How to Knit the Fish Scale Lace Pattern

A Fun and Relatively Easy Lace Panel

Fish Scale Lace
Fish Scale Lace worked over 17 stitches. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to, Inc.

Fish Scale Lace is a classic stitch pattern that knitters love to incorporate into fancy pattern schemes. It's actually quite easy and requires just three intermediate knitting stitches with which you may already be familiar.

The pattern creates a lovely lace that has the intricate details of fish scales. It's also a large panel worked across 17 stitches, so it can easily be worked into any lace project you have in mind.

If you've been knitting for some time, you will have no problems with Fish Scale Lace. There are just three main stitches that create the increases and decreases needed for the lace.

Make sure that your wrong side stitches line up correctly with the lacework on the right side. It can be very easy to get off by a single knit or purl stitch, so pay attention, count, and recount as you go.

Abbreviations You Need to Know

Knitting the Pattern

The pattern is a panel of 17 stitches.

  • Row 1 (right side): Knit 1, yo, knit 3, slip 1, knit 1, psso, purl 5, k2tog, knit 3, yo, knit 1.
  • Row 2: Purl 6, knit 5, purl 6.
  • Row 3: Knit 2, yo, knit 3, slip 1, knit 1, psso, purl 3, k2tog, knit 3, yo, knit 2.
  • Row 4: Purl 7, knit 3, purl 7.
  • Row 5: Knit 3, yo, knit 3, slip 1, knit 1, psso, purl1, k2tog, knit 3, yo, knit 3.
  • Row 6: Purl 8, knit 1, purl 8.
  • Row 7: Knit 4, yo, knit 3, slip 1, k2tog, psso, knit 3, yo, knit 4.
  • Row 8: Purl.

Repeat these rows for the pattern. To make the panel wider, add more stitches in Stockinette Stitch to each side.

Tips for Successful Lace Projects

Lace is not as difficult to knit as it seems. Pay attention to the pattern and your knitting to ensure it looks right, but it's little more than a series of precisely placed stitches.

  • Check Your Lace Regularly: As you're knitting, review your work every row or two to make sure that the stitches are lining up correctly. It can be very easy to get off by just a single stitch and that can throw the entire project into disarray.
  • Use Stitch Markers: If you're combining lace patterns into a single project, use stitch markers to remind yourself where the pattern changes. You don't want to keep second-guessing yourself as you work.
  • Use a LifelineLace is one of the styles of knitting where a lifeline will save you. Take the time to add one as you work, and bring it up at least every couple of pattern repeats. If you make a mistake, simply frog back to the lifeline and start again.
  • Block the Lace: Lace knitting is filled with twists and turns. When your project is complete, you need to relax all of those stitches. Take the time to block your lace properly, so you can showcase all this hard work.