I was reminded of this idea when I was asked to give a workshop on random lace ... so I thought that I might as well do it again in order to get an idea back into my head :)
So here is a combination of random lace with simple garter stitch - i.e. a mix of two very different textures.
The important thing about random lace is ... it's random. That's why I don't give exact stitch sequences. So, this is not a standard knitting pattern with stitch-by-stitch and row-by-row instructions but rather an invitation to try out an idea for a (really) unique scarf.
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
What You Need
- about 220 gr of fingering weight yarn (I used Wollmeise Pure Merino Superwash - Colorway Ballerina) - my finished piece measures about 30 cm x 170 cm.
- 3.25 mm knitting needles (straights or circulars)
- three stitch markers - one of them removable
- a tapestry needle to weave in ends
You can use other yarn weights as well. I'd advise to use needles that are slightly to big for the yarn in order to get a loose texture.
- The ability and the willingness to count your stitches over and over again … since there are not pattern repeats or anything that could help, it’s easy to lose track of where you are in the row. This is a concentration exercise, i.e. NOT something that I would take to my local knitting group.
- The patience to knit a piece that will look extremely crumpled and not very attractive while you are knitting it. I will look so much better after blocking - see picture below.
How to Knit Random Lace
It's best to use a yarn that blocks well, e.g. something that has a large percentage of wool. I used standard sock yarn and 3mm needles.
I decided to do only "knit stitches" on both sides of the piece - to go with the garter stitch of the other rectangles, i.e. I randomly did k2tog's, ssk's yo's and double-yo's.
(For ideas with a clear knit and purl side, see Random Lace Scarf or Random Bubbles Scarf).
The important thing is to make sure that the number of stitches stays the same after finishing one row, e.g. if you started off with 22 stitches, you need to finish each row with 22 stitches (loops) on your needles.
If you want a neater pattern, do one increase and corresponding decrease next to each other. For a more organic look, do a few increases and only then the necessary decreases. I would advise, however, not to do this too much, since then your piece will be askew.
For me it was easier to only count the increases and decreases, i.e. I added 1 to my count when I did an increase and subtracted 1 from my count when I did a decrease. So you should end the row with a count of 0.
I'd advise you, to knit a small swatch of random lace and block it, to get into the idea. You can use this swatch to decorate small things (like a phone sleeve or a pencil holder).
Instructions for this Scarf
Row 0: k23, pm, k22, pm, k23
Rows 1- 44: sl1, k to marker, knit 22 sts of random lace (up to next marker), k to end
After a few rows, mark the side of your even numbered rows - just to make counting a bit easier. Without this marker, there is no way to distinguish between the two sides.
Rows 45 - 88: sl1, k22 sts of random lace (up to marker), k22, knit 23 sts of random lace
Repeat rows 1-88 five more times
Repeat rows 1-44 once more.
Weave in ends.