WHAT is the trick to lace knitting patterns?

OK, I’m working on Ella from Knitty and I am having THE hardest time with it. The stitches and such are not out of my area of experience … I think I just keep getting distracted and momentarily lose my spot and pick up again in the wrong place. I’m keeping track of where I am in the pattern row by row by highlighting completed rows … sigh

Any lace knitters with mad skills want to share some advice? I’m using a DK weight yarn.

When I do a lace chart, I use post-it notes to keep track. I put them right above the line I’m working on so I’m not distracted by the row above and I can see if I’m putting the right stitch in the stitch from below.

Have you been using a lifeline? I find for a totally lace pattern, it’s invaluable. Just thread a different colored piece of yarn, or embroidery thread, or dental floss, through a row of stitches where you know the pattern is correct up to that point. Just put it through the loops that are on the needle. Then, after each repeat, or whenever you feel the need, you can put in another one. This way, if you do find you’ve messed up, you can just frog out the knitting down to the life line, reinsert your needle and resume from there.

What a cool idea!!! I never thought of that… i keep counting and counting and counting lol… gonna do that the next time!!! :thumbsup:

Oh yeah…lifelines save the day in lace knitting :smiley:

I don’t know if this will help, but with some patterns that have lots of repeats, I use a marker between each repeat. That way if I get distracted in the middle of a row, I know where I am within just a very few stitches.
I just looked at your pattern - it’s beautiful! - and this may not help. But I’ll post anyway, it may on some other project.

Well, I ended-up frogging the whole durn thing last night AGAIN. :wall:

I WILL use a lifeline next time, I WILL! :lol:

:wall: :wall: :wall: :doh: oh boy that hurts!

Good luck next time… take some concentration vitamins! :smiley:

OUCH…I feel your :frog: pain!!

I was so upset with myself last night after I frogged that entire thing again that I cast-on another pattern with the MIL yarn. I really liked how Christy’s Ripple Shawl was knitting up, and decided to go for it for MIL’s gift. This is the THIRD pattern I’ve attempted for this MIL project … first it was the Clapotis, but I didn’t like the way it looked, then the Ella, now the pseudo-feather n fan pattern. It’s a REALLY SIMPLE four row repeat … probably help me get my knitterly confidence back so I can attempt a more complicated lace pattern (with a LIFELINE) after this.

oh lord that is such a great emoticon!
i feel you.
i have a similar thread going on in the forum.
i ended up starting over AGAIN last night.
this is my 8th time starting this project and if i don’t use a lifeline this time i deserve to be shot.


Either a padded cell or your very own desert island with no distractions!

Sorry - I do sympathise with the problem of the tedious counting and losing your place with the repeats.

I had exactly the SAME PROBLEM following a lace pattern and scoured everywhere trying to find markers to put on the LEFT needle - I realised that it would help no end if I could mark the repeats FIRST - get alot of the counting done and then could relax and just concentrate on the tension.

I couldn’t find anything on the market to fit the bill, so after ALOT of time and hard work, I believe I’ve found the solution. I’ve made a hook to fit the needle and launched a website: countonknit.com.

If you would care to contact me, I’ll send you a complimentary set of hooks and see if that will get rid of the frog!

Limey :doh:

Oh my gosh, I just looked at that ‘Ella’ pattern and it has SO MANY INSTRUCTIONS!!! :shock: :shock: Wow, I don’t know if I’d even be able to attempt it!

Was that your first attempt at lace? If so, I’d say maybe start with something a lot more basic until you get the hang of it.

I definitely know how you feel! I am feeling in a rut with my bag pattern. The stitchs are SO easy, but I am easily distracted or zoned. Lifelines do wonders, unless you count those stitches wrong too…like i did.

My DH loves when I knit lace, because I dont talk when I have to concentrate!

I knit two lace scarves and the first was easy but the second time around I kept loosing my place just like you! :frowning:

Then it was suggested that I use a magnetic board which I had from my “counted cross stitch days” and that HELPS me a lot!! Give it a try. :XX: :XX:

Getting a magnetic board and large magnet is saving me while I’m working on Knitty’s Reid. I frogged the back twice because I kept making mistakes (it’s my first lace project).

Having the board keeps your pattern handy (especially if you’re like me and have cats who love to jump onto papers). A large magnet keeps the pattern in place and also covers up the part of the pattern you’re not working on, so you don’t get off track.

People have also recommended color-coding the pattern. And lifelines are a necessity! A tip I just read is to use a light-colored yarn for the lifeline so it doesn’t leave any colored fibers in your work after you pull it out (if your project is a light color).

Good luck! :smiley:

I’m not a ‘gourmet’ knitting like some here, I work at a fabric store and am using mostly Red Heart/TLC line as well as Lion and Bernat.
I decided to try out a diamond shawl pattern I saw at the Lion yarn site. They worked it up in Homespun, which is great yarn, but I have some gorgeous multi Red Heart yarn I wanted to do something with.

I am having similar counting issues with that and my problem was interruptions. I got a paperclip and put it on the side of the paper pointing to the row I was on. I then got a blank piece of paper and used the clip to hold it in place under the row I was on.
I had the problem of looking down one row.

I also have a large diamond pattern baby blanket on the needles (totally different pattern) that is simple knit/purl combinations.
I usually have to rip out some of the row I’m currently working on because I get distracted or zone out (hehe) and realize I screwed up the count later on in the row.

True lace for me is going to have to wait down the line for a while until certain household distractions aren’t around.
(19 month old granddaughter)

The magnet board is such a good idea! Where do you get them?

What I do is print out the pattern in excel, so I can check off each repeat/row as I go along.
Then so I don’t lose my place on that row, I keep a small pencil (it’s one of those tiny Ikea ones) on my exact place. Then I use lifelines so if the pencil moves :doh: I can rip back. Obviously a magnet would be a lot more secure!