Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jan. 09 Program: Fan Lace by Mar Heck

There are a variety of beautiful lace patterns you can create using your knitting machine, one of which is the appropriately coined Fan Lace. Don't worry about the machine you use - Fan Lace is easy to knit on standard, mid-gauge, and bulky machines! Also, be open to yarn choices - variegated, chenille, and other fancy yarns will create beautiful finished work.

This particular scarf was knit on a mid-gauge machine using Schuss Plus at tension 5.

A lot of blocking went into the finished piece so that it would maintain its shape. Try out higher tensions which may create less pulling between the stitches to eliminate some of the bunching. As always, work up some different tension swatches until you are happy before embarking on your finished piece.

This 11" wide scarf was worked in 6 repeats (+3N). The finished length is approximately 50" - perfect for wrapping around your neck a couple of times! To create a shawl, simply increase the number or stitches as well as the number of rows.

So, let's knit some Fan Lace!!

Cast on a multiple of 9 (+3) stitches so that you have 3 plain stitches on each end. The needle set up is 3sts in work, 6sts out of work across the desired number of sts, ending with 3 sts in work.


O: Needle out of work
I: Needle in working position

To create a nice edge, by hand, single crochet 3 rows of the appropriate number of stitches to correspond to the width of your work. Hang the hand crocheted work at each of the 3 working needle positions, skipping 6 sts, per your needle set up.

Hang claw weights under the working needles.

The pattern is worked in a two-trip-across-the-bed sequence.


Working R to L, set machine to Hold. 1st corner (knit just once at the beginning and once at the end of the scarf) Put all N in hold, except first 3 sts on R side. Knit Left, wrap 1st needle of those in hold, Knit Right. Repeat, 6 rows total across the 3 sts. Put next group of 3 sts in work. Knit Left, wrap 1st needle of those in hold, put 1st 3 N on right in hold. Knit Right and wrap end needle in hold. KWKW a total of 6 rows. Continue across the bed. When you reach the left corner, only wrap the N on the right. KWK a total of 12 rows (12 rows as 6 rows represent row 1, working right to left, and 6 rows represent row 2, working left to right).


Knit left to right, repeating the KWKW sequence, moving needles in and out of work in the same manner as Trip 1, but form left to right.

Throughout the scarf, take care to knit 12 rows at both edges (3 sts).

When you reach the end of your scarf, remember to knit across the last 3 sts only 6 times (NOT 12) and cast off using waste yarn and hand single crochet 3 rows (picking up the 3 stitch sections) to re-create the look of the cast-on edge.

Instead of using the row counter, you will likely find it easier to count in your head, or out loud.

Here's a a great interpretation of the Fan Lace pattern using a standard gauge machine with Brown Sheep Nature Spun 100% wool. Instead of a scarf, create a button closure cowl neck. For some extra pizazz, try your hand at hand-painting as Mar has done!

Certainly the extra effort will increase the time you spend on your garment, but be sure to plan everything out before you dive into the actual project. Be sure to make machine knitted swatches in your actual yarn to determine stitch gauge and to decide which patterns work well together. Label your swatches, as you will likely want to return to them for a later project.

Use your sense of adventure and try several techniques within the same garment! The extra time you spend will make you garment very special and unique!!

An extra THANK YOU to Cheryl at Loops in String! This Fan Lace technique was created as an interpretation of her great Dec.08 video tutorial.

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