Let’s Knit Fishtail Lace

With hundreds of lace stitch patterns to try, the question is: where to start? While eyelets or mesh are great, easy lace stitch patterns to begin with, why not kick it up a notch and try fishtail lace? It’s an easy 6-row repeating pattern that can be added to just about any project. I love using this one on shawls and slouchy hats. Once you’ve worked a few repeats, you can have this one memorized, making it a great choice for an easy potato-chip-style scarf. You won’t want to put it down!


Cast on a multiple of 8 plus 5 stitches and work the pattern below. For my swatch, I cast on 21 stitches (8 x 2 = 16; 16 + 5 = 21 stitches). The chart includes two edge stitches, worked in garter stitch, so that the fabric won’t curl. If you want to make this into a scarf, using worsted weight yarn and the appropriate needles, cast on 37 or 45 stitches. How many stitches you need to cast on will depend on your yarn and your gauge—any multiple of 8 plus 5 stitches will work! Knit a couple rows of garter stitch (knit on both RS and WS), then start the Fishtail Lace pattern, repeating Rows 1 through 6 until you are happy with the length of your scarf. Repeat the same amount of garter stitch rows at the end and bind off. An easy and fun scarf! Row 1 (RS): K3, *yo, k2, sk2p, k2, yo, k1; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2. Row 2 (WS): K2, purl to the last 2 sts, k2. Row 3: K3, *k1, yo, k1, sk2p, k1, yo, k2; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2. Row 4: K2, purl to the last 2 sts, k2. Row 5: K3, *k2, yo, sk2p, yo, k3; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2. Row 6: K2, purl to the last 2 sts, k2. Rep Rows 1–6 for pattern.


  • k: knit
  • p: purl
  • rep: repeat
  • RS: Right Side
  • sk2p: slip one stitch purlwise, knit two stitches together, pass the slipped stitch over
  • st(s): stitch(es)
  • WS: Wrong Side
  • yo: yarn over
Want to learn more about fishtail lace? Check out this premium video where I show you how to knit the stitch pattern step-by-step!

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17 Responses to “Let’s Knit Fishtail Lace”

  1. Jean Dunbar

    Size needles and what kind of yarn...looks awesome!!

  2. RJ Pertuit

    what size needle did you use for sample and what weight yarn thanks

  3. DM

    This is gorgeous and looks simple enough.,..will give it a try?

  4. Maria Harney

    Love this patter !

  5. Kathleen Stockton

    love it would love to try new patterns.

  6. Karen Williams

    I have a lacy shawl that's been waiting for a decorative border to finish (bottom edge), so this just might work. It would be nice to finally get it completed, as I started it when Jen came out to New Mexico to teach our local Knit Guild some of her techniques. If required, I will work in the knitted edges to get the count right (I need to check, but I think it may already be an 8-count pattern). Thank you, Jen!


    I need to have sk2p explained to me better. I'm just beginning to knit again after .any years.

  8. Joan

    Why are your printed instructions of the pattern different from the video pattern instructions?

  9. Anna

    Beautiful pattern. I am an experienced knitter & have knit a shawl in a pattern similar to this. once you get going the pattern is very easy.

  10. Elizabeth