How To...

Published on March 18th, 2015 | by Amy Kaspar


Easy summer lace stitch

Amy’s step by step instructions for this sweet summer lace stitch will have you racing for your needles!  Try it today!

A beginner's guide to lace knitting - LoveKnitting blog

Are you new to lace? Or maybe you are like me…there is always a lace project on the needles somewhere. Here is a lacy stitch pattern that is easy enough to memorize after a few rows, and it is good for practice as a scarf, or for being creative enough to make market bags and shawls.

First, here is how to do it as a triangle shawl or kerchief; you can go as long as you like, with any weight yarn, and you will want to knit with needles two to three sizes larger than the yarn would like so the lacy holes will block nicely. First thing is first:  set up a triangle shawl. Click here to learn how to do it, if you have never done it before. Then, start your pattern. You should have nine stitches when you start:

  • Row 1:  K3, yo, K1, yo, PM, K1, PM, yo, K1, yo, K3
  • Row 2:  K3, P to last 3 sts, K3
  • Row 3:  K3, yo, K1, *(yo, k2tog) to marker, yo, slip marker, K1, yo, *(SSK, yo) to last 4 sts, K1, yo, K3.
  • Row 4 (and all even rows):  K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.
  • Row 5:  K3, yo, *(k2tog, yo) to last st before marker, K1, yo, slip marker, yo, K1, *(yo, SSK) to last 3 sts, yo, K3.
  • Row 6:  As row 4.

Repeat Rows 3-6 for the pattern, and the piece will grow like a triangle with that center spine stitch going down the middle. Your stitch count will increase by four on every odd-numbered row. The effect is this ripply, lacy stitch pattern which is strong enough to hold some wear and tear, since the yarnovers are displaced by one stitch every other row.

Easy summer lace stitch - LoveKnitting blog

“PM” means “place marker,” so you can find what’s called the center spine stitch. If necessary, you can also place a marker after the first three stitches, and before the last three stitches, in every row. Just make sure you slide the markers from one needle to the other instead of knitting them into your fabric (not that I have ever done that or anything…).

“K2tog” means to knit the next two stitches on the left needle together, as if they were one stitch. Every time you yarnover, you are adding a stitch. Knitting two together keeps your stitch count consistent.

Easy summer lace stitch - LoveKnitting blog

“SSK” means to slip, slip, knit; slip the next two stitches on the left needle as if to knit, one at a time. Then, insert your left needle into the stitches from right to left, and knit them through the back loop. One stitch decreased. This balances your stitch count as well, only the decrease leans to the left instead of the right.

Easy summer lace stitch - LoveKnitting blog

If you lose your place and do not know if you just completed Row 3 or Row 5, look at your knitting. With the right side facing you, knit the three edge stitches (as you do on every row), and then look at the second stitch on the left needle. If it looks like a squiggly bunch of stitches, that means you knitted two together on the last row. You will start with K1, or Row 3.

Easy summer lace stitch - LoveKnitting blog

If you see a flat, two-tiered set of stocking stitches, that means you started your last row with K1, so you are now on Row 5. Begin with a knit two together. It will make more sense when you do it, I promise.

Easy summer lace stitch - LoveKnitting blog

Sometimes it is easier to see where you are by sliding your knitting to the middle of your circular needle, like this. Keep in mind that with the triangle construction, you are starting in the center back. That loop at the top is your cast-on tail. Seriously!

Easy summer lace stitch - LoveKnitting blog

If you screw up, rip back so that the right side is facing you; all of the stitches in the previous row will have been either knits or purls, so there will be no pesky yarnovers to pick back up.

You can knit this stitch flat, too! Cast on an odd number of stitches, with a minimum of 15 so you can see the pattern.

  • Row 1:  P all sts.
  • Row 2:  K4, *(yo, k2tog) to last 3 sts, K3.
  • Row 3:  K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.
  • Row 4:  K3, *(yo, k2tog) to last 4 sts, K4.
  • Row 5:  As row 3.

