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Lace Knitting: As Easy As Making A Paper Snowflake

Blog » Lace » Lace Knitting: As Easy As Making A Paper Snowflake

Lace Knitting: As Easy As Making A Paper Snowflake

Liat Gat - Founder

April 10, 2015

Lace knitting is all about strategically placing holes in your knitting, just as when you cut holes in paper to make a paper snowflake. In knitting, make a hole by doing a yarnover (YO) increase, then add in a knit-two-together (k2tog) decrease to get your knitting back to the original number of stitches.

Little girl holding up paper snowflake and smilingDo you remember the first time you made a paper snowflake as a kid?

You carefully folded crisp paper into quarters or, if you were a veteran at making snowflakes, a pie-shape.

You grabbed your tiny scissors and cut holes all along the edges of the paper.

Looking at the folded-up mess, you wondered how it could possibly come out looking beautiful.

But then you delicately unfolded the paper and… Magic! A dainty, symmetrical snowflake, made completely by you.

Lace knitting is just like making a paper snowflake.

You carefully follow a pattern, never being sure how it will look until the very end. When you finally bind off and hold your knitting up to the light… breathtaking.

Creating Stunning Lace Designs With Carefully-Placed Holes

In lace knitting, you make the design appear by putting holes in your work, just like cutting holes out of paper to make a snowflake.

Of course, in lace knitting, you don’t knit a piece of fabric and then cut out holes afterwards. Instead, you create the holes as you knit.

Doing a simple movement called a yarnover makes a hole appear in your knitting. If you do it by accident, it can make a mess. But if you follow a pattern, you will make sheer and shapely contours that remind you of leaves, flowers, and, yes – snowflakes.

Herbert Niebling’s Lyra (above) is a perfect example of the stunning projects you can make with lace.

Learn Lace Knitting with KnitFreedom

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to learn lace knitting, you don’t have to wait any longer.

Keep an eye on KnitFreedom over the next few weeks and get ready to learn…

  • How to choose knitting needles for lace knitting
  • How to do basic lace stitches and read a basic lace pattern
  • Why you should be blocking everything you knit
  • How to fix mistakes on lace knitting – for beginners
  • How to put in and use a lifeline in case of emergencies
  • How to buy the right yarn for your lace project
  • How to find lace projects on ravelry that are perfect for you

"Serene Dreams" by Boo KnitsPost your questions about lace knitting in the comments section of any of my blog posts.

I’ll do my best to answer here or in my brand spanking new video knitting class…

Effortless Lace: a Foolproof Guide to Lace Knitting for Beginner and Intermediate Knitters (coming soon!)

Comment on this Post

How many times have you said to yourself, “Someday I’m going to learn to knit lace?” What’s holding you back? Comment below and let me know!

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42 thoughts on “Lace Knitting: As Easy As Making A Paper Snowflake”

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  1. OMG, I almost bought that Lyra pattern yesterday. Maybe I really should now! But what am I to *do* with a pi shawl?

    1. I know just what you mean Ruth. I have always wanted to *do* a pi shawl and frame it, or perhaps use it as a tablecloth. (I visualize high tea and white wicker). Have you taken a look at the ones on Ravelry?

  2. Elizabeth Creith

    I learned to knit lace in 1987 when I was in bed with a fever. My rationale was “I don’t understand how this could possibly work, but right now I’m not sure how a teacup works, so what better time to try? I’ll just do what the pattern says and hope for the best.”

    Surprise, it worked!

  3. I’m looking forward to this series on lace knitting. I already know how, but am very interested in how to chose patterns. I’m fond of log-repeat gradient yarns, such as those found on “Twisted Fiber Art,” and would like to learn what kind of patterns are best for this type of yarn.

  4. I would love to know how to manage increases and decreases in garments where you knit in lace pattern eg through the armholes. Not all garment patterns chart their rows and unhelpfully they just tell you to remain in pattern while decreasing!
    Does your class cover the lace in this respect?
    Sue x

    1. Hello Sue,

      I am making note of your questions, and will certainly try to address them. The best thing about this course is that each week we will have an interactive video class where you can ask questions and make comments.

