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Lace Knitting: You Have Questions, Everyone Has Answers!

Jul 11, 2007

What The Front Looks Like

So, my lace-loving friends: I made a list of the more than 30 questions you asked in the comments from Monday's post. About a quarter of those were promptly addressed by your fellow commenters...which is a Very Good Thing, seeing as it would take me several weeks of posts to answer all those questions myself! And whilst some of you might be in Lace Knitting Heaven during those weeks, I know that some of you want me to get back to the bust darts, and others of you want to chat about cables, or sock toes, or intarsia. So: I'll answer as many of the questions as I can this week, and then we'll have another Lace Week every now and then to talk about the rest!

Don't forget to take our survey: What Kind of Lace Knitter Are You?

Now: On to the questions!

What does the front of the Summer Shawlette look like? It looks the same as the front of the Comfort Shawl! Same front, different backs, plus the Comfort Shawl is a bit longer, and done in merino instead of cashmere.

A not-too-scary lace chart

We want more charts! Many of you asked for charts of the lace patterns we offer on Knitting Daily. Charts are definitely on my own wishlist, so let me see what we can do. It may take a while to pull together the resources on our end, but be assured that charts are on The List.

Can you please go over reading charts? They confuse me! Charts are the maps of the lace world. To start getting used to charts, find a lace pattern in your favorite knitting magazine (Interweave Knits, right? Right!), and compare the photos of the finished lace to the charts. Notice how the shapes formed by the chart symbols look like the shapes of the stitches in the photo? Bingo! There are standard stitch symbols used by most knitting patterns, so spend some time looking at the symbol keys included with the charts and you'll soon be able to recognize yarnovers, decreases, knits, and purls. Practice reading the symbols aloud, in order, and then trying knitting along as you chant, "K2, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k2..."

Reading Charts for Lace Worked in Rows: The first stitch of a lace chart is at the bottom of the chart, at the far right side. Each box is one stitch. Right-side rows on the chart are worked from right to left. (Try saying to yourself: "Right Side Starts Right Side".) Wrong-side rows on the chart are worked from left to right. This is because when you are working back and forth in rows, you are turning the fabric around--so think of yourself "turning around and going back the other way" to work the next row of the chart. Get to the end of that row of your knitting, turn your knitting around, and on the chart, turn around and go back the OTHER way again!

Reading Charts for Lace Worked in the Round: In this case, each chart row represents a round. For knitting in the round, you read ALL of the chart rows from right-to-left (starting with the bottom row of the chart), because you are always knitting in the same direction, around and around.

How do you keep track of where you are? Over time, most knitters come up with a creative way to keep their places in their lace knitting. I use stitch markers obsessively between repeats on the needles; I use a sticky note aligned with the row I am currently working to keep my place on the chart. Some people write each row of the lace pattern on a separate index card, flipping to the next card as they complete each row. Some people use little chants to help keep the work flowing between markers, as the rhythm of the chanting helps avoid a missed step in the pattern. For example: For the first row of the lace chart shown, try: "Two, toga, YO!, one, YO!, essssKay, two!" (Get it? "toga" for "k2tog"?) Don't be afraid to make the chanting a little silly--besides increasing the fun factor, it actually helps you to remember the chant better!

What does "no stitch" mean? (I always giggle to myself at this one, because this was one of the questions the senior editors asked me in my first job interview here. Yes, of course I passed--I'm here, aren't I?) A "no-stitch" box is just a placeholder, as follows: If you decrease a stitch in Row 1, you have one less stitch in Row 2. Charts are boxy and linear, so in order to make the little boxes line up properly (and to keep the roadmap clear so you can visualize the pattern), that "lost stitch" is greyed out in Row 2. (The reverse is also true: If you increase, you will have a new stitch in Row 2 that was not there in Row 1--so Row 1 may need a grey "not-there-yet-but-will-be-soon" placeholder box.) Just skip that greyed-out little no-stitch rascal. Ignore it. "It's just there to make the chart square."

