Enter to win a $250 Gift Certificate to Signature Needle Arts

I’m excited to share this giveaway with you today, because Signature Needles are my absolute favorite needles. You’ve seen them in nearly every video I have made for you!

Below, you can enter to win a $250 gift certificate to Signature Needle Arts. With this gift certificate you could buy one of their luxurious gift sets and a couple single point needles!

We will notify the winner via email on Friday, 5/15 at 7am Pacific time.

To enter, take a little stroll around Signature’s website, and let us know in the comments below what you would buy if you won the gift certificate.

Click here to visit Signature Needle Arts.

I’m particularly fond of their size 9 stiletto tip. :)

Update: So sorry that we’ve had a problem with the link to the survey. Don’t worry – to enter, make sure you click “Enter” in the Rafflecopter widget, and comment below with what you would buy if you won the gift certificate. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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9 Top-Rated Lace-Knitting Projects for Beginners

Here are my top picks for the best and easiest lace patterns out there. These are perfect for beginners – it doesn’t get any easier than this.

9 Super-Easy Beginner Lace Patterns

Patterns shown above:

  1. Diagonal Scarf by Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, photo (c) Jared Flood
  2. Sheesha by Sandhya S.
  3. Poplar dishcloth by Julia Stanfield
  4. On the Road by Janina Kallio (love her!)
  5. Stella by Janina Kallio
  6. Pretty Basic by Janina Kallio
  7. Ardent by Janina Kallio
  8. Flirty by Janina Kallio
  9. Flirty by Janina Kallio

Did you notice all the great-looking easy shawls by designer Janina Kallio in the graphic above? Here’s her Ravelry designer page if you want to check out more of her work. Teaser: she may be doing a guest lesson for us in the upcoming Effortless Lace class.

Keep getting inspired by gorgeous easy projects – follow my Beginner Lace Pinterest board

Click here to follow my Pinboard for Super-Easy Beginner Lace projects. I’ll keep adding to it over the next few months as we do the lace class together, so it will be a great resource for you.

A lot of the patterns above are free so, if you like how they look, download them and look over the instructions to see if you understand them.

What makes these lace patterns great for beginners?

Poplar - Easy Lace Dishcloth by Julia Stanfield

Poplar – an easy lace dishcloth by Julia Stanfield (#3 in the graphic above)

Like I mentioned in my last post on the 4 Things that Make Lace Projects Hard or Easy, the easiest projects are ones that you knit flat. That means back and forth like a scarf or a dishcloth.

The other thing that makes a pattern easy is if the pattern is written out, like this: “K2TOG, YO, K1.”

The last thing that makes patterns easy is if they call for thicker yarn. They knit up FAST. That means they require less patience (a whole other knitting skill altogether).

If you can read easy patterns and knit back and forth, you can start to knit easy lace.

You’ll just need to understand the following basic abbreviations:

  • CO: Cast On
  • BO: Bind Off
  • K: Knit
  • P: Purl
  • YO: Yarnover, and
  • K2tog: Knit 2 Together

I’ll be talking more about the basic building blocks of lace patterns in my upcoming lace class but, for now, refer to the online video knitting dictionary to look up anything you don’t understand.

If you’re open to trying to read patterns, you are in a good position to start learning lace. But you don’t have to do it alone! I’ll be taking you through the whole process step-by-step in my upcoming class, Effortless Lace.

Coming Up Next: 11 Slightly-Harder-But-Still-Very-Easy-And-Gorgeous Projects for Lace Knitting

Posted in Lace Knitting | 2 Comments

4 Characteristics That Make A Lace Pattern Easy Or Hard

When you’re looking at a lace pattern and seeing if you want to knit it, first check these two things:

  1. Is it knitted (a) flat or (b) in the round?
  2. Does it have (a) written directions or (b) charted directions?

Also check for yarn thickness and amount. Does it use:

  1. (a) thick yarn or (b) thin yarn?
  2. (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

“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 charted pattern knitted in the round

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 understandHowever, 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.

Posted in Lace Knitting | 32 Comments

See Liat Gat Teach and Speak at the 2015 Knitters’ Guild Camp in New South Wales, Australia

Just a quick note to say that I’ll be giving workshops and the keynote speech at the New South Wales Knitters’ Guild Camp August 28-30, 2015.

poster for New South Wales Knitting Guild Camp 2015
If you are going to be in New South Wales in August, or if you know someone who is, please consider signing up and telling your friends!

I’ll be teaching a two-session “Knit Like a Superstar” class, with Magic Loop and Continental Knitting on the first day and Toe-Up, Two-at-a-Time Socks on the second day.

I’ll also be giving the keynote speach and sharing how knitting saved my life.

Click here to learn more and sign up for  NSW Knitters’ Guild Camp August 28-30 2015.

I hope to see you there!

Posted in Announcements | 2 Comments

Feast Your Eyes – 11 Gorgeous Lace Projects to Inspire You

Here are some examples of the kinds of things you will be able to knit once you learn lace with my upcoming lace class. These projects range from beginner to extremely advanced.

Graphic of 11 beautiful lace projects I recommend, from beginner to advanced

Projects Shown Above:

  1. Brittania by tincanknits (easy lace, knit in the round)
  2. Lacefield Mitts by Adrienne Krey (easy lace – knit flat)
  3. Bonny by tincanknits (knit in the round)
  4. Silvermist Bath Set by Rosemary Hill (knit in the round)
  5. Schwimmen by Shannon Cook (knit in the round)
  6. Winter’s End Cowl by Rebecca Shepler (beginner lace)
  7. Umaro blanket by Jared Flood (charted lace)
  8. Elizabeth Shawl by Dee O’Keefe (charted lace)
  9. 100 Diamonds by Sachiko Uemura (charted lace)
  10. Lyra by Herbert Niebling (advanced charted lace in the round)
  11. Stella by Janina Kallio (beginner lace)

Here’s what to expect as we ramp up for this lace class:

The next three blog posts will help you pick some good starter projects. You’ll learn:

  1. How to know if a lace project is easy or hard.
  2. How to find only the best projects on Ravelry using their advanced search. I’ll also give you my pre-made searches and Pinterest boards.
  3. My recommendations for easy, intermediate, and hard lace projects to inspire you and to fill up your Ravelry queue.

I’ll then teach you how to pick the right needles for lace.
I’ll also give you a chance to enter a giveaway for some amazing lace needles from Signature needles.

By then my new site will be ready for those of you who know you want to take my lace class, and I’ll start accepting sign ups.

For now, check out the above projects on Ravelry, add the ones you love to your queue, and pin the graphic to Pinterest. 

Post 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 next month!).

Posted in Lace Knitting | 24 Comments