Leaf Lace Cardigan Back

Leaf lace pattern. It makes either a 70 by 70 stitch square or a circle which is 280 stitches at the outer edge.

Free pattern day! This is a lace pattern that I designed to be used with Heather Zoppetti’s Dahlia Cardigan pattern. I made the Dahlia Cardigan once and liked the result enough that I wanted to make a second version. But I hate to repeat myself exactly, so I decided to design something slightly different for the lace panel on the back.

Tudor Rose

This is the final of eight or nine different tries. First I tried to make a lace pattern that looked like a Tudor Rose, but there wasn’t enough rows in the pattern to get a well-defined outer layer of the rose. Then I made a couple of attempts with the Frost Flowers lace pattern, but I didn’t like how either of them looked. I made a brief, doomed attempt at a Celtic knotwork cable pattern, then settled on a leaf lace after looking through some lace pattern books.

Designing lace is a mathematical challenge of a different sort than designing 3D stuffed toys. I knew that I needed to have enough increases in the pattern to get from the original 2 stitches per pattern repeat to the final 70 stitches. I wanted to have a relatively steady rate of increase and wanted to have each of the leaves well-defined with yarn-over holes and either knit-2-together or slip-slip-knit decreases. Once you get enough yarn-overs and decreases in the same round, you need to count very carefully to make sure that you have the same number of stitches coming out of the round as you did going into the round, with any deliberate increases added in. There were four or five attempts (and a lot of ripping out and swearing) before I got a final version which both behaved correctly with respect to the increases and gave me a result I liked.

Enjoy the pattern if you decide to download it and happy knitting!

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