How do I fix mistakes? There is a Truly Great pictorial explanation of how to fix forgotten and dropped lace stitches (yes, including yarnovers!) in the book Lace Style--and I'm not saying that just because I work for Interweave, I really, really mean that. I couldn't do a better job of explaining how to fix lace mistakes if I tried, so I won't. Go get the book! In fact, the entire last chapter covers practical tips on lace knitting, so it's really invaluable. (Plus, the book has pretty lace thingies to knit! I cannot restrain myself from pointing out that one of the 21 projects in there has BUST DARTS: the Lace-Edged Corset by Michele Rose Orne.)

If you really want to become a mistake-fixing guru, then take a look at Lisa Kartus's Knit Fix. Pictures, graphs, photos, step-by-step...everything you need to feel like a knitting genius!

On Friday: Hot Tomato Progress, Batman! Plus Lace Survey results, and more lace knitting fun. Plus, a preview of an exquisite lace shawl pattern we thought was lost in the Piecework archives...but it's BACK (soon), exclusively for Knitting Daily members!


Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. She is now the author of the popular Knitting Daily blog: What's on Sandi's Needles.

Knitting Lace: Knitting Daily Presents 7 Free Knitted Lace Patterns

Are you addicted to lace knitting? Or maybe you've admired some of the gorgeous knitted lace patterns out there and want to give lace knitting a try? Here are seven of Interweave's top knitted lace patterns, gathered together in one FREE ebook for you.

Whether you are a first time lace knitter, or a seasoned expert, you'll enjoy the timeless beauty of knitting lace. Get these stunning projects that will continue to inspire, and be loved for generations to come. You'll want to make every one of these lace patterns, so download your free eBook now and get started (and don't forget to tell a friend so they can enjoy their own copy!)

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Pookiemou wrote
on Oct 13, 2009 4:11 PM

Whew!  Thanks for the explanation of the 'no-stitch' box!!!!  Was just about to go around the twist with that one!!!!!

dperlite wrote
on Jul 5, 2009 9:29 AM

Well, I am made a real believer as I was stumped for a solid week on the "no stitch" instruction in a Kate Gilbert pattern published in a 2005 issue of Interweave Knits.  Commenters' tips are also extremely helpful.  On to happier, stress-free knitting!  

MacDiva wrote
on Mar 2, 2008 10:46 AM
Tried to start the Summer Shawlette and couldn't understand what to do with the (WS) instructions on the neckband. "With same side of work facing you, rotate piece so selvedge at end of row just completed is uppermost," etc.) Can someone explain (through words, pictures or video)? Thanks much.
MarieS@2 wrote
on Feb 22, 2008 8:17 PM
Sharon D: on the Comfort Shawl, I believe the center stitch is the one between the second and third markers - it's all by itself between the markers. I searched around because the pattern makes no mention of re-arranging the markers during this operation (unless I missed it.) so good luck!
ChristyC wrote
on Jan 13, 2008 3:07 PM
I am looking for the translation for the "m" on a finnish lace chart. Any ideas? Please email at Thanks.
JjJ wrote
on Dec 28, 2007 8:36 PM

Susanne, can you translate german knitting abbreviation for me please ..if yes please send an email to
LouiseE wrote
on Nov 28, 2007 6:47 AM
Hi, I am looking for help in understanding what "no-rinse wool wash" means as I have never heard of this before. Best wishes, a fellow knitter from the 'Pond' :)
Louise Kendrick, Scotland
Robin@3 wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 3:46 PM
What a wonderful post. It is so nice to hear that others are having similar problems to me . I really love the idea of using a 'lifeline' in complicated patterns.
Keep up the good work.
KathyF@2 wrote
on Oct 16, 2007 4:03 PM
looking for information on making a lace throw using the diagonal technique, any suggestions on how I could do this?
lace knitting is the best, just enough thinking to keep un the interest in a large project,

