Let’s Knit Fishtail Lace

With hundreds of lace stitch patterns to try, 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!

  • (will not be published)

22 Responses to “Let’s Knit Fishtail Lace”

    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Cymantha,

      Great question! The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members of our online community. By becoming a member, you will have access to our expert’s knowledge. With your membership you will also receive discounts on products and hours of Premium video content.

      If you are interested in becoming a member, please click on the special offer below:



  1. Amanda Ahrvide
    Amanda Ahrvide

    I recently got fingering weight cashmere from mongolia and would love to use this pattern, but don’t know what size knitting needles to use. What would you suggest?

    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Amanda,

      It would really depend on how large you want the stitches. Bigger the needles the bigger the pattern and stitch and smaller the needle the smaller it will be.

  2. Ann Peat
    Ann Peat

    Could these articles be made in a printable format and can they be saved. If so, how do I save it for future reference?

  3. 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.

  4. Joan

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


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

  6. Karen Williams
    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!