentioned in the remaining pattern.
Set up rows: k 3 rows
Row 1: (RS) k1, *yo, skp, k8, pm, repeat from * to end
Row 2 and all WS rows: P
Row 3: k1, *k1, yo, skp, k5, k2tog, yo, pm, repeat from * toned
Row 5: k1, *k2, yo, skp, k3, k2tog, yo, k1, repeat from * toned
Row 7: k1, *k5, yo, skp, k3, repeat from * to end
Row 9: k1, *k3, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, skp, k2, repeat from * to end
Row 11: k1, *k2, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, skp, k1, repeat from *to end
Row 12: P
Repeat rows 1 through 12 until piece is desired length. End with k3 rows. Bind off with standard bind off.
Keep going, there’s more!
If you need a simpler practice piece, try this basic eyelet pattern.
Cast on multiples of 2 +1
Cast on 33.
Row 1: k2, *yo, k2tog, repeat from * to last stitch, k1
Row 2: p
Row 3: k1, *k2tog, yo, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, k2
Row 4: p
Ready, Set, Go! Start knitting your lace project now. Be sure to ready the tips thoroughly before you begin
Learning Lace Knit Along
Multiples of 6, 4 row repeat
garter stitch edging
size 8 US (5.0mm) needles circular or straight
approximately 350 yards lace to sport weight yarn, natural fiber preferred as this project will need to be blocked at the
*use cable cast on method
*not in pattern but I recommend purling a row before beginning the pattern
When placing stitch markers between pattern repeats, remove them on the final purl row before starting the whole
pattern again. When you become comfortable with the pattern, you can leave the stitch markers out.
More notes for option one: To make the ends match up in pattern, end with row 2, then bind off with a loose bind off.
follow different patterns concurrently (not as hard as it sounds)
able to pick up and knit
yo before a purl
p2tog through back loop
sl1, k2tog, psso
pattern calls for 3.0 mm needles, I used 4.0mm (size 6 US), your choice circulars or straights
approximately 450 yards or less of lace weight to sport weight yarn. The yarn called for by the pattern is $40 per skein.
*not in pattern but I ended with a knit row and then bound off on the end pieces