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Lace can be intimidating to the knitter who’s never tried it, or whose last lace knitting was a while ago. It’s almost like the visceral fear many people have at the sight of a snake or a big bug—a knitter feels extremely anxious about all those holes. Our reptile brain screams HOLES BAD! BAD HOLES!

The fact remains that in lace, holes are not only allowed, but encouraged, and most importantly: holes are safe. We can make holes in our knitting and live to tell the tale (and wear the beautiful lace).

Today we supplement Jen Arnall-Culliford’s Little Lessons on lace with a few more of Jen’s videos from the archives.  These will stand you in good stead, so bookmark them now, before you get a case of the trembles.

The Yarnover

The absolute, essential technique for making lace: the yarnover. A world of beautiful knitting comes from understanding this single, simple maneuver.

The Yarnover That You Forgot

Sometimes, you simply forget to make a yarn over. It’s the most common error in lace knitting—and it’s easy to fix. Seriously, a game changer.

Throw Yourself a Lifeline

Sometimes you just need to get back to the place where it was all working right. A lifeline lets you undo a messy patch of lace with confidence.

Markers Are a Knitter’s Best Friend

Keep track of any pattern that repeats across a row—stitch markers will keep you on track, especially when knitting lace.

P.S. On team MDK, Cristina is whipping up a Lichen and Lace Superwash Worsted Clerestory Shawl in Pressed Flowers.

matching markers and speckles, check!

This Could Come in Handy

Here’s how to save this article in your MDK account with one click.

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  • Yes, markers all day long!!!!

  • Can’t seem to make your clip and save instructions work on my iphonehelp

    • How do you stay logged in? I can’t ever figure out how to log in to begin with? Help

    • Make sure you are logged into your MDK account – seems that even without trying we get logged out every so often. Then the bookmark icon under the picture on the right should be available and do the trick!

  • Just think, making holes, the absence of solid stitches, creates a beautiful garment by letting in the light. Reminds me of a quote from Leonard Cohen:

    “Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

    • Have always loved that Leonard Cohen quote. Fits perfectly here. Thank you!

  • Gave up on lace awhile ago after several successful but seriously tedious projects, but with all your recent info and tutorials, makes me want to try it again!

  • These videos are excellent, elegant, and thorough. I feel better prepared to knit lace. Thank you. Susan

  • The Boost Your Knitting year, also from Jen Arnall-Culliford, had a FANTASTIC segment on fixing mistakes in lace. In a year full of super useful learning, that was a standout in making me not fear lace in the slightest.

    Blog post + video:

    It looks fiddly and complicated, but having this to fall back on if you mess up, instead of having to rip back entire rows, really helped me not be discouraged when I knit my first lace shawl.

  • I am JUST about to buy that pressed flowers yarn and it looks SO PRETTY here!!!!! 🙂

  • Not sure where to ask this question so I’ll ask it here. Unless I missed something, it looks to me the directions for ssk and ssp in the back of Open are the same. So are really doing ssk on the purl side? Any help much appreciated.

  • Their distinctive red cables indicate that Jen is using ChiaoGoo Double Pointed Needles and I am always surprised that not everyone does. I have tried every lace needle available and nothing else compares to these, particularly because the minute the needles are unpacked, the cables straighten – no muscle memory to fight. Their engineer is elegant and the transition from needle to cable is seamless.

    I know it takes all kinds and in retail sales it’s important to offer a variety, but these needles are so wonderful I now use them for everything, flat or round! And Jen’s tips are indispensible.

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