  5. I’ve done lace knitting with some success, but please teach us the best kind of yarn to use for lace knitted projects. I’ve used some yarns that I thought would look great, but then you can’t see the pattern and all the hard work! Thanks! -Ami

  6. Lace really intimidates me. One mistake and I end up ripping everything out and starting over. I’ve given up on lace, but if you will show us how to read the charts and fix mistakes, then I will give it another try.
    I do like your videos. I learned how to knit socks with the help of your videos.
    This blog post just sucked me in…I hate giving up on things. Maybe with your help I can master lace.
    Keep me posted when your video comes out.
    Looking forward to learning and gaining confidence with working lace.

  7. I knit a lace shawl years ago, used instructions for a mananita shawl from Meg Swanson. It took months, several start-overs, but I finished it and felt like it should be framed as an heirloom ;-). The problem was not Ms Swanson’s directions, solely my lack of skills. I am very excited you are presenting a class because I know it will provide the kind of instructions that will enable me to improve my knitting and stop avoiding lace knitting. You are an awesome teacher. I’ve learned so much from your other classes. Thanks for what you do.

  8. Liat what a wonderful analogy you made comparing making paper snowflakes to lace knitting. You have a fantastic way with words to describe knitting in simpler terms without making us mere mortals feel stupid, thank you. I have always wanted to ‘have a go’ but, apart from the odd bit of lacy knitting on baby tops and booties etc. I haven’t challenged myself to do anything on a larger scale, so now maybe the time with your help.

  9. Really looking forward to your videos and instructions on knitting lace. There’s been a couple projects I’ve tried on my own and gave up in frustration. I too have a difficult time in fixing my errors when there’s a pattern. I’ve been following your instructions from “knitting superstar” and so far each project has worked out wonderfully. I really appreciate the effort you’ve made to make these videos available to us. There worth every penny.

    1. Hi Kathy, I am really excited, and I will be announcing dates in a couple of weeks. Don’t worry, we will be working on fixing mistakes. By the end of the course you will be a pro!

  10. Oops i wanted to post picture of lace knit project I did for my Mom, but it did not come over. And like my computer skills my lace knitting skills are sadly lacking. Had to rip out the sweater back 5 times as the pattern repeat would never line up right. After much struggling I did get it finished, but it took all summer. Really hoping your class can help this knitting klutz.

    1. Nancy, please try to send again. I would love to see your project. The lace course is going to be interactive, so each week you will be able to ask questions. By the end of the class you won’t be a klutz anymore.

  11. I am trying to find your blog, but don’t know how? Help, please. I am now trying socks with little sock yarn, it’s hard for my old fingers to do, but I’m working on it. Look forward to the lace lessons. You are the best of all the teachers….because you don’t rush with your instructions. Love it !!!

  12. Joan Lichtenstein

    I’ve done a little lace knitting. I made edging for a top sheet and pillow cases. I chose a very simple pattern, but I still messed up and had to start over many times as I did not know how to recover it. I also used crochet thread, which worked great – until it was time to wash it, and then it bled. (great! Creme colored sheets and burgundy lace…) I am so looking forward to learning how to recover a “boo-boo,” and what the best fibers are for various projects (knitting with cotton thread was a treat- not!). Can you also suggest ways to make sure the lace will be colorfast, and if not, how to set the color?

    1. Hi Joan

      We will be tackling “boo-boo’s” and discussing how to choose the “right” yarn. If you have other questions we will have an interactive video class each week where you can ask them!

  13. Patricia Kilbourn

    I am finally doing lace knitting after years of thinking it was too hard. Then I figured if can finally knit socks, I should be able to do lace.
    Finally broke down and shelled out the money for the interchangeable Addi lace short tips. Been knitting with them all afternoon. What a difference. they make!

    1. Patricia, I am notoriously picky about my needles. The point has to be just long enough, and tapered enough. I have to love how they feel in my hands. I am happy to hear that you found your perfect pair.

  14. If this course is as good as your others you’ll make lace knitting a snap. I’ve done a little so I know it’s not. I hope you release this new course soon. Aloha… Bev

  15. You have no idea what perfect timing for this amazing course. I have every other course from you already and I have been wanting to break into lace for so long. My dear sweet mother loves the Victorian side of things and I wanted to knit her a lace bed runner for Christmas, with your help now I can. Tears of joy! Thank you Liat.

    By the way, I love your mosaic course, it is so much fun!

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