Learn-a-Stitch Three-Part Workshop Series Part 3: Fall in Love With Lace & Openwork Knitting

I can’t believe we’ve made it to Part 3 of this Learn-a-Stitch Workshop Series. I hope you’ve enjoy this as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you!

In this article I demystify lace and openwork knitting and break things down to some very simple basics. I discuss the differences and similarities and some of the common characteristics found in most lace patterns.

After you’re finished reading the article, practice on the free pattern provided below, my gift to you. This pattern is an excerpt from my Mix & Match Knit Sampler Class, an Annie’s online video class.

At the end of this lace & openwork lesson, I will provide you with some quick tips for ways you can assemble your squares. All you need is to do is apply some simple math and then you can dream up endless ways to use them.

To learn how to read a lace chart, check out this short, two-minute video:

The pattern below is one of the simplest of lace patterns because it involves just knit, purl and a few simple decreases and one increasing technique.

Let’s start off by taking a look at the chart and key for the pattern we will be working:

Scroll Lace Key

The key above indicates which stitches are used on a knitting chart in the form of symbols which I’ve explained below.

  1. Knit (K)- on the right side of the work, work one knit stitch each time you see an empty box.
  2. Purl (P)– each time you come to an empty box on the wrong-side, purl a stitch.
  3. Yarn Over (Yo)– this is indicated as a “O” on your chart. In this pattern, a yarn over is worked on the right-side as follows: bring the yarn to front and over top of right knitting needle, then work the next stitch as indicated.
  4. Knit 2 Together (K2tog)–  This is a decrease technique that creates a new stitch that slants to the right. You would work this stitch on the right-side of the work. The symbol is shown as “/ ” on the chart below. Work this stitch as follows: Insert the tip of the right knitting needle through the next two stitches on the left knitting needle as if to knit. Knit these two stitches together as one.
  5. Purl 2 Together (P2tog)– You would work this stitch on the wrong-side. The symbol is the same as k2tog. Here’s how to work a p2tog: Insert the tip of the right knitting needle through the next two stitches on the left knitting needle as if to purl. Purl these two stitches together as one.
  6. Slip, Slip, Knit (Ssk)– This is another decrease that makes the resulting stitch slant to the left. The symbol looks like this: “\” on the chart.  Here’s how you do it: Slip the next two stitches, one at a time, from the left knitting needle to the right knitting needle as if to knit. Insert the tip of the left knitting needle through both slipped stitches in front of the right knitting needle. Knit these two stitches together.
  7. Purl 2 Together Through the Back Loops (P2tog-tbl)– This is another decrease that is normally worked on the wrong-side. The symbol used is the same as an ssk. P2tog-tbl is similar to p2tog, but instead of going through the front of the loops, you go through the back of them. It’s a little tricky to wiggle your needle into those back loops, but once you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy to do!

How to Work a Chart in Lace

Scroll Lace Chart

The chart above is worked from right to left. the numbers on the right-hand side of the chart indicate right-side rows, and the numbers shown on the left-hand side of the chart are wrong-side rows.

Work the above Scroll Lace chart Rows 1–18 twice, then repeat Rows 1–9 once more.
Knit 4 rows. Bind off. You then have an 8 x 8 square!

Scroll Lace Stitch Square

Scroll Lace Stitch Square [click image to view larger]

Now that you understand how to work some simple squares, you can put these together in a variety of ways in order to make a simple tote, lap blanket or a rug. All you really need is to know some simple math. Or, if you want to get a little creative, lay your squares out in front of you and play with their placement until you find the combination you like best, then get busy sewing the squares together.

Making an Easy Lap Blanket

Let’s say you want to make a lap blanket that measures approximately 32 inches wide x 40 inches long. The square that you made in this lesson measures 8 x 8 inches. That means that you would need 4 squares across and 5 squares long.

Schematic_TemplateAs you can see from the diagram above, you need a total of 20 squares to make yourself a blanket. If you want to make it smaller, just reduce the number of squares you use. To make a tote, sew 4 of them together, add a strap and your all set!

Mitered Tote

This mitered tote is made using both 4 x 4 and 8 x 8 inch stitch squares.

The tote above is an example of how creative you can get with just a few simple squares. This pattern is available as a free download pattern when you purchase the Mix & Match Knit Sampler online class.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Workshop and found my three lessons useful. Let me know what you think and if you’d like to see more of this in the future. Please contact me by leaving a comment on this post, or send an email to: editor@CreativeKnittingMagazine.com

Now, here comes the fun part… I know you love a good contest, so here’s your chance to win my Mix & Match Knit Sampler online video class for free!

Contest Details (this contest has ended)

The contest starts September 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m. EST through September 10, 2013, 11:59 p.m. EST. Click here to enter for your chance to win.

(The entry link is not active until September 6th, at 12:01 a.m.)

Good luck!

3 Responses to Learn-a-Stitch Three-Part Workshop Series Part 3: Fall in Love With Lace & Openwork Knitting

  1. Rose says:

    I want to thank you for your posts. I love them!

    • Kara says:

      Hi Rose,
      I’m so glad you enjoy my posts. If there’s anything special you’d like to see, please feel free to send your feedback.
      Thanks again!

  2. Julie Slusser says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I used it for a sampler square for a fundraiser afghan for my church 😀


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