Working Increases into a Lace Pattern

Greetings, all!  Things are getting back to some semblance of normal here, which means not only fewer boxen lurking about, but more time to knit…

We'll catch up with my progress on the Bolero from Feminine Knits and the Star Light, Star Bright baby blanket next week. But for now…more lace fun!



Last week, I started a little mini-series on Shaping in Lace Patterns, giving you Part 1: Wee Lace Primer and Part 2: Stockinette Side Panels.

This week, we're going to up the ante: Instead of just working new stitches in stockinette, we're going to slowly incorporate the increases into the lace pattern, so that at the end of the swatch, we end up with an all-over lace pattern instead of a single vertical lace panel.

If you have time and some spare yarn, it might be really helpful for you to "knit along" with the examples given below…

Sample lace pattern

As our sample pattern, I've been using a very simple lace pattern, given here in both text and chart form (for help in reading charts, go here):

Screamingly Simple Lace
Multiple of 6 + 2
Note: Work first and last stitch of every row in garter stitch (knit all sts).
Row 1 and all odd-numbered rows: (WS) K1, purl to last st, k1.
Row 2: (RS) K1, *k1, yo, k2tog, ssk, yo, k1; rep from * to last st, k1.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for pattern.


Part 3: Working Increases into Your Lace Pattern

1. Divide and conquer: Examine a single repeat of the lace pattern. Divide the repeat into equal (or nearly equal) smaller segments so that each segment contains a single yarnover/decrease pair and a few surrounding stitches. You will use these segments as "building blocks" for gradually working new stitches into the overall lace repeat. This means that every time you add a stitch, you will be wrangling only a single "building block" segment, instead of trying to wrangle the entire pattern repeat. ("Making your life easier, one yarnover pair at a time.")

In the Screamingly Simple Lace Pattern, there are two yarnover/decrease pairs in a single repeat: [yo, k2tog] (stitches 3 and 4) and [ssk, yo] (stitches 5 and 6). 
If I divide the repeat down the middle between the two pairs, between stitches 4 and 5, I can create two equal building block segments:

The blue is Segment A (stitches 2-4), and the green is Segment B (stitches 5-7).


2. Increasing: Adding more and more stitches

Here's an imaginary pattern for a gradually increasing swatch (it ends up looking like a mini-sleeve):

CO 8 sts.
Rows 1 and 2: Knit.
Rows 3-9: Work Rows 1 and 2 of Screamingly Simple Lace three times, then work Row 1 once more so that you end with a WS row.
Row 10: (RS) Working rem of sts in patt, increase one stitch at each end of needle.
Row 11: (WS) K1, purl to last st, k1.





Whoa. What are we going to do with the new sts on Row 12?

The new sts we have added are the "seeds" of new segments, so let's draw in the ghost segments (lighter colors, not in bordered boxes):

NOTE: Be sure to add the correct segment on either side of the original repeat! You are working in half-repeats, essentially, so they alternate: blue green blue green blue green. Two blue segments (or two greens) are never side-by-side, if that helps.

What to do with the new stitches? Since we only have one new st for each new ghost segment (stitch #4 for the new green segment and stitch #11 for the new blue segment), we just work those in St st.



Now it's time for the next part of the swatch and the next increase row:

Row 12: (RS): K1 (garter border), k1 (new st), (6-st simple lace repeat), k1 (new st), k1 (garter border).
Rows 13 and 15: (WS) K1, purl to last st, k1.
Row 14: (RS) Working rem of sts as established, increase one stitch at each end of needle.

What to do with the new stitches: We still don't have enough new sts on each side to form a complete segment, so we work the new sts (#3 and # 12) in St st:

Row 16: (RS): K1 (garter border), k2 (2 new sts), (6-st simple lace repeat), k2 (2 new sts), k1 (garter border).









If we work four more rows, including one more increase row, then we will have enough sts to work one new segment at each side of the needle–or HALF A PATTERN REPEAT on each end: stitches 2-4 and stitches 11-13.

If we continue as above, it will take three more increase rows (12 more rows overall) to complete a full pattern repeat on each side, ending up with a full three repeats across.



Clear as mud, eh? Then let's do the decreasing next time.



Knit with joy,

– Sandi

Next week: We'll do decreasing, and I'll answer any questions you leave in the comments!

P.S. Let me know what you think! You can leave a comment below or even email me at [email protected].

All charts created with KnitVisualizer software from

One Comment

  1. Jacinta B at 3:18 pm August 31, 2017

    Fabulous! And just what I’ve been searching for Thank you!

Post a Comment