Search The Purl Bee
Sign up for our newsletter!

Idea Center
Follow The Purl Bee
« Molly's Sketchbook: Hanukkah Coasters! | Main | Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf »

Lovely Leaf Lace Scarf

This Lovely Leaf Lace scarf is made with Lobster Pot's 8-ply cashmere in color "Chatham Light". The stitches that create this beautiful and dimensional pattern are a simple combination of strategic yarn-overs and decreases. The lace pattern has a wonderful dimensionality while the stockinette pattern curls around your neck like a big soft hug.

If you're curious about the green scarf on the left you can find the complete instructions for it at this link:



4 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

Finished Measurements

Approximately 12 inches wide x 52 inches long

Pattern Notes

  • This pattern is a lace leaf pattern at each end, and stockinette in the middle. You should know ahead of time that this scarf curls up on the edges, which makes it fit nicely around your neck, but it is wide enough that its not too skinny, even curled up.
  • Stitch pattern is a multiple of 10 + 1

The Pattern

Cast on 61 stitches.

Row 1 and all odd number rows (wrong side): Purl
Row 2: K3, *k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k5 repeat from *, end last repeat k3.
Row 4: K2, *k2tog, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, ssk, k3; repeat from *, end last repeat k2.
Row 6: K1, *k2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, ssk, k1; repeat from * to end.
Row 8: K2tog, *k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, sl 1, k2tog, psso; repeat from * to last 9 stitches, end last repeat k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, ssk.
Row 10: K1, *yo, ssk, k5, k2tog, yo, k1; repeat from * to end.
Row 12: K1, *yo, k1, ssk, k3, k2tog, k1, yo, k1; repeat from * to end.
Row 14: K1, *yo, k2, ssk, k1, k2tog, k2, yo, k1; repeat from * to end.
Row 16: K1, *yo, k3, sl 1, k2tog, psso, k3, yo, k1; repeat from * to end (if you're wondering how to "sl 1, k2tog, psso", please see the detailed instructions below).

Repeat rows 1-16 five times more, work should measure approximately 16 inches from cast on edge, then:

Row 1 (wrong side): Purl
Row 2 (right side): Knit

Repeat these two rows until stockinette portion measures approximately 12 inches or you have used the first 3 skeins of yarn. Place these 61 stitches on a holder or spare needle and work the second half of the scarf the same as the first.

Use kitchener stitch to invisibly graft live stitches from each end together in the center of your scarf.

Weave in ends. Hand wash gently with a mild soap and allow to air dry. I don't recommend blocking this scarf too dramatically because you will flatten the wonderful dimensionality of the lace portion of the scarf. When you lay it out to dry try to encourage the lace portion to retain its depth rather than stretching it out flat.

Sl1, k2tog, psso

If this is the first time you've encountered "sl1, k2tog, psso" it might sound a bit mysterious! Here are step by step instructions for completing this step:

Step 1: Sl 1

Whenever you encounter "sl 1", it means to slip one stitch as if to purl. Insert needle into stitch as if to purl and slip it to the right needle without knitting it.

Step 2: K2tog

Knit the next two stitches together.

Step 3: psso

"Psso" stands for "pass slipped stitch over". For this step insert your left needle into the stitch that you slipped and pass it over the k2tog and off of the right hand needle as you would when binding off.

Reader Comments (124)

i can't find this on ravelry--i want to queue it!
December 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlisa
Love this lacy pattern. I think it might find a way into a shawl for my mother. The pattern repeat is actually 12 stitches plus 1, not 10+1
December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJames
Hi Lisa,
I added the pattern to Ravelry.

Hi James,
the pattern repeat is definitely 10+1.
December 2, 2008 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I started a hat with this leaf pattern some time ago. I will make this scarf as soon as I finish the hat. I love the idea of lace in both ends and stockinette stitch for the rest!
December 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdomoshar
Gorgeous pattern, thanks for sharing it. :)
December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMinns
Thank you for this pattern I like it a lot and will put it on my to do list ;-)
December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTulipe67
Why do you recommend making the two halves separately and then sewing them together? Couldn't you make the lace portion backwards for the end of the scarf?

This is really lovely - I am adding it to my ravelry queue too. :-) Thanks!
December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Hi Amy,
its to make the lace the same on both ends. I don't know that you really can knit this lace "backwards" but if you try it and it works we sure want to hear about it!
December 4, 2008 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Ah... I did not know that! :-) I learn so much here...
December 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
I'm confused and could use some help. I cast on 61 stitches and purled the first row. With the second row, the stitches don't come out evenly. I k3, then repeated the pattern 5 times, and k3, leaving 5 stitches still on the needle, not enough for another repeat. What am I doing wrong?
December 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTerri
Hi Terri,
the first row ends 2 stitches short of a full repeat, is that what you're referring to? If not, let me know and I'll be happy to help you out further! Joelle
December 4, 2008 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Yes Joelle, that's it exactly! Do I just knit the final 3 instead of the last 5 stitches of the repeat? (Thanks for the quick response!)
December 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTerri
Hi Terri,
You're welcome! Note that rows 4 and 8 also have slight variation at the end of the last repeat too.
Good luck!
December 4, 2008 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you Joelle. I've got it now!
December 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTerri
ooohhhh... lovely, I just have to go to the yarn shop today!
December 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEileen Terwilliger
Gorgeous! Does the back of the scarf just look like all purls? Is there any way you would post a "backside" picture? Thanks!
December 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkarmamama
love your blog and your passion on what you are doing
December 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAri Lestariono
Even if I can't finish before Christmas, I will absolutely have to try this pattern. Also, I'm a new knitter, and I just wanted to say thank you so much for the very clear descriptions of sl, k2tog, and psso. I've seen these abbreviations other places, but, with the exception of knit 2 together, I could never fully understand what I needed to do.

