When you’re looking at a lace pattern and seeing if you want to knit it, first check these two things:
- Is it knitted (a) flat or (b) in the round?
- Does it have (a) written directions or (b) charted directions?
Also check for yarn thickness and amount. Does it use:
- (a) thick yarn or (b) thin yarn?
- (a) just a little bit of yarn or (b) a lot of yarn?
The more “a” answers you have, the easier the lace pattern.
Therefore, the easiest lace patterns:
- are knitted flat
- have written directions
- use thick yarn
- use not very much yarn
“Poplar” lace dishcloth by Julia Stanfield – A very easy lace pattern
By contrast, the hardest lace patterns:
- are knitted in the round
- have charted directions
- use thin yarn
- use a lot of yarn
Morgenrot pattern by Herbert Niebling – a difficult charted pattern knitted in the round
Not to fear! Easy or hard, I’m going to teach you how to do every kind of lace project in my upcoming class, Effortless Lace.
Over the next few blog posts, you’ll learn about these characteristics in more detail. I’ll also be giving you my recommendations (with beautiful graphics) for great lace patterns to knit at every difficulty level.
Update: Charts aren’t hard!
Update: Lots of knitters replied to today’s post in disagreement about charted knitting patterns being hard.
Thank you for your comments! To clarify, I love charts and think they are the absolute best kind of pattern for lace.
However, easy patterns don’t usually need charts. The lack of a chart often means that a pattern is easy and therefore good for beginners.
Lace patterns that are intermediate or advanced absolutely require a chart.
So the presence of a chart can mean that the pattern itself is complex enough to warrant one.
Charts are great – they make difficult patterns easy to understand. However, if you don’t know how to read a lace chart, the pattern, no matter how easy it is, will be quite difficult for you. You’ll need to learn to read a chart before you can knit it.
This is like learning to drive a car before you can take a road trip. It’s totally worth it.
I hope this helps clear up my views on charts! I always welcome your comments and questions.