I was looking at the new Verena magazine that just arrived, and there’s this great feature article on glamorous lacy tops. And it got me to wondering, how many of you don’t even try lace? There are all sorts of reasons:
“Lace is hard….” No it’s not! It can be complicated, but it isn’t difficult. And it doesn’t have to be complicated, either! Lace is simply a series of yarn overs that make the holes (you can do that, right?) and decreases to keep the stitch count even (I know you can do that!)
“Lace is only done with eentsy-weentsy yarns and needles…” No it’s not! You can use almost any yarn–worsted weight yarn isn’t uncommon at all! And many many lacy patterns use a needle size that is larger than the normal size for stockinette. That’s part of what makes it lacy.
“I can’t understand those charts ..” Oh really? You can read you know. And reading is just translating a bunch of squiggly symbols into something your brain and mouth and hand understands. The difference is that when you learned to read, you didn’t try to learn everything all at once, right?
If you’ve never done lace before, then start with something simple in a good quality yarn. The quick scarf pattern below would look great in Butterfly Super 10.
As you tackle more complex projects, don’t struggle–use tools that make it easier.
When a pattern repeat is longer than 6 stitches or so, use sliding markers on your needles between every repeat. Use a “life line” every 10 rows or so. Just thread a darning needle with a good length of carpet thread or fine yarn and pass it through the stitches while on the needle. Let the thread just lay there and keep knitting. If you do make a mistake, you can rip out the knitting to the life line without confusion.
Make the charts work better for you.
I almost always get charts enlarged on a copy machine or scanner–they’re just easier to follow. Just like when kids are learning to read, big type is easier for them. If you don’t respond well to symbols, then try coloring in the squares with a different color for each kind of knitting operation. It sometimes helps to darken the lines between repeats. Do whatever makes it easier for you.
When working with charts, remember two things: 1) each square is a knitting operation, sometimes spanning more than 1 stitch, like K2 tog. 2)read the chart the same way you knit–1st row right to left, 2nd row left to right, all rows bottom to top.
(Adapted from a Twilley’s Denim pattern)
Materials: about 200 g DK cotton yarn, US 10 (6mm) needles
The pattern repeats over 3 stitches, & has 2 edge stitches each side.
Cast on 31 st. If you do not want fringe, work three rows garter stitch, otherwise begin pattern:
R1: K2, *sl1, K2tog, psso, y/o twice* repeat to last 2 st, K2.
R2: K2, *P1K1 into double y/o, P1* repeat to last 2 st, K2
Continue this pattern until scarf is about 72″ or desired length. (Add 3 rows garter stitch if you are not adding fringe.) Bind off knitwise. Add fringe if desired.