on Aug 18, 2007 11:29 AM
k3tog slants to the right, s2togk1psso keeps center st upright, slk2togpsso slants left; each makes 1 st from 3. With small needles and fine yarn, use any of them. With heavy yarn, the "top" stitch slant is visible.
None of these twist the yarn loop (tightening the st as tbl does).
SharonD@4 wrote
on Aug 4, 2007 9:41 AM
I'm looking for some help with the Comfort Shawl, please! I've managed to get to row 35 and now am stuck. Where is the shoulder stitch that the double decrease is centered over? Any help is much welcome
MelissaM@6 wrote
on Jul 25, 2007 4:34 PM
I found the best way to track on a chart is to slip the chart into a plastic page cover and use a write-on/wipe-off marker to mark the rows as I work the project. Also, at certain intervals in my work I run a yarn needle with a contrasting piece of yarn through the stitches on the needle. This way if I muck up the counting a few rows after and have to pull out it only pulls out to the contrasting yarn and I can put those stitches back on my needle and start from there. After 10 or so rows I run another piece of yarn through and pull out the previous. I worked my first piece of lacework this way and it was such a time saver!
LibbyB wrote
on Jul 21, 2007 5:58 PM
Hi, I have a knitting group and we are sort of teaching each other so I love reading all the tips. I copy patterns for them so I have lots of patter sheets and I just purchased a cheap file box and am in the process of putting all my patterns in the box so when someone needs a copy of something i can put my hands on it. I love this site and am just now getting to read everyone's comments. I am hooked on dishcloths at the moment. Thanks for the help, Libby
WilhelminaM wrote
on Jul 21, 2007 9:18 AM
I just printed out the Icelandic Shawl pattern. It calls for JaegerSpun Maine line. Would Jaeger Zephyr work as well?
Cassie315 wrote
on Jul 20, 2007 5:18 PM
I'm currently working on Venus from KnitScene Spring 07. I've had the yarn forever just staring at me and I finally decided to cast-on for it. I don't normally knit chunky pieces, but I'm enjoying this one.
JanB wrote
on Jul 18, 2007 6:04 PM
Thanks so much. I've finished the neckband now without any trouble. Maybe the 40 row bit should have been after the instruction, right before Next Row. I thought the Next row was part of the 40. Thank you for clearing up the confusion.
BrendaV wrote
on Jul 16, 2007 8:46 PM
I was confused when I first read the directions for the Shawlette, however, following the set-up row there is an easy to miss statement about work 40 rows as foll: once you knit those 40 rows it is easy to understand the directions for picking up the stitches.
Cathy Dowd wrote
on Jul 16, 2007 12:13 PM
Could you explain how to seam together lace pieces? I had a little trouble with a pullover sweater. I used a selvage stitch but that didn't help when it came to sewing the shoulders and sewing the sleeves to the body since I had no selvage at those edges.
BarbaraJ@2 wrote
on Jul 16, 2007 1:28 AM
JanB wrote
on Jul 15, 2007 6:35 AM
I tried to start the Summer Shawlette last night but got really confused by the instructions concerning picking up stitches along the selvedge. Is the selvedge truly only 2 rows at that point? Do I keep picking up stitches from the same hole? I can't make it make sense in my head.
JoanH@3 wrote
on Jul 15, 2007 6:23 AM
To keep track of where I am and to write notes to myself I use TEMPOTAPE removable stays where I put it until I peel it off and move it to the next row. (I have had sticky notes fall off on me!)
(Keepsake has the tape.)
Meeb wrote
on Jul 15, 2007 12:31 AM
sally - do you still have 43 stitches after that first purl row? it's easy to lose one(or pick up an extra stitch) at the beginning or end of those first few rows. have you tried counting and marking every ten stitches or so to identify exactly where you're losing the stitch?
KellyP@2 wrote
on Jul 14, 2007 3:40 PM
I am SO excited to get started on the Summer Shawlette. I received my yarn in the mail today - Cashmere's by Kate - from an e-bay purchase. It is gorgeous, and I cannot wait to knit this beautiful lace piece (it just got bumped up the "to knit" list). :-)

