So, here is my lace pattern. It is fun, and pretty easy. I think it is a great starting lace pattern because there is a good balance of knitting and lace knitting. It will keep you from being bored, but won't drive you to drink. I borrowed heavily from Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Knitting Stitch pattern "Feather and Fan".
If by 'borrowed heavily' you mean pretty much 'cut and pasted'.
The dimensions of this scarf are still pretty nebulous, since I haven't blocked mine yet, however, it is currently about the width of my hand, and goes from just below my belt, around my neck, and back down to just below my belt. So it is long enough to not look funny for a decorative scarf. However, be warned that it isn't really wide enough to be a proper "it's minus 40 out right now and I need something to keep from losing my face to frostbite" scarf.
You will need:
Circular needles (or not, again, this is your choice) at least a size 11 or bigger if you've got them. I used 11 because that was the biggest I had. I would have used a bit bigger if I could, like a 15.
1 skein of bulky weight wool yarn. Or not. It's not like there is a gauge or anything. Pick something you think is pretty and you keep touching. Use a needle size a bit larger than what your yarn calls for. Remember, the bigger the needle, the bigger the holes. However, also remember that there is an inverse relationship between size of holes and warmth of scarf. I used Lamb's Pride Bulky in White Frost. The mohair is really pretty with the lacyness.
A row counter, but only if you really like using them. Unless you like to live on the edge, like I generally do. Although it is more of a "losing small articles is very common" rather than a "has problems with authority figures" sort of living on the edge.
Notes: You can do a gauge swatch, if you like doing that kind of thing. They're also good for getting used to a new yarn, but again, a scarf is a long rectangle, and there isn't any fitting or not fitting, there is only not long enough.
Cast on 12 VERY LOOSELY. I did a long-tail cast on, because it is the only one I know, and the others don't really make too much sense from only pictures. However, it did work, and it is very pretty.
R1: Knit all
R2: K2tog, K2tog, YO K1, YO K1, YO K1, YO K1, K2tog, K2tog (This row is the lace row. It doesn't change. The sooner you memorize, the happier you will be)
R4: k2tog, k2tog, YO K1, YO K1, YO K1, YO K1, k2tog, k2tog
Do this part until you have about 6 rows worth of yarn left, or you start going buggy. Remember though, that it should be long enough to wrap at least once around the neck, and the ends should hang at about the belt of the person it is going to belong to. Another good thing is to remember the approximate size of that person. Kids = short. Adults = long. Big tall adults = even longer.
R6: K2tog, K2tog, YO K1, YO K1, YO K1, YO K1, K2tog, K2tog
R11: K2tog, K2tog, YO K1, YO K1, YO K1, YO K1, K2tog, K2tog
R13: K2tog, k2tog, YO k1, YO, k1, YO k1, YO K1, k2tog, k2tog
R15: Cast off LOOSELY
Read the whole pattern. No really, it might help.
When you are knitting the lace row, think of it this way: "knit 2 together, knit 2 together, yarnover and knit one (think of it as one step, and errors will be easier to fix and find) until there are only four stitches left on your source needle, then knit 2 together, knit 2 together"
If you are doing the full 4 rows of garterstitch between each lace row, there will be two bumps one each side of your knitting between each lace row. If you are doing the 2 row alteration, you will only have one bump on each side of your knitting. This will be invaluable knowledge if you are prone to losing row counters or just don't feel like using one at all. Picking up your knitting in the middle of a repeat has just lost its terror.
1) Leave out R9 & R10 for a more lacy lace. However, make sure that your lace repeat has an even number of rows of knitting between each lace row, because otherwise your lace will become off center and look really odd. Not that I know this for a fact. Oh no, not me at all.
2) Change the second k2tog to a ssk, or your favourite left slanting decrease. Not that I know any left slanting decreases yet, but someday. Someday that knowledge will be mine. When I get off my butt and go look it up.
3) Make the scarf three times as wide by repeating the pattern three times. However, you will then need approximately three times the yarn. Just so you know. But this could be really interesting in a "I totally am just thinking of this right now and have never actually tried this" kind of way. You could make the lace row:
k2tog 6x, YO K1 12x, k2tog 6x*
(k2tog 2x, YO K1 4x, k2tog 2x)3x*
Either way, I totally haven't tried it out and have no idea how it would work in reality.
*2x means two times, 6x means six times, ()3x means do everything inside the parentheses three times. Just so you know.