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Holden Knit-Along: Ready For The Lace!

This post is part of our free Holden Shawl Knit-Along.  If you still need a copy of the free pattern, you can download one from designer Mindy Wilkes’ Holden Shawlette page here on Craftsy.

Hi Everybody!

Well, I’ve done it!  I’m up (or down?) to the lace part of the shawl. With 193 stitches on the needle, I’m ready to really dig in.

Before I get started on the lace, I printed out the pattern, gathered up some stitch markers, and found my post-its:

The next thing that I did before getting started was to go back and read through the “Notes” section of the pattern.  Any time you do something new in a pattern, or any place that a pattern switches gears, it’s good to look for any notes, tips, or other details that might make things easier for you while knitting.

This pattern does have some notes, right before the actual pattern starts (click to see it larger):

Reading the notes, I learn that the stitch counts change over the lace rows, and that I should only try to count stitches on the rows where stitch counts have been provided. The next thing to do is to check out the chart.  I always look at the chart very closely before starting to knit.  If I can get my head around what the lace will look like and how it’s formed before I start, it’s easier to follow along while knitting.

I also see that there are *two* repeat sections of lace, highlighted in pink, one is worked 3(4, 5) times, then one central snippet is worked once, and then a section is repeated another 3(4, 5) times.  I’ve never seen this done in a lace chart, so I’m glad I checked it out!

The next thing that I’m going to do is add a lifeline to my knitting before I start working through the charts.  A lifeline is just a length of yarn threaded through all of the stitches on the needle.  This makes it so that if I need to rip back for some reason, I don’t run the risk of dropping stitches or losing track of where I was.

If I can get that done today, I’ll post more pics!

How are your Holdens coming along?

If you’re finding the shawl too difficult, or are interested in joining us but are feeling intimidated, Craftsy has a great online shawl knitting course, taught by designer Laura Nelkin.

“…An active knitwear designer, blogger, and workshop leader, Laura is the ideal guide for every stage of your lace knitting adventure, from learning to choose yarn and knit borders and edges, to reading multiple charts at once.”



I got my birthday yarn….yay!! Got a lovely Lorna’s Laces Soulmate yarn in Sand Ridge colorway. Started a second Holden last night. Just got to the 44 two row repeats. Should make some good headway on it this weekend. Too hot to do anything else. Still going to try to get pics of Holden # 1 posted. Happy knitting to all!!


Between my Skywalker shawl by Laura Nelkin, and Holden, I’m not as far along as I would like to be. I am LOVING the lace shawl class. Learning more than I ever dreamed. My Holden shawl is being done in a fine yarn, realiizing yarn selection is very important, I’m at a point where I don’t want to rip it out but this fine yarn is going to take forever. Thanks for your efforts at pulling us along. Candy


Hello there, I am now just finishing off the edging and binding off the final stitches. I have had a great time knitting this shawl, and must now get around to posting some more up to date photos here on Craftsy. (My name is Mandy54 here).


I had to rip back a few rows to fix some mistakes, but I’m almost to the lace section. I’m very excited to get there!

Mary W.

I’ve just started the lace on my Holden, and I’m stuck! I’ve followed the directions up to the center stitches, but I have 8 st too many before the center stitch. Also, I am not sure if I am doing the skp correctly. Help?

waningestrogen (craftsy and ravelry)

I’ve just started this shawl on Sunday and am about halfway through the stockinette, using a wool/nylon/bamboo sock yarn, so I’m a little behind to be on the KAL, but I’ll keep checking the posts and replies here for tips.


Making mine with alpaca yarn (as I have alpacas!). I’m on the 13th row of the lace section. Felt good to get the 44 row repeat done. Having fun with the lace section, feels like it’s moving along faster as the mind is a little more occupied with this section. Can’t wait to see my finished product!

waningestrogen (craftsy and ravelry)

Beginning the lace tomorrow!


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