Thanks for sharing the pattern with us!
Sally wrote
on Jul 14, 2007 3:22 PM
I am in desperate need of lace help. It's my first project, and I have started it TEN times! (I'm an expert at frogging. I don't even cry). It's a simple pattern--CO 43, row 1P; row 2: k3, *k2tog, YO* and knit the last 4 stitches. EVERY time I end up with 42 stitches. No matter how careful I am not to miss a YO, I always end up 1 stitch short. What am I doing wrong?? Thank you!
Sally wrote
on Jul 14, 2007 9:20 AM
I am in desperate need of lace help. It's my first project, and I have started it TEN times! (I'm an expert at frogging. I don't even cry). It's a simple pattern--CO 43, row 1P; row 2: k3, *k2tog, YO* and knit the last 4 stitches. EVERY time I end up with 42 stitches. No matter how careful I am not to miss a YO, I always end up 1 stitch short. What am I doing wrong?? Thank you!
Lynn G. wrote
on Jul 13, 2007 6:56 PM
I'm currently making a basic feather-and-fan patterned mini-shawl with a garter-stitch border on the sides(just rectangular, for a petite woman) in a wool/silk handpainted (cost-a-fortune) yarn. I had to start it many many times to get a good gauge and put it away for about a year in between, but it is finally progressing (and I've decided not to care about the sudden pooling of color that began to happen in one section...I know the correction involves using yarn from more than one skein simultaneously, but I don't want to rip back that far and don't really know how to neatly carry two yarns up the side). I've already had one scary ripping episode to correct a very small error, so I'm going to start using the stitch markers and "lifelines" recommended by others on this forum. Here's what I do need help with: Unfortunately, the bottom edge is curling upward in a way that will bother me, and I'm not sure if blocking will correct that. I suspect this is because I only ever learned one way to cast on (my Mom taught me...I think it might be called long-tail cast-on). Is there a particular cast-on edge (or other method) that can be used to help keep the starting edge flat on a ripple-style pattern? If so, I will learn it for my next attempt at a lace project. Thanks!
ChristyB wrote
on Jul 13, 2007 8:52 AM
Check out wwwDOTknittinghelpDOTcom. Click on the "basic techniques" tab, then just below that, click on "decrease". The site has some great videos of various stitches and techniques for both continental and english knitters. It's one of my first go-to resources when I need help.
Homebody3 wrote
on Jul 13, 2007 7:18 AM
I am a continnental knitter and sometimes have difficulty with lace patterns. Does anyone know of a web site that has a good video on knitting 2 tog. vs. SSK---the continnental way? It's really hard to see the difference when I do these two stitches! I'm not convinced that I doing them correctly.
Alicegold wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 5:06 PM
Susanne | July 12, 2007

Thanks for your offer to translate, but my German friend did translate the pattern for me or how else would I ever have knit the sweater. Incidentally, all you knitters out there who only look at American knitting magazines ought to spend some time looking at the sweaters in German knitting magazines. The styles are much different and yes they do come with English translations. I happened to have borrowed the mag from my German knitting friend which is why the pattern I wanted was only in German.
MissMarnie wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 3:44 PM
I can't tell you how often people ask me what "no stitch" means. I think it's because people really do think lace is hard and so it can't be so easy to just have knits, purls, yos and decreases. That no stitch must be something fancy shmancy.

