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Knitting lace with the NEW Universal Yarn Truva (free pattern!)

by Cynthia MacDougall

This series of posts is dedicated to Truva by Universal Yarn, a unique yarn with 50% cotton and 50% cashmere in a double knitting weight. Truva has a range of 8 heathery tones which work well with strongly textured stitch patterns.

So far, I’ve done a deep dive into the yarn itself and began a series of samples: one plain, and one that uses knit and purl stitches to create a lovely check design suitable for a cozy winter scarf to wear in dressy or casual settings.

Every one of Truva’s 8 colors has an attractive, heathery quality to it, because of the way the colors are combined in the spinning.

Three balls are stacked, one atop two others. On top is Aegean, a seafoam green twisted with strands of pale blue and white. Bottom left is Mandarin, a soft, coral orange twisted with a pinkish-lavender and off-white, and to its right is Sandcastle, a beigey twist of sand with gray, off-white, and white; Truva by Universal Yarn

I can see the green (Aegean) and coral (Mandarin) worked into a tulip border on a round yoke sweater, with Sandstone as the background color.

I recently did a slide show of some of my vintage patterns. Lace panels were incorporated into many vintage knitting designs, and I was inspired to choose a pattern called Little Leaf Stripe, from page 196 of Barbara G. Walker’s first knitting book, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, to see how the heathery shades of Truva interact with a lace design. Little Leaf Stripe only has 4 rows of pattern, and two of them are purl rows (also known as ‘resting rows).

As with the last sample, I’m adding a border to help my swatch lay flat. Because this pattern is stockinette stitch-based, it is apt to curl, even when I block it. Surrounding any stockinette stitch-based design with a 6-8 stitch/ rows of seed stitch helps make the sample lay flat. Seed stitch tends to spread out horizontally, so it’s a good choice for lace, especially if you block it, as I plan to do.

Little Leaf Stripe has a multiple of 8 stitches plus 1. This time, I did 4 repeats of the pattern (33 sts) flanked by 10 sts on each side in plain stockinette stitch. This gives me an idea of how the lace panel will look on the front of a pullover or the front of a cardigan.

I put 6 stitches of seed stitch on each side of the work, for a total of 12 border stitches, plus 20 stitches (10 on each side of the lace) and 33 stitches for the center panel 33 + 20 + 12 = 65 stitches.

This might seem a lot for a test swatch, but if the goal is to make an adult-sized cardigan with 4 lace panels on each side, I want to know how the lace will look in a finished garment.

Here’s the pattern for the sample, which I made in Truva’s mandarin color.

Bottom border

Row 1: *k1, p1; rep from * to last st, k1.

Rep Row 1 for 6 more rows.


Row 1 (WS): (k1, p1) 3 times, p to last 5 sts, (k1, p1) twice, k1.

Row 2: (k1, p1) 3 times, k11, *k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k1; rep from * 3 more times, k10, (p1, k1) 3 times.

Row 3: (k1, p1) 3 times, p to last 5 sts, (k1, p1) twice, k1.

Row 4: (k1, p1) 3 times, k13 *yo, s1, k2tog, psso, yo, k5; rep from * 3 more times, k 8, (p1, k1) 3 times.

Repeat Rows 1-4 for the desired length. Work Row 1, then work 7 rows as for the bottom border. Cast off all sts.

A sample in the Mandarin colorway, with a coral color twisted with a pinkish lavender and off-white. The sample has a seed stitch border on all 4 sides, and 4 repeats of a pattern that makes tiny little leaf-like diamonds in columns of openwork knitting; Truva by Universal Yarn

I blocked this sample by pinning it to a wool pressing pad and then wetting it with a damp cloth. Truva blocked nicely!

Truva exceeded my expectations. The lace design opened beautifully in blocking, and I finally got a worsted weight tension of 20 stitches to 4” [10cm] on the sides of the lace panels!

I think that if I worked this design into a cardigan set, I’d put three panels up each side of the cardigan, and center 5 repeats on the center of the pullover.

As I worked with Truva, I thought several times about how it would be a good candidate for color-stranded knitting. I tried it out and created this ‘Crocus Chemo Cap’ using leftovers from this week’s projects and a ball of Aegean. There’s no pattern for it, but it shows how Truva lends itself to Fair Isle-style knitting.

A hat on a glass head form full of yarn butterflies sits on a white background and supports a cap with a soft green brim, pale gray crown, and a series of crocuses ringing the hat just above the brim; Truva by Universal Yarn

Spring crocuses parade around the crown of this chemo cap made with Truva.

Tomorrow, I’ll end this series of putting Truva through its paces by doing a fairly close-set cable design that has a pleasant surprise. I’ll also provide a free pattern for a chemo cap with two options for the brim.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: Knitting a knit-purl design with Truva (start with a sample)

Go to part 5: Knit a NO-COUNT cables chemo cap (It’s so soft!)


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