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Checkerboard Lace Scarf

I love this pattern because it's made up of just basic yarn overs, knit two togethers and slip slip knits. Never will you have to purl three together through the back loop or slip one, knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over. The simple geometry of the pattern also makes it really easy to catch mistakes.

Made out of The Fibre Company's Canopy, a fingering weight yarn that is 50% baby alpaca, 30% merino and 20% bamboo, it makes a perfect spring scarf. The alpaca contributes a soft drape, while the merino adds bounce and life. The bamboo gives a subtle luster to the whole thing.

 

The Materials

  • 3 skeins of The Fibre Company's Canopy Fingering/Sport, 50% baby alpaca, 30% merino and 20% bamboo. This color is Sasparilla. (I used two and a half skeins. If you want to cast on 10 fewer stitches or make your scarf 12 inches shorter than this one, 2 skeins would be enough.)
  • US #7 needles, straight or circular. I used a 24 inch Skacel Addi Lace needle and highly recommend it. The sharp point of Addi's lace needles makes lace knitting a whole lot easier!

 

The Pattern

Gauge

5 1/4 stitches = 1 inch in the checkerboard lace pattern, unblocked

Finished Size

10 inches wide x 70 inches long, after blocking

Note

This pattern can be worked over any number of stitches that is a multiple of 10 plus 8, ie 18, 28, 38, etc.

Begin

Cast on 58 stitches.

Knit 4 rows.

Row 1 and every odd numbered row: K2, purl to last 2 stitches, k2.

Row 2: K6, *yo, ssk, k1, (k2tog, yo) 2 times, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, k2.

Row 4: K2, *k3, (yo, ssk) 2 times, k1, k2tog, yo, repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k6.

Row 6: K4, *(yo, ssk) 3 times, k4, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, yo, ssk, k2.

Row 8: K3, *(yo, ssk) 4 times, k2, repeat from * to last 5 stitches, yo, ssk, k3.

Row 10: Repeat Row 6.

Row 12: Repeat Row 4.

Row 14: Repeat Row 2.

Row 16: K2, k2tog, yo, *k4, (k2tog, yo) 3 times, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, k4.

Row 18: K3, k2tog, yo, *k2, (k2tog, yo) 4 times, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, k3.

Row 20: Repeat Row 16.

Repeat Rows 1-20 until piece measures 60 inches from the cast on edge (it will become 70 inches when you block it), ending with Row 5.

Knit 4 rows.

Bind off loosely.

Gently block your scarf and you're done!

 

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67 Responses to Checkerboard Lace Scarf


  1. Lisa says:

    Thank you so much for this scarf pattern. I just finished knitting it and need to weave in the ends. I used a cotton fingering weight yarn from KnitPicks, and it worked out beautifully. I had no problems with the pattern whatsoever, except for my own mistakes of forgetting a YO here and there and having to unravel a bit of my work. : )

    What I'm wondering is how to deal with the edges of my scarf that curl under. Will blocking using your recommended Soak help with that?

  2. purl bee says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Since this lace pattern is essentially stockinette stitch (knits on one side, purls on the other), it will have a tendency to curl into a tube. You can block the scarf flat, but it will eventually want to curl up no matter what you do. Soak, by the way, is a wonderful soap, but it has no impact on whether something lays flat or not!

    Thanks for your question and please let us know if you have any others!

    Whitney

  3. Kim says:

    Hello,

    Please could you clarify the end of this line, because I know how to do a yarn over to increase a stitch after wrapping the yarn, but the end of this line makes me think I am not doing it right -
    Row 6: K4, *(yo, ssk) 3 times, k4, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, yo, ssk, k2.
    If I have to save four stitches to do a YO (1 stitch), SSK (2 stitches), K2 (2 stitches), I need five not four stitches at the end of the row. Perhaps I am doing a YO wrong – do you mean yarn forward, ie bring the yarn to the front of the work and then SSK? That wouldn't work?

    Thank you for your help:)
    Kim

  4. purl bee says:

    Hi Kim,

    It does sound like you're making a very common yarn over mistake which is thinking that a yarn over includes knitting a stitch. It doesn't! A yarn over is actually just the act of bringing the yarn forward (when you're between two knit stitches; it gets a little more complicated when purl stitches are involved).

    So, when the pattern says that there are 4 stitches remaining and that you should "yo, ssk, k2", that means you should bring the yarn forward into the purl position, ssk, and k2.

    I hope this helps and please let us know if you have any more questions!

    Whitney

  5. Kim says:

    Thank you Whitney, that is excellent. I had read your similar replies in the thread, but hadn't realised I was making the same mistake!

