I like eyelets, and I like lace. They are slightly different, but the difference is probably not very important to most knitters. We pick patterns because we like them.
Glossary & Techniques
Click on the term to get to the technique page for each.
Eyelet is created by making a yarn over, and it is paired with a decrease for each yarn over. An eyelet has a minimum of two stitches between each yarn over. There is usually a plain row (all knit or all purl) as the wrong-side row.
Flexible long-tail cast on This is a more flexible version of the long-tail cast on.
JSSBO This is a flexible bind off.
k2tog Knit 2 together. As if to knit, put right needle into the second, then first stitch on left needle, then knit together as one stitch. Right leaning decrease.
Knitted Lace is lace, but with a plain row (all knit or all purl) as the wrong-side row.
Lace is where there is a minimum of a single stitch between yarn overs.
Lace Knitting is lace, but with patterning on both right and wrong side rows.
SSK Slip, slip, knit. This is a single decrease, and is the mirror decrease of the k2tog. Left leaning decrease.
YO Yarn over. Bring yarn forward as if to purl then going over the right needle, return yarn to the back of work to work the next stitch.
Eyelets Are A Great Place to Start
Eyelets familiarize the knitter with pairing decreases with yarn overs (increases). The stitch count stays the same for every row. I’m going to walk through this swatch. I have a chart that presents the RS/Odd rows. The decreases count as the number of stitches they use up to meet the 2 stitch minimum between yarn overs on Rows 1, 17, and X.
To practice, make the sample above. I worked mine in Cotton Supreme (worsted) on US size 5(3.75mm) needles. Any yarn will work.
A few thoughts before you start knitting. In the chart you can easily see that the YO occupies one stitch and the SSK and SK2P and k2tog each occupy a stitch. Because a YO is an increase, but the adjacent decrease takes away a stitch, I like to keep everything lined up the way it is in your knitting. The SK2P takes a stitch from either side of the center stitch, so it is balanced by the YO on either side of it.
In the first motif I had SSKs on the right side of the center, and k2togs on the left side. Each of those decreases leans toward the center, which mimics the central SK2P.
In the second motif I flipped the SSKs to the left side and the k2togs to the right side. Now they lean away from the central SK2P.
Neither is right or wrong. They do create a slightly different impact in the fabric.
Begin by casting on 13 stitches using the flexible long-tail cast on.
Work 4 rows of Stockinette.
Row 1 (RS): K3, YO, SSK, YO, SK2P, YO, k2tog, YO, k3
Even Rows: Purl
Row 3: K2, YO, SSK, k1, YO, SK2P, YO, k1, k2tog, YO, k2
Row 5: K1, YO, SSK, k2, YO, SK2P, YO, k2, k2tog, YO, k1
Row 7: K2, YO, SSK, k1, YO, SK2P, YO, k1, k2tog, YO, k2 [This row was a mistake!]
Row 9: K2, YO, SSK, k1, YO, SK2P, YO, k1, k2tog, YO, k2
Row 11: K3, YO, SSK, k3, k2tog, YO, k3
Row 13: K4, YO, SSK, k1, k2tog, YO, k4
Row 15: K13
Row 17: K3, YO, k2tog, YO, SK2P, YO, SSK, YO, k3
Row 19: K2, YO, k2tog, k1, YO, SK2P, YO, k1, SSK, YO, k2
Row 21: K1, YO, k2tog, k2, YO, SK2P, YO, k2, SSK, YO, k1
Row 23: K2, YO, k2tog, k1, YO, SK2P, YO, k1, SSK, YO, k2
Row 25: K3, YO, k2tog, YO, SK2P, YO, SSK, YO, k3
Work 3 Stockinette rows.
Bind off on the RS using JSSBO.