New to Knitting Lace

I’m new to knitting lace, and I’m confused. The pattern I’m reading begins with casting on 7 sts…but it seems like too few to even complete the first row in the chart! A yarn over is simply bringing the yarn to the front before knitting the next stitch, yes? So a segment of a chart that says “…yo, k, yo…” creates four stitches?

Yo k yo makes 3 sts on the R needle. If you start with 7, there’s 2 at the beg and end for the edge sts, 1 for a center st, that uses 5 sts. So you’d k2 for the edge, yo k1, yo, K1 (this is the center stitch) yo, k1, yo k2 on the edge. You knit all 7 sts, add 4 with the YOs and end up with 11 at the end of the row.

When you knit a stitch with the yarn in the front, you create an extra stitch to work on the next row.

If, for example, your pattern starts with 7 stitches, and if the directions read
k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, you would end up with 13 stitches. (I’m not implying that this is [I]your[/I] pattern, just an example of what yo’s can do to that first, short row.)

I can’t say this is the case, not having seen your pattern, but it sounds as if it’s being knitted on a bias (from corner to corner). And you’re right, yo add stitches to be worked on the next row Each yo is an added stitch next row.

It could also be what’s called a “tab cast-on.” The Aeolian and Summer Flies shawls (on Ravelry) start off this way.

DCM

The yarn over is simply bringing the yarn to the front, then?

Bring the yarn to the front and knit the next st. There’s a video for yo on the Glossary page at the top of this page.

“The yarn over is simply bringing the yarn to the front, then?”

Sort of… Bringing it to the front and doing the next stitch in the pattern will wrap it around the needle to make the YO. But I always think of a YO as a wrap around the needle, like making a knit st except the R needle isn’t inserted into a st on the L needle, rather than just bringing the yarn to the front. There are some patterns where moving the yarn forward then a slip st and knit IS NOT a YO, just a slip st with the yarn in front.