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How to Knit Frost Flowers [Tutorial]

How to Knit Frost Flowers [Tutorial]

This delicate, decorative stitch pattern is used in my Nuoska socks. Although there are some yarnovers, it's not exactly lace. Instead, the Frost Flowers pattern is made by knitting long stitches into the fabric a few rounds below. These are known as knit-below or dip stitches.

Nuoska :: sock knitting pattern

First, you knit a round of yarnovers followed by a K2tog with 8 knit stitches in between. These yarnovers serve as the center points for the Frost Flower petals. You can also work knit-below or dip stitches into a regular knit stitch (as in my Pennyflower shawl) or even between two stitches but I find the yarnovers a little easier to work into. They're also great visual cues: you know exactly where to put your needle without having to count stitches.

In the next round, knit all the yarnovers through the back loops to close the hole. I experimented with both regular and twisted knit stitches and liked the look better when the yarnover is twisted on the following round. Work another two plain stockinette rounds.

Then the fun part begins!

How to Knit Frost Flowers, step 1: K4B

Step 1: Poke your right-hand needle into the yarnover four rounds below, wrap the working yarn around the needle, and pull a long loop through. This is called a knit-four-below (K4B).

How to Knit Frost Flowers, step 2: K4, K4B

Step 2: Knit 4 stitches, then do another K4B. That's two petals for the Frost Flower.

You've now increased the stitch count by two (per each Frost Flower). To get back to the original stitch count, you need to decrease the extra stitches on the next round. At the same time, create the third or middle petal by knitting into the same yarnover, now five rounds below the round you're on.

How to Knit Frost Flowers, step 3: K to long loop, SSK

Step 3: Knit until you reach the first long loop. Next, work a slip-slip-knit (SSK) or slip-slip-knit improved (SSKi) decrease.

Here it is essential to slip the first stitch knitwise. Doing so prevents the long loop of the knit-below stitch from twisting in the decrease. Slipping the second stitch purlwise (as in an SSKi decrease) makes the whole increase lie flatter and look neater.

How to Knit Frost Flowers, step 4: K1, K5B

Step 4: Knit 1, then knit into the same yarnover five rounds below (K5B) to create the middle petal.

How to Knit Frost Flowers, step 5: K to next long loop, SSK

Step 5: To decrease the second extra stitch, knit until you reach the next long loop, then work an SSK decrease.

One more step to go! By creating that middle petal on the previous round you've again increased the stitch count from the original.

How to Knit Frost Flowers, step 6: K to long loop, SSK

Step 6: Knit until you reach the long loop and (you guessed it!) work an SSK decrease.

Voilà! A finished Frost Flower looks like this.

If pictures are a worth a 1,000 words, a video must be worth a 10,000 pictures. Here's the Frost Flowers tutorial in video form.


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How to Knit Frost Flowers [Tutorial]

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Susanna Winter is a knitwear designer, creating timeless and elegant pieces with clean lines. She has been knitting for over 20 years, knit blogging since 2007, and designing knitting patterns professionally since 2016.

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