Once you’ve been bitten by the lace knitting bug, there’s no way back. Knitted lace shawls are among the most challenging and satisfying knitting projects. Lace knitting boils down to knitting decreases (and increases), especially yarn overs to form holes.
Increases For Knitting Lace: The Yarn Over
Increases can be done in both visible and (almost) invisible ways.Invisible increases include kfb (knit into front and back of stitch) and “make one” stitches (m1, m1L, m1R).
In lace knitting, one usually wants to achieve a visible increase – a hole, basically. Holes are created by yarn over (YO) stitches.
To work a yarn over, wrap the working yarn front to back around your working needle: don’t wrap the yarn around the working needle completely, it’s more a half circle. On the following row, work the yarn over stitch by purling it.
Make sure you wrap from front to back and purl like a normal purl on the following row, otherwise your yarn over might not appear as a hole but a rather invisible increase.
Knitting Decreases in Knitting Lace
Usually, one wants the total stitch count to stay constant. When working increases, your stitch count changes, obviously – the solution is to work accompanying decreases with your yarn overs.
The most common decreases are the ssk (slip, slip, knit) and k2tog (knit two stitches together) stitches. But when to use which one?
If you want to make sure your holes are opening up nicely, use either the combination “YO, ssk” or “k2tog, YO”. The decrease should lean away from the yarn over stitch!
Please let me know if this article helped you in knitting decreases (and all other lace elements) – I’d love to read your comments below!
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