Thanks for the tutorial.
CrystalS@2 wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 3:36 PM
I agree I never subscribe to knitting mags as they are always out in the stores much sooner than subscriptions. The suspence of waiting would just be too much and if I peeked in the store and saw something I just had to start right now I would end up with 2 of the same mag.
on Jul 12, 2007 3:28 PM
I loved today's issue, this Blog(?) is awsome! I felt compelled to share my favorite correction tool though. It's called a "life-line" most of the time and I'm sure it's mentioned in IP's Knitter's Companion and some of their other books. Simplified; it's a fine, smooth yarn on a darning needle (I use pearl cotton) that you thread through every stitch on your needle (across a whole row), making sure not to twist or split any stitches. I always do this before a difficult area (like adding bust darts ;o) or at the beginning of a lace pattern repeat. Then, if I mess it up, I can rip back to my "life-line" and not back to the beginning of the project.
Anonymous wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 3:01 PM
Everyone's comments are interesting. I've used the sticky note method of keeping my place, highlighting each line after it's completed, and others. I've used the plastic sleeve and dry erase marker method, but it didn't work so well when your paper moves around inside the sleeve. However, if you have those plastic report cover binding things (the little plastic part that holds it all together)...genius!

On other notes: lifeline=slippery line (or whatever it was called above) (And everyone should try this)
I think they're not sending out the Summer issue of IK until late in July, according to what the email said when I subscribed. This is silly, because it's been in the stores for nearly 2 months by that time! Now I'm sorry I subscribed, because it's going to drive me nuts knowing it's out there but I have to wait to get mine. Ugh.
Annporotti wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 2:38 PM
i am enjoying the intensity of Knitting Daily, but I never received my summer issue of Interweave Knits. Has it been sent out yet? Please advise; I treasure all my back issues and would hate to miss one. thanks ann porotti
DotT wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 2:26 PM
I'm a new lace knitter and LOVE it. I was always too intimidated to knit lace patternas, but now that I've started on my first lace sweater, I'm hooked for life!

I keep track of my patterns by my head, not out loud or my hubby would probably gag me! :)
DanielleK wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 2:15 PM
I really like the Charm Wrap, however, when I looked up the price of the yarn, my mouth dropped open ($320!!!). Are there any suggestions on nice substitute yarns for the blue collar knitter?
on Jul 12, 2007 1:30 PM
Do you think you could release the Amana Star Pattern from Piecework Nov/Dec 2000 too? I think I'm the only one that has made it, but it's a really great, small lace pattern, and a great gift!
ChristyB wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 12:47 PM
I'm just working on my first "charted" project (namely the Stag Bag in lovely cream and lavender alpaca wool...even my cat loves to cuddle with it!), but being a former cross-stitcher, I immediately went to my magnetic board (as a few others have mentioned). It's especially handy for portable projects because the magnet holds the row you're on when packed away. (And the magnets are surprisingly strong!)
CristoforoW wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 12:22 PM
Yes, I am Cristoforo Wealth=
Just recently subscribed to this page. Enjoy it abundantly.
I am a Fiber Artist. At the moment am using strictly fine
Australian fibers to weave
very fine luxurious cloth.

I have a hint,(am sure many
people already knows it).
I have used for many years a
small metal "board" which
comes with little magnetic
bars to keep track of rows,
etc. It can be purchased at
the needle art dept.

Thank you for all the help
and all the patterns.

