Beth, Yonca, Amy at the Universal booth
With the #KnitWithBeth Lace Sampler poncho yarn sponsors Yonca and Amy of Universal Yarns!

Want to learn something new? Make a commitment to someone else that requires learning a skill. Whether you want to learn how to design your own lace poncho or learn how to do a Facebook Live video, making a commitment is a great motivator! :-)

For the last two Fridays I’ve been appearing on the Creative Knitting magazine Facebook page, leading a Facebook Live knit along of the Lace Sampler poncho in the Spring issue. I’ve learned I LOVE doing live video, that I like having both a tall and short tripod (tall for long views of garments, short for closeups/tutorials), and that to create video in landscape format you have to START with the phone/recording device held horizontally. I hope those of you have watched have learned a few things from watching, hopefully about lace knitting and designing! Many thanks to the folks at Universal Yarn for sponsoring the knit along; you can see what they are up to on their Facebook page.
I’ve put together the various links and some resources from the knit along below. I hope you find them useful. You are welcome to ask me questions here or on my Facebook page. I’ll be going live there next Monday, February 20 Friday, Feb 17th at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific with one last KAL “episode” and I think I’ve persuaded Kara to join me: see how far each of us has gotten in our Sampler!

poncho-onlyLinks to the KAL and related videos

  1. On the Creative Knitting page, Kara demos two techniques used in the Sampler’s stitch patterns.
  2. On the Power Purls Facebook page, Kara  shows some insertion patterns you could use instead of the ZigZag Trellis.
  3. And the KAL kicks off Feb 3, with me on the Creative Knitting magazine Facebook page. I went over some basics on the Lace Sampler as-is, and some considerations for designing your own. I showed some new swatches I was thinking of using for a different version of the poncho.
  4. Before the KAL on Friday the 10th, on thePower Purls’ page, Kara and I do Q and A on the KAL.
  5. And at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific: the KAL conclusion, in which I showed more swatches, including an experimental one, and made my final choices for the new version.

Design Within A Rectangle

Panels of different sizeThe poncho’s rectangle is the canvas for playing with lace stitch patterns. The Sampler has three panels, each with a different stitch pattern. As the illustration shows, I could have made the panels the same or different sizes. There’s a design choice here, though the stitch repeat of each pattern has a part to play as well. When designing, you start with an idea, knowing that as you begin to implement it may change.

Interested in designing your own version of the poncho? Download this blank chart (with a chart symbol key) and give it a try!

Stitch Patterns Side by Side

If stitch patterns that sit side by side don’t have the same row repeat, it can be difficult to keep track of the row you are on for each pattern. When they have a common multiple, it can be a little easier to track. When working the final row of the largest repeat, you are also working a final row of smaller repeats. Put a marker in that final row, and count from it when checking where you are in smaller repeats. Move the marker up every time you finish one repeating the larger pattern.chart_row-reps-common

Sometimes the visual appeal of a stitch pattern is so great, it’s worth the pain of row repeats that don’t match up, or match up after many rows. Put a marker in the first or last row of each stitch pattern, moving it up as you complete a repeat.



A gallery of some of the stitch patterns under consideration for the Lace Sampler variation. All the swatches were 32 pattern rows between garter stitch borders. Seeing a photo of a pattern knit up is just not the same as seeing it appear on your needles!

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Playing with Swatches

Once you have a bunch of swatches you like, you can play with ways to arrange them. You can see not only if the arrangement works from a design perspective, but from an implementation perspective (Arrow does NOT look like it would work with Mira and Flowing Lace!).

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Final Swatching

You select your stitch patterns, do the stitch repeat math, and select edge stitch and insertion patterns. And then you test it with another swatch. Sometimes it works, and sometimes… not. This insertion pattern doesn’t work well with these stitch patterns. Back to the drawing board.



Fingers crossed the choices I made on the 10th work!

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