Looking at Lace

I’m sitting here with coffee and marveling at how much nice effect you can get from a very easy lace pattern!  I wonder if, other than faggotting, Vine Lace is the easiest of all?  I mean, there are only 2 pattern rows and they’re actually the same … it’s just that they’re offset by 1 stitch (either K3 at the beginning of the row or K2).  And it results in a nice wavy fabric that looks very effective with a multicolored yarn!

But the wrap I’m working on now includes the “little arrowhead” pattern and that’s pretty easy too.  I don’t usually publish a pattern in a post (especially when I’m not even finished with the project yet!) but here it is for discussion’s sake:

Little Arrowhead and Feather Faggotting Lace Wrap

multiple of 11 plus 4  (I cast on 59)

R1, R3 (WS) : K1 YO P2TOG K1 P7 * K1 YO P2TOG K1

R2: K1 YO P2TOG K1 * K1 YO SSK K1 K2TOG YO K2 YO P2TOG K1

R4: K1 YO P2TOG K1 * K2 YO SSKP YO K3 YO P2TOG K1

SSKP = slip two stitches as if to knit, K1, pass the two slipped stitches over

The Little Arrowhead has only two pattern rows and the differences between them are small.  I inserted some faggotting between each repeat and that adds a tiny bit to the complexity because now you can’t just mindlessly purl the Wrong Side rows.

Faggoting is a 1-row pattern, so you do the same thing on both the RS and WS.   It’s nice to use if you want to add or strengthen a vertical line in your design or if you want to add some airiness to your lace.  As mentioned before, I also think it makes a nice side border.  It’s easy to see the 4-stitch faggotting pattern in the Wrong Side rows (just ignore the P7!).  When you knit a YO K2TOG and then turn the knitting around, it looks reversed.  So if you knit a YO K2TOG on the back, you automatically balance the biasing.  Simple and elegant!  There’s lots of variation in faggotting, the one I’m using does a P2TOG instead of a K2TOG.

The way I see the Little Arrowhead part of the pattern is:

R2: K1 YO [5 stitches becomes 3 stitches] YO K1

R4: K2 YO [3 stitches becomes 1 stitch] YO K2

The YO stitches add 2 to the stitch count, and the operation in the middle eats 2 stitches up so the stitch count comes even again.  In R4, a couple of stitches are “borrowed” from the center and added to the outside, which shifts the YOs toward the center.  Now, all that’s left is to come up with some stuff in the middle that uses the available stitch count to eat up 2 stitches.  In R2, it’s SSK K1 K2TOG.  In R4, it’s SSKP.  See how pretty and symmetrical these two pattern rows are?  If you’re adding YOs on one side only (in this case, the Right Side) , then you have to do that if you don’t want biasing.

I don’t know if that makes sense, but that’s how I look at lace patterns.  It not only helps me memorize the pattern but it’s really helpful when trying to figure out a mistake!

I don’t have much to illustrate this post cuz my wrap is still in progress, but I made a wrap last summer which used the same idea.  I used the “Faggotting and Beehive Lace” pattern from Barbara Walker’s first “Treasury of Knitting Patterns”.  You can click on the picture to see my Ravelry project, if you want:

Hydrangea Lace Wrap

Hydrangea Lace Wrap

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1 Response to “Looking at Lace”



  1. 1 FO: Little Arrowhead and Feather Faggotting Lace Wrap « KEFKnits Trackback on June 13, 2009 at 8:06 pm
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