Susanne wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 12:14 PM
alicegold, I would be glad to translate German knitting patterns. I love knitting lace and I love the many hints and tips I have found here. Floss as a lace lifeline, wow, I could have used that on my last project where one mistake after another just seemed to be noticed too late. Thanks, Susanne
JuliaK wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 11:52 AM
Thanks for the comment about some beginner patterns. I really enjoy the inspiration this newsletter brings, but I'm only on my second sweater ever! Maybe the website and the posts could be divided into categories or tabs, so there was a beginner tab, an intermediate tab, etc. so that the beginners could get help from all you wonderful experienced knitters, but those who don't need the help at that level could go right to their own tab and not have to sift through the simple stuff. Thoughts?
LindaM@7 wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 11:39 AM
Lace knitting is obsessive. Once you start you will find it hard to walk away from. I'm just finishing a cashmere lace shawl from the book Victorian Lace Today for my 93 year old mom's birthday. I'm so excited to give it to her! I was sort of overwhelmed when I made the decision to make this but once I started it's really not difficult. If you can do a YO, K2tog and SSK you pretty much have it made. Give it a try!
CarolL@5 wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 11:31 AM
The best stitch markers ever: years after the nest emptied and I was immersed in a lace project, I found an old stash of tiny rubber bands (from our son's braces). They're perfect for color-coding different repeats as well as circular row starts. Hmm, a dental theme is emerging, as I also use floss for lace lifelines.
GJabouri wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 11:28 AM
Hi all, I do enjoy this newsletter, and have already seen many good tips that I will incorporate in the future. As to German instructions: I am German and had to figure out what the English expressions and abbreviations mean after I came here. Anyway, I believe it's in Mary Thomas's Book of Knitting Patterns, where she has a glossary of French and German knitting terms, together with their English translations.
DeloresG wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 11:17 AM
Re: Summer Shawlette - Could you make this longer if desired instead of your pattern length? Also I cannot find this brand yarn. What could be used in its place?
Joanna wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 10:53 AM
Considering my love affair with office supplies, it's amazing I never thought of using clear plastic sleeves and dry erase markers. LOL Thanks guys for the awesome tip. Now I can have a clean copy of a pattern after I've used it (I'm all about making tic marks along the edge of a chart).

I like to use dental floss as a lifeline in more complex lace.
NinaT wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 10:40 AM
Since I chart my pattern out in Excel (downloaded graph paper), I just print it out, then use a highlighter to mark off (usually) every 2 rows finished. I'm going to start using the slippery line trick, since I've yet to knit anything without frogging part!
RuthS@4 wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 10:14 AM
Please don't go to lace charts exclusively!! I like the instructions written out.
MandiR wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 10:13 AM
As far as knowing which line I'm on for knitting lace patterns....I use a sheet protector (that you use when you do a report in school)put my pattern inside and use a dry erase marker to mark off what I've done and can simply erase it when I need to start all over again.
MaryF@4 wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 10:13 AM
I'm a beginner lace knitter and have difficulty with shaping a garment(increasing and decreasing) while maintaining the pattern when you don't have enough or even too many stitches to make a complete repeat. Instructions are often vague--simply "maintain" the pattern". Mary
Dr.M wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 10:07 AM
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy this newletter. I find it very informative & it's nice to get the patterns, too.
drMolly, the BeanQueen
Pat wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 9:50 AM
I use a modified laminated method for carrying patterns with me when knitting away from home. I use colored pencils to chart the pattern repeat on large graph paper and cover front and bake with clear packing tape, then cut out the chart. This both enlarges my pattern repeat for my aging eyes and makes it indistructable and portable. Thanks for all the lace tips. I need them.
TanyaB wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 9:31 AM
I'm sure that it has been mentioned before but its worth saying again. I would never knit lace without using a lifeline. I weave in a piece of scrap yarn on an important row (and also mark that row on my pattern) so if I royally goof, I can safely rip back without frogging the entire project.
KrisK wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 9:11 AM
I agree with the German magazine comment. I like to knit doilies and I once ordered a book that was all in German (which I didn't know till I received it!) _Sometimes you can surf the web and find alot of those patterns translated to English or charts quite nicely. Yes, frogging lace is terrible. I will have to try that "slippery line" thing. Heard of it, but never tried it before.
MichelleC wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 8:30 AM
Love to knit lace. Just completed a baby blanket with a lace border. It had 18 repeats. I purchased one of those things that cross stitchers use. They are the magnetic boards with the long straight magnets. I then enlarged the chart so it's easy to see. I have a magnet above and below the row I'm working on and at the end of the row I count the number of stitches I should have and the number I do have. If they aren't the same then I know it's the row I just completed. Once I made this a habit I sailed through without a problem. I agree--frogging lace is about as much fun as dental work!!
AdcockJ wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 8:22 AM
I absolutely love your idea with the yarn "row marker"! I am currently working on lace anklets(leisure socks) for Socks For Soldiers. I will be making your row counter to make it so much easier. Thanks for a great idea!
Juli in NM
Jody@2 wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 8:20 AM
When I am knitting a lace pattern where it calls for say 12 repeats of a 30 row pattern, I will make 12 copies of that repeat and highlight or cross off each row as I do it. When I get one set of the repeats done, I throw out that page and move on to the next (I number them as I go along). To keep the front and back from getting mixed up (if you purl every wrong side row it's not hard to figure out, but if you do actual lace on the wrong side rows it can get confusing) I use a white ring marker a couple of stitches in on the right side, and a black ring marker a couple of stitches in on the left side. Then I just remember that 'white is right' and 'black is back'. It has saved me more than once.
PaulaH wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 7:39 AM
HELP!(sorry for shouting) you are scaring me to death with this lace knitting and so on. As my very appropriate password indicates, I am very much a beginner. And while I realize most of the folks on this are far more advanced than I, there must be a few beginners, too, who would appreciate a few basic, simple patterns to start them off. Absolutely love the chat, cheers me up every time, but could you consider a few relatively simple patterns in future? A basic pullover, perhaps? I am happy to wait as long as it takes, but maybe one or two in time? Would be most appreciated. Paula the Beginner
DonnaB wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 7:26 AM
I have lace knitting problems when I have to decrease or increase and continue pattern( mostly the decrease). any tricks?
KateC@3 wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 6:15 AM
Thanks for explaining charts in PLAIN ENGLISH!!! I have been feeling foolish about not being able to read them -I'm a word person through and through. With your wonderful explanations in hand I'll be able to try some of the easier patterns using the charts.

