This DIY project allows you to experiment with lace pattern stitches; a great beginner project or one for experienced knitters who want to try a lace pattern stitch without making a huge commitment. We are going to knit up a lace sample; you can use the pattern I’m using or choose any you like. You can make it any size, make more than one swatch; the possibilities are endless. After the swatch(es) is knitted, we will frame it to complete the project.
Fine weight yarns from lace weight to fingering look fabulous in lace stitches, and they look great in frames. The pattern I’m using is “Frost Flowers” from “A Treasury Of Knitting Patterns” by Barbara G. Walker. Her pattern stitch books are my “bibles”. This pattern stitch is one I have wanted to try for a long time, and my someday project is to make a tablecloth in frost flowers with a linen or cotton fingering weight yarn. My yarn choice is Ella Rae Lace Merino Multi in a beautiful coral color. This yarn is a great fingering weight choice for beginners, because it’s twisted and doesn’t split, making it easy to knit, as the stitches glide across your needles. Lace weight yarn or very fine yarn may be frustrating to work with as a beginner, so stick with fingering weight or double knitting.
Start, by choosing either your yarn or pattern stitch. If you choose the frame first, you will have to do a gauge swatch, so the sample fits into the frame. You may need to experiment with a few swatches to see if you like the yarn with the chosen pattern stitch. This happened to me. The lace stitch was not clearly defined and appeared lost, because of the variegated yarn I used.
Tip 1: Here’s a quick lesson on “multiples”. Each pattern stitch is based on repeating a number of stitches and rows that make up a single “motif”. The number of stitches is called a “multiple”, and the number of rows is called a “repeat”. Some pattern instructions will use the word “repeat” to describe both the number of stitches in a multiple and the number of rows in a repeat. In the pattern “Frost Flowers”, the multiple is 34 stitches plus 2 extra stitches. I only used 36 stitches (34 + 2) for my repeat (one multiple of stitches) plus my border stitches.
For my DIY project, I am going to frame 2 swatches together. For the swatch, placed on the left side of the frame, cast on 40 stitches with 3mm needles. Work 4 rows in seed stitch, then begin frost flower pattern over 36 stitches to last 4 stitches, work these in seed stitch, to create a border. Knit two repeats of the pattern, then 4 rows in seed stitch. Bind off. Make a second swatch; cast on 40 stitches, work 4 rows in seed stitch, work first 4 stitches in seed stitch, then next 36 stitches in pattern (reversing the placement of side border). Knit two repeats of pattern, then 4 rows in seed stitch. Bind off. The following is my sampler in progress and the instructions for Frost Flowers.
Next time, we’ll finish up the project, and I will share some more tips on knitting lace. This is a great opportunity to experiment with patterns, without the frustration. Give it a try!