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeah
I just started this pattern today, but I seem to keep having problems. Could you possibly post the number of stitches you're supposed to have at the end of each even row? I'm going to keep trudging along and see if it works out, but as of now something seems wrong... hmm.
December 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
Never mind! I think I figured out my problem! :-)
December 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
I'm having the same problem as Terri (above) - in Row 2, I end up with 4 stitches left over and yet I still need to knit 5 from the repeat, PLUS do the k3 for the end. I counted up the number of stitches per row in the instructions and Row 2 has 16 and Row 4 has 14 where the others have 11 (which would be your multiple of 10+1). Is there a typo in the pattern or am I doing something wrong?
Thanks for your help - the finished product looks so wonderful!
December 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAbby
hi! i was wondering if there was a way to make this scarf thinner (i'm thinking like half as wide)? i'm a new knitter so i'm not too sure.. :)
December 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterconnie
Hi Abby,
Are you still having the problem you described above? The pattern is definitely correct as written so something is happening in your knitting. Its hard to know what the problem is though since we can't watch you do it.

Here is a description of how to work the first knit row:

First you knit 3 stitches, then you knit 2 stitches together, wrap yarn around needle, knit 1 stitch, wrap yarn around needle, slip, slip knit (left slanting decrease), then knit 5 stitches, then repeat from knit 2 together.

If you're not ending up with enough stitches I wonder if you're repeating from the k3 at the beginning of the row?

Please let me know if this doesn't help clear up the problem!
December 26, 2008 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Connie,
Yes, cast on a multiple of 10+1, try 31 or 41 and just follow the rest of the pattern as written. Keep in mind that this pattern curls in so if you make it 31 it might be quite narrow!
Good luck!
December 26, 2008 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi there, just wondering how many stitches you should have after the 3rd row.
December 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterErin
Hi Erin,
You should have 61 stitches after the 3rd row.
December 29, 2008 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
im about 11 inches into this pattern(with 61 sts) and the center "stem" of my "leaves" is actually distinctly two columns of knit instead of the clear single column as in the sample in the photo...any solutions for this?
January 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjaclyn
Hi Jaclyn,
it sounds like you are doing an extra knit stitch between the yarn-overs. There are two solutions, one is to pull it out and start over and the other is to decide that you love it with the two knit stitches and continue. Let me know if you have questions about doing the yarn over! --Joelle
January 8, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Joelle, Thanks for your reply. I didn't repeat the K3 from the beginning of the row, just the part within the *asteriskses*.

I'm still not getting it. I don't see how there can be 16 stitches in Row 2 (not counting the yo's because you're creating those stitches) when the pattern says it's a multiple of 10+1. In your answer to Terri above, you say that row "ends 2 stitches short of a full repeat" (so why doesn't it say that in the instructions?) which I've just never seen in a knitting pattern before. Does it mean that your last leaf at the right edge of the scarf is just squashed if there aren't full repeats? I've been trying some other laces form my various knitting books and I'm not finding any of them that don't have a full repeat. arg.

January 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAbby
Hi Abby,
As far as the short stitches in a few of the rows, it does say it in the pattern in rows 2, 4, and 8. You see this in patterns that have a motif that is a diamond shape like this one. If you look in the detail photo above you can see how the scarf undulates along the edge, and the pattern is written in such a way that it creates that edge (rather than squashing the motif).

For your other question, regarding the amount of stitches, I promise you that there are just the right amount of stitches if you cast on 61, or another multiple of 10+1. If you look at it the way I describe below maybe it will help?

Here is the row you seem to be having trouble with:
K3, *k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k5 repeat from *, end last repeat k3.