    I think it is because all the tutorials you find have to knit a stitch to demonstrate how it works, so over time you start to think that is how it works. Now that has been cleared up, the project is coming out perfectly.

    Kindly,
    Kim :)

  6. Bobbie says:

    So far, I love this pattern! I just finished the first 20 rows (after the four knit rows).
    Reading through the comments, I haven't run into any of these problems, though sometimes I run into a problem at the end of a row and have an extra stitch or can't go all the way through a repeat, so I just knit stitch what's extra. Is this okay to do?

  7. purl bee says:

    Hi Bobbie,

    When a lace pattern doesn't end exactly at the end of the row, then it's likely that the "holes" of the lace won't line up and the pattern will be disrupted. This could be anywhere from a very small problem to a very big one. If when you look at your lace, it's making sense and a proper pattern is forming, then you may be okay so far! If, however, it looks like a jumble of holes, then you may need to go back and do each row very carefully so that each row ends exactly where it should, at the end!

    Please let us know if you have any more questions. Thank you so much for this one and good luck!

    Whitney

  8. Jodi says:

    What are the finished dimensions on this scarf? I'm looking for something exactly 12" wide. I like this pattern and also like the fact that it's adjustable to different widths.

  9. purl bee says:

    Hi Jodi-

    The finished size of this scarf is 10-inches wide. That info is listed under "Finished Size" in the pattern above. If you'd like to make it 12-inches I would cast on 68 stitches. But it might not end up being exactly 12-inches. But it would be pretty close if you are working with the same gauge.

    Thanks for your question!

    Molly

  10. Leigh says:

    I have completed my first repeat of 20 rows. I have ended with the right number of stitches at each row, but what I have looks like a random patterns of left and right leaning decreases and hardly any "space". I do tend to knit a bit tight, so upped my needles to 10.5 vs 7, so the pattern would be clear. I am going to go another repeat, but may have to bail on this pattern. Not sure where this is going wrong, other than all the odd rows are essentially a purl row, with knit stitches to hold the sides. Any advice so appreciated.

  11. purl bee says:

    Hi Leigh,

    I don't know how experienced a knitter you are, but if you're new to lace patterns, you may want to double check that you're doing the yarn overs properly. They are the step that creates the nice, open holes, so if that's what your scarf is lacking, that may be where you're going wrong. We have a video tutorial here that shows you how to do a yarn over: http://www.purlbee.com/knitting-tutorials-increases/2013/11/11/yarn-over-yo.html

    I also think it's a good idea to give the pattern a chance to sort itself out. It often takes a few inches for the logic of a lace pattern to emerge!

    Thanks so much for your question and please let us know how it goes!
    Whitney

  12. Leigh says:

    Thanks, Whitney-

    I knit in an odd, modified continental style my mom learned from Eastern European women in the 1970s, so I do struggle to find the right YouTube videos. I was totally doing a make one, with the twist, rather than a giant yarn over.

    I'll give this another try and now off to verify continental decreases to verify my weird technique leads to the right directional decrease. This is my first lace project, so my instinct to make a tighter increase makes sense, until I actually stop to think about the goal!

  13. Margaret B says:

    I am gearing myself up to trying a lace scarf for the first time, and this is so attractive and so well explained that I choose this one! Thank you for being so generous in sharing your pattern and expertise in helping less experienced makers like me surmount their difficulties. I'm off to find a suitable yarn now – what fun, on a lovely spring day in West Sussex!

  14. Carol says:

    If I want to make this scarf narrower, how do I do that? I love the pattern!!!

  15. purl bee says:

    Hi Carol-

    This pattern can be worked over any number of stitches that is a multiple of 10 plus 8, ie 18, 28, 38, etc. So to make it smaller I might 38 or 48 stitches- depending on how wide you want it.

    Thank you!

    Molly

  16. Joy says:

    I love knitting the scarf (I'm doing a shawl for my daughter's wedding). One question, are the sides supposed to kind of roll to the back of the scarf? I did the edging where you slip knitwise the first stitch and purl the last stitch on the ends. Would that be making it roll? It doesn't look so bad rolling, just wondering before I go too far. Thanks so much for the pattern, too!

  17. purl bee says:

    Hi Joy,

    Yes, this stitch pattern does roll, as do all stitch patterns that are essentially stockinette stitch. Even edge stitches don't stop this natural tendency!

    If you'd like the wrap to lie flat for your daughter's wedding, try blocking it. It should stay flat for a little while, hopefully until the cake!

    Thanks so much for asking and congratulations to the happy couple!

    Whitney

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