Repeat rows 2-5 for pattern. Because the stitches are generally knitted in pairs, your stitch count will stay the same throughout the pattern. If you lose your place, count the number of stitches before the first hole on the right side. If there are four stitches, then you know your last even row was Row 2. If there are three stitches before the hole, then start on Row 2 because your last right side row was Row 4.

I promise I will give you a little written pattern when I review the yarn this week, but in the meantime, you can cast on this stitch in the triangle setup to make a shawl or a head scarf. You can use it flat to make a summer scarf, stole, or even making a market bag by folding it in half and sewing up the garter-stitch sides. You can cover an old and dingy cushion with it, make a table runner, or even go crazy and make a skirt overlay, using the garter stitch edges as your waist and hem!

Or, do what I do. Start knitting and stop when you are happy. 😉

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About the Author

Amy lives in Chicago and can either be found knitting, writing about knitting, designing knitted things, or watching professional hockey while knitting. There is also a necessary cup of coffee nearby at all times, Follow her on Twitter @thefiberfriend for more yarny bits.

Last updated: March 25th, 2015.

12 Responses to Easy summer lace stitch

  1. Judy Quate says:

    thank you for offering your beautiful lace knitting pattern. I was wondering if it could be adjusted to make it into a poncho?

    • Amy Kaspar says:

      Miss Judy…amy here…I don’t want to take up all of this blog space with modifications, but here’s what I would do. Cast on enough stitches for a neckline (depending on the size of the human and the size of the yarn, this will vary). Make sure it is a multiple of 4, but each needle has an odd number of stitches (so 76 stitches would be 19 on each of four sections). Divide into these four sections, and skip the k3 edges. Knit a few garter-stitch rows to strengthen the neckline, increasing before and after the four markers on every other row, so yo, knit knit knit to marker, yo, slip marker, yo, knit knit knit to next marker, etc. When you do the pattern, the purl rows would be knit rows. Bind off when you are ready to block! If I have completely confused you, shoot me an email to and I’ll walk you through it. Or heck…do I have a test-knitter out there? I’ll write something up, send you the yarn for a test-knit, and maybe we can offer it here at LoveKnitting!

      • Vickie says:

        Amy, you have a test knitter here with me, if you’d like …. I’ve been knitting for about 50 years

  2. Faye says:

    I love the idea of a poncho in this open lace stitch. I’d be in for a KAL.

    Please? Please?? Please???

  3. Anne says:

    I’ve been looking for a lace poncho pattern. I’ll attempt to follow the pattern above. Thanks.

  4. Diane Tatum says:

    I’m thinking about using this stitch to create a string bag to take to the grocery. I have two I bought (gasp) years ago before I became a knitter, but they are giving up the ghost. Thoughts?

    • Amy Kaspar says:

      Miss Diane…Amy here…I would think if you knitted the flat, non-increase version above (that second one), you could make a panel long enough to fold in half and then sew up the side seams. You could make two i-cords and attach them at the top corners to have straps. Just an idea!

  5. Myriam says:

    I love the idea of the summer lace poncho. Maybe I’ll be patient enough to wait for a pattern… or maybe I won’t, and I’ll just follow the steps above, to see what I get.

  6. barbara says:

    Love the sweet summer lace stitch. Why am I unable to print the instructions for sweet summer lace stitch? A month or 2 ago you had instructions for a knit stitch that looked like a crochet stitch and I was unable to print that also. What am I doing wrong….thanks so much for you help. barbara

    • Amy Kaspar says:

      Miss Barbara…Amy here…if you place your cursor/arrow over any of the printed section, and you right-click your mouse, you should have an option to print. You can also highlight the entire printed section and copy it, and then paste it onto a blank document to print it that way. I hope this helps!

  7. Cheri Astrahan says:

    Since I have a Mac, I just printed this page to a pdf. Then if I want to print part of this page, I can do so at a later time. I think you could tranfer a pdf to a notebook or tablet.

    I would like to do this project as a shawl and then see how I feel about a poncho or maybe call it a cape?? or caplet??

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