Getting Started with Lace

I was just admiring Tom's posted picture of the Queen Anne Lace shawl that he knit for his sister. I would like to try doing some lace knitting but, I admit, it scares the bejeebers out of me. Can anyone suggest an interesting pattern, not too easy, but not such as to drive one insane or blind? Maybe a scarf or something that will teach me some technique but not make me burst into tears? :-) I am not sure how or where to begin, but I know it is NOT with a huge shawl. I always wonder, as well, how you know what size needles to use with lace. I am told it is usually bigger needles than you would normally knit with the yarn you use. How much bigger? Is there a rule of thumb? Anyway, any suggestions about how to begin, and with something with which there is actually some chance of successfully completing the project would be appreciated.


MMario's picture

the generic rule of thumb is go up two sizes of needle from what you would normally use with that weight yarn.

Or more : I regularly use US size 8 to knit lace weight, and have used 10.5's.

or less - you may prefer a more "solid" lace.

I strongly reccomend reading the "lace primer" series out at Eunny Jang's blog.

A scarf pattern I like is to cast on a multiple of (4 stitches +3 ) to a pleasing width.

knit four or five ridges of garter (8-10 rows knit)

Then every row is k3, *yo, k2tog,k2 ; repeat from * across.

When it's the length you like - do another 8-10 rows garter stitch - and bind off.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

scenter's picture

Another easy lace is feather and fan - I made a table runner out of baby weight yarn on size 8 needles using a pattern similar to this:

It can also be worked as a garter stitch based lace (change row 2 to K in the pattern) instead of the stockinette based lace given.

I bought Barbara Walkers Treasury of Knitting Patterns (I think that is the name and/or the author!). Lots of good stuff.

And MMarios Faux Spanish Lace Shawl is nice looking. I am almost done. Mistakes well hidden! I realize you cannot let your mind wonder too much.