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Ladder Diamond Runner






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Ladder Diamond Table Runner or Scarf


RELEASE DATE:  September 2003 - This pattern was originally designed for Alpacas Magazine (projected publication is late 2003 or early 2004).

DESCRIPTION:  This project has a lace pattern of diamonds with an openwork ladder up the center of each and a narrow garter stitch border all around. A tassel trimmed with beads is attached to each end. It can be worked as a table runner or a muffler-type long scarf to wear with your winter coat.

The ladder diamond stitch pattern in this runner is from of Barbara G. Walkerís Charted Knitting Designs: A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns, 1972. Although knitted lace does seem intimidating, itís not as hard as it looks Ė if you can knit, purl, and knit 2 (or more) stitches together, then you can knit lace. But you have to be able to concentrate on it, since every right side row has lots of different things to do.

Another important thing to know about knitted lace is that it must be dressed (blocked) properly for its full beauty to show, and that must be done every time the item is washed. This means that knitted lace table linens are not usually for everyday use Ė itís best if you use your runner on a table, sideboard, or dresser where food and drink will not readily be spilled on it, or keep it for use on special occasions only. Directions for how to dress your runner are included at the end of the pattern.

SIZE:  Size will depend on the yarn and needle size you use. With my choices of yarn and needle, my table runner (minus tassels and unblocked) is approximately 9.5 inches (24 cm) wide x 32 inches (81 cm) long; when dressed (blocked) itís approximately 13 inches (33 cm) wide by 37 inches (94 cm) long. A good length for a muffler is 5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 m).

SKILL REQUIRED:  Adventurous Intermediate. The most important skill for making beautifully knitted lace is the willingness to carefully follow the directions for each of the several kinds of 1-3 stitch decreases.


  • YARN:  Any fiber in any size can work for this pattern. Yardage will depend on the length of the runner or scarf you wish to make. Animal fiber yarns are especially good choice for a scarf. Runners can be made of animal fibers, too, but cottons and linens are more classical choices for table linens. For the table runner in the photo I used 3 50-gram skeins of DK weight Classic Alpaca by Americaís Alpaca, requiring about 330 yards (305 m). About twice as much yarn would make a nice scarf length.
  • NEEDLES:  Use a needle size thatís 1-2 sizes larger than you would normally choose to work stockinette stitch with your yarn. I used US Size 5 (3.75 mm) with the yarn I chose. Note that although I used a DK weight yarn, which typically is knitted with Size 6-7 (4.25-4.5 mm) needles, I find that alpaca looks best when knitted on a smaller needle size than is recommended. For example, for basic stockinette with DK weight alpaca, I usually use Size 4 (3.5 mm), so I chose Size 5 (3.75 mm) for this lace.
    • Approximately 20 pebble beads to decorate 2 tassels
    • Darning needle small enough to thread yarn, but still fit through pebble beads
    • Book about 12 inches (30 cm) in circumference to use for tassel form
    • Pinnable blocking surface (bed, sofa, carpet, foam insulation board, etc.)
    • Lots of rustproof straight pins (I like pins with colored heads) or dressing wires (optional) and a few pins
    • Tape measure, ruler, and/or yardstick
    • Electric fan (optional).

GAUGE:  Not critical since lace is stretched out to be lacy, so exact width or length is usually not very important. With my chosen yarn and with size 5 (3.75 mm) needles Ė my gauge, in pattern left unblocked and relaxed, worked out to two motifs (two diamonds) are 4.35 inches (11 cm) wide, and two motifs are 3.5 inches (9 cm) long. After dressing, two motifs are 4.25 inches (10.8 cm) wide, and two motifs are 5.5 inches (14 cm) long.  I recommend that you dress the swatch as described for the runner or scarf in order to truly see if you like how your lace will look.

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 Last update:  December 31, 2007

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