Friday, February 1, 2013

Lace Book Cover Tutorial

I made a cover for my missal, since it is so old and delicate.
Here's how to make a nice lace cover for any book.

First, knit your swatch and check your gauge.  I originally counted 13 stitches per inch.  (Even looking at that photo you can see how wrong that is! )

Next measure your book: 

I measured 6.25". Do the math. Stitches per inch (13) x height of book (6.25). I came up with 81.25 stitches, or 82. This seemed rather high. I re-counted my gauge for three inches instead of one, divided the stitches by 3 and got 6.7 sets per inch, or 44 for 6.25 inches. This turned out to be a much more accurate number.

Next, pick a pattern of lace to use for your book cover.  If you don't already have one,  check out this website for lace patterns.  I used this one. Any picture you click on at that website will give you a larger photo and the pattern. 

Divide the total number of stitches that you calculated by the amount needed for one lace repetition. Here's mine: 
14 = 3.14. My lace pattern will repeat three times.

My math sheet: 

Ok. Since 44 stitches was my number, I cast on'll need to CO double your number in order for it to go completely around the cover.
Tip: the website I linked to for the lace patterns has instructions written as "Multiple of x stitches plus x stitch(es)." This means at the end of each repetition,  not at the end of your lace row. I had too few stitches since I read it the wrong way.  I should have had at least 45 stitches on the lace side. Once I realized that,  I corrected it by making an extra stitch. 
 Now you can begin the fun! 

Materials used: 
US 2 (2.75mm) double point needles or circulars if knitting for a larger book
1 skein sock yarn or other light weight yarn; I used Patons Grace sock yarn
Your book
Measuring tape or ruler
 Start with the following cast on method:

After you have cast on,  knit one full row. 
Now, knit one needle and begin your lace pattern on your second needle. 
Instead of purling the row following each of your lace rows you will knit until you have one full repetition of your lace. 
Like so: 

The following row, knit 2, bind off until there are two stitches left on that needle,  knit 2, continue your lace. 

This is what it should look like when you try it on your book: 

Now you will be purling on your WS as your instructions say. Continue your lace, knitting the two stitches at either end, until you have knit long enough to cover around your entire book, within about 1.5-2" of the edge of the back cover. 

Be careful not to let your stitches fall off your needle like mine ^

Knit one more row of your lace,  then cast on the amount of stitches you bound off earlier.  I recommend casting on half the needed stitches and then increasing evenly to how much you actually need since this edge ends up looser than the first edge.
Knit one more lace repetition,  then turn your work so the wrong side is facing you and use a three needle cast off. Weave in loose ends. 

There you have it! I would probably recommended a solid color yarn so your lace is shown off  better.