This week I’ve released a free infinity scarf pattern, Encercle!

Perfect for beginners who want to try lace knitting, this easy pattern is a great way to get familiar with the basics stitches used in lace. It’s also a great stash buster, a win-win in my book. 😉

Not sure about how to make these stitches? Don’t worry, that’s what this week’s How-To is all about! So get your needles out and let’s learn the basics stitches used in lace knitting.

How-To - Basics of lace-title

Lace often looks very intricate when it’s in fact only composed of a few simple stitches. The way these stitches are arranged is what creates the motif.

For exemple to knit Encercle, you only need to know how to make two decreases and yarn overs.

Interested in learning how to create these stitches? Let’s start with the yarn over!

Often made by error by beginner knitters, it’s very frustrating to find a hole in the middle of a stockinette stitch fabric. But when knitting lace, holes are made on purpose! On a knitting chart, they are usually represented by an O, visually showing a hole in the chart.

To create a yarn over, simply bring the yarn over your needle and continue knitting. When you reach them on the wrong side, work it as you would any other stitch and you’re done. So easy! 🙂

HowTo Basics of Lace - Yarn over 14

To balance all the extra stitches created by the yarn overs, two different decreases can be made.

First the “knit two together” or k2tog. This easy stitche creates a right leaning decrease and is often represented on a chart by a /.

For this, you’ll want to knit two stitches together exactly the way you would a single one.

HowTo Basics of Lace k2tog 01

HowTo Basics of Lace k2tog 02

HowTo Basics of Lace k2tog 03

HowTo Basics of Lace k2tog 04

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See how the stitch made is leaning to the right? That’s a k2tog.

HowTo Basics of Lace k2tog 06

The “ssk” or “slip, slip, knit” is a left leaning decrease. In a chart, you can spot them by looking for this symbol: \ . The only thing to be careful is to not confuse it with the / of the k2tog!

To make a ssk, slip two stitches one after the other as if to knit.

HowTo Basics of Lace ssk 07

HowTo Basics of Lace ssk 08

HowTo Basics of Lace ssk 09

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Then insert the tip of left needle from left to right into the fronts of these two slipped stitches and knit them together.

HowTo Basics of Lace ssk 11

HowTo Basics of Lace ssk 12

HowTo Basics of Lace ssk 13

That’s it, you’ve created a left leaning decrease.

Using these three stitches you can already knit a lot of simple lace patterns that will look very complexe and chic to the non-knitter eye! Encercle is one of many simple beginners pattern that you can download for free and practice your new lace skills with.

Hope you’ll enjoy giving lace a try this week-end! Let me know what you thought about this How-To and see you next week for a new technique.