Thanks, Kate
Alicegold wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 3:13 AM
For a real challenge try knitting from a German magazine chart pattern. Not only do they show you only every other row, but only half of the row. You are supposed to figure out the rest of the row out as it is the opposite of the first half of the row and in the even numbered rows you knit the stitches as they are presented. Plus the directions are in German unless you find an English translation. And don't ask a German friend who doesn't knit to translate because the vocabulary for knitting terms is confusing.
Anonymous wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 1:47 AM
My favourite lace tip is to use "slippery string". Slippery string is anything that is thin enough to be threaded into the stitches on your needle as if it were a another needle, strong anough to be pulled out and moved up a few rows, and slippery. I found some great synthetic string in a hardware store and I've used "knitters silk" - no idea what it's made of.

The trick is to thread the string under your knitting needle using a darning or tapestry sewing needle along a whole row/round when you're pretty sure what's below it is ok. Then if you make a mistake on a row higher up, you'll only have to rip back to the slippery string row. All your yarn overs, and knit2togethers, and everything else will be captured exactly as they were on your last perfect row.

If you've ever tried to unpick lace and correct a mistake, you'll understand why I never knit lace without slippery string.

Meeb wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 1:32 AM
hope it works for you, sara. like many knit things, i found it much harder to explain than it is to do. :)
SaraJ wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 1:12 AM
Sherry, I really like that tip! I don't have anything near my loveseat I can clip a thing like that to, but it's got me thinking.

Professor Harold Hill asked Tommy Geliss to work on a music holder for a marching piccolo player . . . we need the same thing, for knitting (hee hee!)

