Lace Knitting for All



Please post pictures of your favorite lace projects so we can all drool and dream, and please say a little bit about the project…Some suggestions:
What did you like /not like about it?
What kind of yarn did you use?
Any tips for any of us who might want to give it a try?
How long did it take you?
Would you make it again?
Would you be willing to help someone who may want to try the same pattern?

Be sure to give credit to the designer and feel free to post a link to their Web page if you so choose. In the spirit of Fiberkind I have no objection to displaying projects that may only be available from “the other” site. People can choose for themselves whether or not to purchase or download through that channel. The main thing is YOUR WORK, which we all want to see, and to give proper credit to the creator of the pattern. :slight_smile:

Knitting lace is fine but my plain stockinette knit stitches in very thin yarn are not uniform. When I knit DK or any other yarn, it is even, no problem. No problem with cables either. Those are my favorite. Open pattern lace is o.k. just not plain stockinette.
Got back to knitting about 5 years ago after 30 some years break.
I am loose knitter and trying to go down on needle size does not help, it is still loose. I can knit aran yarn on size 3 needles and have no problem!
I am continental,euro,combined knitter, using ChiaoGoo and Zing needles.
What do I do?

@stasher! You and I are both loose knitters. I usually go down a needle size, too. I have heard that if you push your stitches closer to the tip of the needles, you will knit more tightly. I haven’t tried this idea yet.

@Cablegrrl Doesn’t make difference to me. Maybe b/c it is loose and I might drop the stitch at the end. I knit fast in plain stockinette and maybe that could be part of the problem but it is boring knit and I try to get it over with.
The only way I can get more uniform is to knit in the back loop and use russian purl so the stitches don’t get twisted but if it is a stitch pattern and I have keep an eye on my BL knitting combined with the rest, it is a pain. Reversing whole pattern to match my BL knitting and following it in my head, I get sidetracked and mess up!

My first words of advice to a new lace knitter: Stitch markers are a lace knitter’s best friend.

I can never remember which type of lace is “lace knitting” and which is “knitted lace,” so I use a different pair of names: “easy lace” and “hard lace.” Start with “easy lace,” which has one or more plain rows/rounds of all-knit or all-purl between the rows/rounds with the lace action (i.e., the yarnovers and decreases). Plenty of pretty lace is made with every other row/round worked plain, so you may never feel the need to try “hard lace,” which has yarnovers and decreases on every row/round.

Swatch at least two stitch repeats, and if your project yarn is thinner (or MUCH thinner) than you’re used to, use some scrap yarn in whatever weight you use most so that you can get used to the rhythm of the stitch repeat before attempting to also get used to the thinner yarn. Depending on how complicated the stitch pattern is, you might be able to stop halfway through the row repeat, need to do a full row repeat, or do multiple row repeats. Then optionally swatch with the thinner yarn before casting on the full number of stitches.

As @FreedomLover mentioned, stitch markers! If you have yarnovers at the beginning and/or end of the stitch repeat next to the stitch markers, be aware that they’ll want to migrate to the adjacent stitch repeat. One way to stop them is to use any kind of long, rather than circular, stitch marker. They can be the beaded dangly kind, but even coil-less safety pins and the light-bulb shaped markers work well. If you think a yarnover has moved from its spot, you simply grab the hanging-down part of the marker and rotate it upwards. The yo will pop back to its rightful place.

Lifelines are helpful. If you’re working easy lace, they’re not as important, but they will save your sanity if you need to frog or even tink hard lace. Depending on the complexity of the pattern, you might run a lifeline through every other row/round, through the halfway point of the row repeat, or through the end of each row repeat. You have to weigh the annoyance of running the lifeline through the live stitches with the potential pain of frogging back however many rows/rounds to the most recent lifeline. Knitter’s choice.

Lots of lace patterns can be much more readily understood if they’re charted. The relationships between this pair of yarnovers on the current row to that double decrease on a later row instantly becomes clear. You may find that columns of purl stitches form natural markers between stitch repeats. And if you’re working hard lace flat, you can turn the chart upside-down for the WS rows so that you are reading the chart in the same direction that you’re working the stitches–AND THE DECREASE SYMBOLS STILL LEAN THE SAME DIRECTION. That means you don’t have to do any mind-bending swaps of which decrease is where, because a K2tog will still slant like / when the chart is upside down. Turning the chart upside-down is the only way I could have done my Alpine Meadows shawl (project page at…adowsShawl.pdf).

If you’re not comfortable with charts, I have a twelve-hundred-page (!) book (Stitch by Bloody Stitch: Knitting Charts Explained) dedicated to the subject and available for free download at my website: Each chapter and appendix is in a separate PDF, so follow the instructions under the heading “The Absolute Minimum.” I explain in frankly excruciating detail how to read, create, and modify charts, and you can chart along if you download my free knitting font. (You don’t need to download the font to read the book online or as downloads.)

Thank you - looking forward to checking out your book. I have some Neibling patterns I bought from Doilyhead, as well as two books with charts, and I am not confident I will be able to knit them so they are on hold at this time.

I just looked at your Alpine shawl. You did a lovely job and thank you for all the detailed description for those who have the pattern. Why the point in the neck edge? I always tried to block the point out in other shawls.

And second to stitch markers are life lines! I use Addi Lace needles which have built in “eyes” so my lifeline gets knit as part of the row.

Oh my gosh…Why have you not self published your book…it is amazing!!!

@Jepneknits , I just let the neck edge block the way it wanted to, rather than try to shape it in any particular way. It was my first shawl in that shape, and I didn’t really know what to expect, or even, really, what to do! It’s no bother in wearing, so I haven’t tried to change it.

I suppose I consider making the PDFs available on line as a form of self-publishing. I need to finish the final chapter (keep finding other things to do), so that I can finally submit the ISBN paperwork, which should help expose its existence a bit more. :slight_smile:

Lifelines lifelines lifelines… Also to be sure I have knitted all the stitches in a repeat, I mumble some poetry line with the same amount of syllables. ‘To be or not to be’ ‘I taste a liquor never brewed’
‘If you can keep your head’ and so and so.

I’ve never heard of these! I’ve used lifelines a few times but nothing has changed my lace knitting like stitch markers. They made it possible to do without tears.

How uneven? You might want to knit a swatch and then wet-block it to see if things even out?

Can I just say WOW? Can’t wait to get home and check out your book-in-progress! Thank you for your generosity to the knitting community♥️ I just charted a written lace project for the first time. Love the project, HATE the written instructions, my brain and eyes do not follow very well.

So many good tips! My one tip is to colorcode your chart. For example I use markers of differing colors to help signal my brain when a decrease is ssk or k2tog so I don’t have to think about it. I also count the number of knit stitches and qrite that number in the last square of the run of stitches so I don’t miscount the blank squares. Ok, that’s actually 2 tips;)

Two good tips!

Here is another tip…when doing a lace pattern with all knit or all purl WS rows, make sure you count your stitches for each repeat even if the WS row feels like a mini vacation from the focus required when doing your lace stitches on the RS…it is much easier to correct a mistake before you knit or purl the WS, turn your work, and then encounter a problem in one of your repeat patterns.

One thing to watch with those needles that have an eye to insert the lifeline with…they will cheerfully insert the lifeline through your stitch markers as well! You might want to avoid ring markers if you plan to try this technique…