Lets say you have 21 stitches and you work them as follows
3 stitches for k3 (2 stitches for k2 tog, 0 stitches for yo, one stitch for k1, 0 stitches for yo, 2 stitches for ssk, 5 stitches for knit 5), repeat the stitches within the parenthesis but end the last knit five with knit 3 instead, this equals:
3+2+1+2+5+2+1+2+3= 21

Please let me know if this helps, or not. I really want to help you get this right!
January 14, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I GET IT! I GET IT! Woo-hoo!! I was reading the instructions for Row 2 as "end the repeat and then K3 more" (which is why I thought I was short so many stitches) when it really means "on the last repeat, K3 instead of the usual K5". I'm a proofreader at my day job and starting to realize I am tooooo word-oriented! It's working great now, I have experimented and found the right size needles for my yarn and I'm off to the races! Thanks for your patience! Sorry to be so obtuse :)
January 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAbby
Love this pattern. I decided to double my yarn - scarf was turning out too wide but I loved the look. Just want to double check before I start again. I can make it shorter by casting on either 31 or 41 (instead of the 61 mentioned in your pattern.) Thank you very much for your help.
January 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSherry
Hi Sherry,
Yes, 31 or 41 will work. Just keep in mind that the scarf will curl up when its done so it will be narrower than it looks on the needles.
Good Luck!
January 23, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Any chance that you would have a sweater pattern that uses the leaf lace pattern? Your scarf is gorgous.
February 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
Hi Susan,
Not at this time! It would be beautiful at the bottom of sleeves though. Let us know if you decide to make one or find something like it!
February 1, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Beautiful scarf! And you did a great job on making the directions comprehensive :)
March 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertanya

I haven't gotten to the stockinette portion yet, and I haven't decided what I'm going to do. I was either going to--

1. Just follow the pattern...but how do I make the edges neat? Or

2. I was thinking of adding a border to the stockinette portion to prevent the scarf from curling. Do you have any recommendations to which stitch? Garter? Seed stitch? And how wide should I make the border?

April 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterheidi
Hi Heidi,
The edges curl in so its not such a big deal if they aren't neat, but if you'd like you can slip the first stitch of every row to make it tidier. The lace portion is also stockinette so it curls too, though not as much. Either garter or seed will work so it is really just a matter of what look you prefer.
April 7, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What a gorgeous pattern! I'd love to use the leaf design for socks - when working this in the round, obviously every 2nd row would be knit instead of purl. Would it still require multiple of 10+1 stitches? Or just multiple of 10? I'm trying to get my head around it all...

Thanks for posting this!
May 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAdina
i have repeated steps 1-16 two times but i don't know what I'm doing wrong. For some reason my pattern doesnt come up like yours. My is pretty flat. PLEASE HELP ME :(
August 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjess
Hi Jess,
We are happy to help out, but need just a bit more information from you. Can you tell us if you are ending up with the right amount of stitches at the end of each row? What do you mean by "coming up flat"? Are you seeing the leaf pattern emerge? etc. Any info you can give us will be a big help!
August 5, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Well the problem is that I do see the leaf pattern but the problem is that its all at the same level. The leaves are not higher up then the rest so when i look at it, its all the same. I'm pretty sure I have the right amout of stiches on each row.
August 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjess

I'm already done with the first 16 rows 6x and it looks great. I'm starting on the stockinette portion. I'm wondering if anyone tried to just follow the pattern through without having to sew two parts together. Would it be too different ?


September 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCristina
Hi Christina,
The reason it's made in two parts is so that the lace portion will be the same on both ends. If you work the lace from the top down the cast off will be the opposite shape of the cast on, but it might be nice that way, you never know!
September 20, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you so much for getting back to me so fast!!! I just have a hard time picturing how things would turn out :)
I'll try it and I'll post a pic and see if it looks very different.

Again, Thank you!!

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCristina
Can someone explain row 8 to me I keep getting to the end and have 10 sitches instead of 9. Thanks for your help.
October 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterolympia
Hi Olympia,
Here is row 8, I'll try to explain it in more detail:

Row 8: K2tog, *k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, sl 1, k2tog, psso; repeat from * to last 9 stitches, end last repeat k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, ssk.

Knit 2 together, knit three stitches, yarn over, knit one stitch, yarn over, knit 3 stitches, slip one stitch, knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over the knit two together, repeat until you have 9 stitches remaining, end last repeat knit 3 stitches, yarn over, knit one stitch, yarn over, knit 3 stitches, slip-slip-knit.

I'm not sure why you would end up with an extra stitch unless you are doing something funny when you yarn-over (sometimes knitters thing a yarn over includes knitting a stitch but it doesn't) or if you aren't passing the slipped stitch over on the last part of the pattern. Let me know if you need more help!
October 8, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you for your help. working on this pattern helped me uncover some interesting things about my knitting and how i was working my decreases. on to Row 10....
October 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterolympia
I was wondering if you could do double cast on. I can't remember the official name but it is where you cast on adding a scrap piece of yarn so that when you knit it scrap stays on and when you are ready to start the second half you pick up the stitches from the bottom and discard the scrap. You probably can't understand what I am trying to say and it might not work with this pattern.
October 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn
Hi Carolyn,
We do understand what you are saying! It sounds like you are describing a "provisional cast on". The provisional cast on is a great technique, but it isn't appropriate for this pattern because on this scarf you are joining the two pieces at the end of the knitting rather than at the cast on. Hope this clarifies it for you, but if not be sure to let us know.
October 24, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.