Lace knitting does not have to be complicated. I’m not suggesting that it is always simple to knit. Lace patterns, however, are a pleasant change from the projects usually knit. Novelty is good for the brain and hands.
Recently, I have been knitting a vest that may look like a cable pattern, but is really lace. Knitting it has reminded me of a few of my tried-and-true rules.
- Practice makes perfect, so practice your pattern before you begin.
- Pay attention and keep track of where you are on the chart or written directions. I use Highlighter Tape. It is easy to remove and reposition.
- Being able to read your knitting stitches and taking the time to do it results in less time spent correcting.
- Stitch markers can save the day.
- If you're just beginning your lace-knitting journey, pick a project with a simple pattern that you really like.
The vest pattern I am knitting has a fairly simple lace panel in the front and back. The pattern consists of thirty-nine stitches that repeat every twenty-four rows (see partial chart below). A few stitches are used to create the look, including yarn overs, K2tog (knit two together), SSK (Slip, Slip, Knit), and S2KP (Slip 2 Knit Stitches, K1, Pass Slipped Stitches Over).
In preparation for a project, I like to carefully read the directions. It is well worth the time, even if I have trouble forming a mental picture or a map of the project. This gives me the time to mark the variations in the number of stitches for the size I am knitting and also to review the types of stitches used in the pattern. All looked familiar in the pattern; however, the S2KP made me stop and think. I have used this stitch before, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember how I should slip the stitches. Would I slip one stitch knit-wise and then the next stitch knit-wise, or should I slip both stitches knit-wise at the same time? Rather than guess, I checked my references and confirmed that I should slip two stitches together knit-wise. Below is a short tutorial, by Purl Soho, on how to make this decrease. The stitch forms a nice rib or center design, so it is important to knit it correctly.
A little bit of lace pattern work has been a pleasant change from my previous projects and a good reminder that good preparation can save time, energy and lower the frustration index.