December 19, 2005

This Year's Ornament

I really enjoyed making little sweater ornaments last year, but this holiday season, as I've spent the days leading up to the holidays in the great outdoors, I found a different inspiration for some knitted decorations.


Between the beautiful ginko trees in the yard where I'm staying with friends, the lace knitting that I've done recently, and my current interest in knitting with wire, I was inspired to play around and create some lace leaf ornaments.

The concept is simple. You just take a repeat of your favorite traditional lace pattern, and knit it with a strand of mohair. I used a fine kid mohair silk blend for the white leaves and a thicker wool mohair blend for the colored leaves.


The silver leaf with beads is simply the same pattern without the yarn, using a thicker silver wire. Mine was 26 guage sterling.


I'm copyrighting the recipe, since I think it's such a cool concept that I'd like to keep the credit for it, but I think it would be really cool to see what other lace patterns people could come up with to knit this way. I've had snowflakes on the brain as well (check out the really cool links), and I'd love to see a snowflake version if anyone comes up with one.

White Lace Leaf Ornament
Julia Trice, copyright 2005


Small amount of lace weight mohair (I used Art Fibers' Tsuki, but Karabella's laceweight mohair and Rowan's kidsilk haze would give the same effect)

Spool of 36 gauge metal wire (available at beading supply shops for about 99 cents)

Size US7-US10 wooden needles

Wire cutters to cut ends


When working with wire it is always advisable to wear safety googles to prevent sharp ends from injuring your eyes. When your leaf is complete, carefully tuck in any sharp ends that might protrude and keep out of reach of children.


With yarn and wire held together, cast on 3 sts using the backward loop method.
Row 1: k3
Row 2: k1, yo, k1, yo, k1
Row 3 and all odd rows through row 11: purl
Row 4: k2, yo, k1, yo, k2
Row 6: k3, yo, k1, yo, k3
Row 8: ssk, k5, k2tog
Row 10: ssk, k3, k2tog
Row 12: ssk, k1, k2tog
Row 13: sl1, p2tog, psso, fasten off.

Posted by Julia at December 19, 2005 12:29 PM
In designs | freebies | leaf ornaments | main | pattern notes


What a wonderful idea -- I love all variations. Thanks for sharing your pattern.

Posted by: nona at December 23, 2005 08:28 PM

The white ones are almost ethereal. Lovely.

Posted by: Chris at December 21, 2005 02:07 PM


That is a terrific idea! Are you going to show us a picture of the decorations in place??

Posted by: mary at December 21, 2005 12:07 PM


Posted by: Gina at December 21, 2005 09:23 AM

Completely clever girl.

Posted by: steph at December 21, 2005 05:46 AM

Thank you! it is so lovely!

Posted by: circÚ at December 21, 2005 04:59 AM

Safety googles? :) does that mean I should be looking at my computer screen searching for good yarn deals whilst knitting these? :) Very, very cool, thank you! Now I know what my friend is getting as a thank-you gift for making Christmas dinner!

Posted by: weeza at December 21, 2005 04:04 AM


Posted by: Mary-Heather at December 20, 2005 04:07 PM

I'm surprised that they didn't blow away when you photographed them outside! They look so fine and delicate, truly lovely! They're only made better by the fact that they're great stash busters.

Posted by: Jenna at December 20, 2005 02:31 PM

What a fabulous idea! Wire knitting always looks a little "bare" to me, I never thought of using it with something a little fuzzy. Soft and bendable, how clever!

Posted by: joanna at December 20, 2005 08:46 AM

that's so pretty! i have to make some.

Posted by: lynette at December 20, 2005 08:14 AM

Thanks for sharing such a beautiful pattern.

Posted by: Jennifer at December 20, 2005 08:02 AM

so fragile and beautiful! i love them! thanks for sharing the pattern.

Posted by: kris at December 20, 2005 03:43 AM

they are so pretty!

Posted by: marjorie at December 19, 2005 09:58 PM

Those are really gorgeous! And! How cool is it to see a knitted lace ornament rather than all that crochet.

Posted by: Purly Whites at December 19, 2005 08:47 PM

Very pretty!

Posted by: --Deb at December 19, 2005 06:18 PM

beautiful! wow, julia, go you, what a fantastic idea. maybe for next year's tree, how gorgeous would that be!

it was so nice to finally meet you yesterday ~ that was such a blast hanging out and we'll definitely have to do it very soon indeed.

;) happy holidays and new year!

Posted by: andrea at December 19, 2005 05:08 PM

Wow! They are awesome! I love them.

Posted by: malglam at December 19, 2005 01:58 PM

They look really great. I bet they are even lovelier in person.
Great idea. I am looking forward to seeing other interpretations as well. :)

Posted by: marnie at December 19, 2005 01:42 PM

Beautiful Julia!


Posted by: Amy at December 19, 2005 01:39 PM

Julia these are gorgeous. What a fantastic idea!

Posted by: Amy Boogie at December 19, 2005 01:37 PM

Beautiful ornaments - I love their simplicity and form, especially in plain white.

Wanted to say how much I enjoyed talking yesterday over at Mel and Rose. Made me think, which is always appreciated, and made me glad for such good company.

Posted by: Kathy at December 19, 2005 01:19 PM

Oh they are lovely! The white ones look so fragile and delicate,

Posted by: Jo at December 19, 2005 01:09 PM

What an incredible idea! Just beautiful, and not just for the "holidays" (whichever one is being celebrated)! You could place these beside a knitted or crocheted flower as a pin. Very inspirational...thanks for posting the pattern!

Posted by: jillian at December 19, 2005 01:02 PM

The wire is very pretty but I love the colorful leaves best.

Posted by: margene at December 19, 2005 01:02 PM

Nice! Very nice!

Posted by: Jen. at December 19, 2005 12:44 PM