Meeb, that is AWESOME! See, I actually have ADD (it's hard to tell when people do or don't, as so many "joke" that they have it, or say it as a way of describing feeling scattered) and in a dolphin dishcloth I'm making, it's sat for awhile new early in the "waves" portion, because I forgot where I was at in the lace pattern. I'm going to use your tip right away to finish this (as soon as I tink a few rows so's I know where I am, to begin with, lol!) Thanks!
Meeb wrote
on Jul 12, 2007 1:04 AM
i adapted a method anne bourgeois suggested for keeping track of a regular increase. when knitting combinations of patterns that may well not have the same row count, i use a yarn marker between each pattern. the marker is a series of knots, with needle sized open spaces between them - one open loop for each row in the pattern. place the start end of this chain as a marker in front of the pattern, and then as you come back to the marker on each succeeding row, slip the marker in the next loop. when you get to the end of the chain for that particular pattern, slip back to the first loop, and start the pattern over. this way i can always tell what row of any individual pattern i'm working on, and where the patterns are in the row. works for cable patterns, too.
Charmaine wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 11:58 PM
I'm having trouble with the "lace" survey. Every time I click on the link it says "page can not be displayed". Grrr!
Sherry wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 10:54 PM
I have limited work space so where to place the pattern I am using became a real issue. I found a computer copy holder with a clip at the top that is on an adjustable arm that attachs to the end table by my chair & has the clear ruler that slides up & down. Works like a charm & is not in the way. I also use the clear sleeves for the pattern I am working on,they are reuseable which is also handy :-) SPope
annekaelber wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 10:48 PM
I don't know if this will help lace-knitters, but once I understood my favorite "basic sock" pattern, I abbreviated it as much as possible and created a document on my computer. Now I can print the pattern as many times as I need to (one for each of my sock bags!).
TomlinsonA wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 9:18 PM
I love the laminate idea. I bought a box of clear plastic sleeves at the office supply store. I put my photocopies in it and use a dry erase marker to mark off my progress. I like the sleeves because it can hold multiple pages and you get 100 in the box for a few bucks.
AdcockJ wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 9:06 PM
I love Courtney's suggestion, the only problem I have is that I would go broke laminating all the patterns I want to do! lol
My biggest problem is that I get lost in the middle of the row sometimes from my adult onset ADD :~) Usually what I end up doing is frogging back to a stitch series that I recognize. I hope to see more about how the different stitches create different effects. I'm about halfway to understanding it, but need that boost the rest of the way. I have to say again, I love Knitting Daily and Interweave Press! Great Job Folks!
Sherry wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 8:59 PM
I love the explaining of the "No Stitch" just wish it had come on Saturday before I had to wake up on Sunday with my mental lightswitch finally going on. Yes, it took this one overnight to make sense. Thanks for a wonderful web site. I love it!! SPope
JulesK wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 8:47 PM
Thanks for explaining the "no-stitch" concept. I found a lace+cable tank pattern that I like to try but when I read the pattern (non-chart), the size I would attempt has "p0" and "k0" ! When I Googled up on this, I found on knitters' Blogs that they stand for "no-stitch". Then the mentioned of "stitch marker" but nothing about the technique ! Wish there were most techniques / videos / photos shown on this "no-stitch".
Courtney wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 8:46 PM
You mentioned methods of keeping track of where you are in a lace pattern, and I've never known anyone who does it like me! For patterns I know I'm going to keep I have the charts laminated, and use dry erase markers to cross off rows as I go. This way, when I finish a repeat, I can just erase the lines on the chart with a cloth, and start at the beginning again! Plus, the laminated paper is a lot harder to wrinkle, lose or destroy.
AmandaG wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 8:11 PM
I may actually knit a lace shawl after reading all about them here lately. I made a lace scarf last year for my mom and it turned out well, so here goes me looking for pretty yarn!
on Jul 11, 2007 8:02 PM
Ooof, that no-stitch thing. First time I came across that? Deep and utter bafflement. Once I knew what it was it all made sense of course, but I tinked and reknit that raw a ridiculous number of times before it clicked.
Beehappynow wrote
on Jul 11, 2007 7:52 PM
The best way I ever discovered to keep track of rows is to number a plain piece of paper, lay it on the chair or sofa next to you, and poke through the paper w/the tip of your knitting needle every time you finish a row - WONDERFUL method!