Knitting Blog

Holden KAL: The Chart

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!

Thanks so much for knitting along with me. I know it's been slow going over here, so I appreciate you coming to visit and check in.

I've officially knit my first row of lace, and my stitch counts worked out just fine.

One thing that helped was to look really closely at the chart.  You can see that there are TWO areas outlined in pink.  One is on the left and one on the right.  You repeat each of these areas 3(4,5) times, working the center section only one time.

Also note that there are two single stitches on either side of the center lace column, so you need to remember to keep those in the knit stitch as you work the rest of the piece.

If you keep all of this in mind as you knit the first row, I think that subsequent rows will be easy-peasy!  It's all about setting up the proper foundation row.

In my last post, I told you that I'd added a "lifeline" to my knitting before I got started on my lace.  Unfortunately, I chose a very pale colored yarn to use, so you may have to look reeeally closely to see it.

BUT, here are some pics of how I did it:

I threaded a darning or tapestry needle with a length of fine yarn.  I used a laceweight yarn, but sock yarn would work, too. Then, I ran the darning needle through all of the stitches on my knitting needle (keeping the stitches ON the needle.) Adding a lifeline to lace knitting makes it so that you can undo your knitting if you need to, without fear of losing all of your work.  It will stop unraveling right at this point.

In this photo, I've dropped the first stitch onto my darning needle, but you want to keep ALL of the stitces on the needle:

In this photo you can see the lifeline running right alongside the cord / cable of the circular needle (if you look really closely!):

And here, I've reached the end of the needle, and all of my stitches are secure.

We're seeing lots of beautiful finished Holdens in Craftsy Projects, and it's so fun! Just type "Holden" in the search box and you'll see them all.  Here are just a couple of the finished ones:

SO inspiring! I can't wait to get mine off the needles.  Now that I've got a great foundation, I think the lace portion will fly! 🙂  I was calling it a "Late Summer Holden" because of the beautiful colors in my Lorna's Laces Solemate yarn.  I hope that I'll be able to wear it SOON!

How are your Holdens coming along? Were you reading the lace chart correctly? Do you use lifelines in your lace?

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.”



waningestrogen (craftsy and ravelry)

That explains the thing I read on someone’s project about “the two extra stitches”.
I’ll be starting my lace section today. 🙂

margaret d. kelly

I never learned how to read charts. I guess I’m just being lazy about it.
It lokslie it will be beautiful when it is done.


I was taught to use dental floss as a lifeline. A lot of us probably have samples of floss from dental appointments laying around. Ask at your next visit.


I’m doing my second Holden and have a question. Is there any recommendation as far as place markers for the lace section? I was off a few times and I want to prevent repeat issues, especially with my lovely Solemate yarn. Thanks!


If you look at the chart in the pattern, there are stitches that are marked by a pink border. Place a marker before and after working those stitches in the border.

Another way to think about it is to do your k3, yo at the beginning of the row, place a marker, work the next 13 sts, place a marker, work 13, place marker, work 13 place marker, work 15 sts, place marker, work 13 sts, place marker, work 13, place marker, work 13, place marker, yo, center stitch, yo, then repeat the marker placement. Just remember that the number of stitches between markers changes as you work each row. Each time you work the chart, you’ll need to add markers to account for the additional pattern repeats.

Hope this helps!


Thanks for using a photo of my finished shawl – the pistachio coloured one. I had such fuin making it and now only have to wait for cooler weather to wear it.

Melanie Maria

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