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5 lace knitting mistakes and how to avoid them from Pattern DuchessWhen I first started learning knitting lace I made all mistakes imaginable. I wanted to learn by myself you see. And there were no instruction books or knitting magazines, no one new about markers or lifelines and Ā knitting class was only a dream (if it wasn’t on a school curriculum then you’re not supposed to learn this).

I only had this old book and there were only charts.

As you can see I've used it...a lot...

As you can see I’ve used it…a lot…


Of course, now I’m super glad that I can knit according to charts, but then, for a 9 year old , it’s a challenge.

Nothing can hold you back, if you have will-power. And I had a lot of it. After all, I wanted my Granny to be proud of me šŸ™‚

I memorized the symbols and started. Oh it was blood and tears (OK, not actual blood, otherwise I would be fainting all the time). I made so many mistakes (I mean – how many times can you lose a yarn over exactly? I have an answer – endless times of course).

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I want you to have easier life then I had. I thought about all the mistakes I made and all the emails with questions I get and basically – they are all the same. So I made a list for you:

5 common lace knitting mistakes and how to avoid them

And how to fix them too.

Mistake #1: loosing your “yarn over”s

We all know the feeling when you realize that you have wrong number of stitches. In this case you’re short on stitches. Well…that sucks…

How to prevent it?

Count your stitches between holes (aka yarn overs). I recommend doing this when you purl back on wrong side – this way you can correct your mistakeĀ (mistake #4 would be special interest to you).

So you found a place where should be a “yarn over”. With your right hand needle,Ā lift yarn between stitches (from back to front) and slip it onto left hand needle. Purl.

fixing mistakes in lace knitting - yarn over step 1fixing mistakes in lace knitting - yarn over step 2

Mistake #2: forgetting to decrease

Almost the same as before, but now you have more stitches then you need. If we talk about money then it’s fantastic if you have more then you need, but in lace knitting – not really…insert your favorite curse word here

How to prevent it?

Hmm, don’t watch TV while you knit?Ā Seriously though, you can prevent it with more carefulness. I’m the one to tell right šŸ™‚

So, you started to purl back your wrong side row and you noticed that you have two knit stitches that should have been “knit 2 together”. No worries. Turn your work and put those stitches on left hand needle. Pick up (with right hand needle) those two knit stitches from last row. Remove left hand needle and pull out the yarn. Knit these two together with that same yarn you just pulled out. Done! You can now turn your work and continue with your wrong side row.

fixing mistakes in lace knitting - k2tog step 2fixing mistakes in lace knitting - k2tog step 3fixing mistakes in lace knitting - k2tog step 4fixing mistakes in lace knittingfixing mistakes in lace knitting

Mistake #3: messing up pattern repeats

This one is worse! You’re happily knitting away, dreaming about your finished garment (or about your spring garden…) and BANG – there’s something wrong with your lace pattern. Can’t really be sure what, but something is way off. After half an hour staring contest you realize that you have messed up your pattern repeats. !#Ā¤%!#%&! Now this is inconvenient…

How to prevent it?

Well, you shouldn’t be dreaming in the first place when you’re working with the lace. Now we’re gonna sigh, take a deep breath and … start ro rip. You can take back your stitches one by one or you can pull out the needle and seriously frog it – it depends on how long did you manage to happily yet very wrongly knit (mistake #5 is something you may be interested at this point).

Save Our Stitches: Fixing Lace Knitting Mistakes

Mistake #4: wrong stitch count

This is a root of all evil – not knowing how to count your stitches properly. Usually there’s something like counting “k2tog” as two stitches and “yarn over” as 1 or counting “k2tog” as one stitch and not counting “yarn over” at all. Don’t be sad – I made this mistake too.

How to prevent it?

“k2tog” counts as oneĀ stitch, “yarn over” counts as one stitch, “ssk” counts as one stitch … and so on… It’s actually easy.

Mistake #5: not using helpful tools

Now this one is a queen of mistakes and I make it all the time. Because I’m lazy and stubborn and unorganized (read: I don’t know where I put my markers and stuff and I want to knit ASAP, not to look for my things).

There are two essential things that make your life easier and help tremendously – markers and lifelines.

  • Markers help you to count your stitches and find mistakes sooner. It’s important to use them to separate pattern repeats. And while I’m giving you pointers – use the safety pin types of markers (like theseĀ – I know these are stitch holders, but I love to use them as markers), this way you actually see where they are.
  • Lifelines make your frogging way more convenient and quicker. Put lifeline in every time you start with new pattern repeat. This way when you have to frog a lot (like mistake #3) you can easily pick up your stitches and start your pattern repeat again. Most recommended lifelines are cotton yarn, dental floss and ribbon.


Now tell me, have you made these mistakes? Or maybe you have somethingĀ to add?

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