When you are working in lace it can make it much faster to work and most importantly to catch mistakes if you can ‘read’ your work.
All this means is that you are able to compare your knitted lace work and the chart (or written directions) and see how the stitches match up. This means that if you’ve slipped up you can very quickly see where the problem is!
So how does this work?
As you are knitting your lace take the time to watch the stitches on the previous row. With this example you will see that there are a pair of yarnovers separated by a knit stitch:
Now when you’re ‘reading’ your knitting you want to make sure that those 2 yarnovers are positioned correctly when you work the next row/round.
Lets take a look at this section from the chart:
From this chart you can see those 2 yarnovers from a few rows down in the knitting. As you are working this new row you should always double check that your centered double decrease is centered in the stitch between the double yarnovers. If you reach one that is off center just count back to see if you miscounted your stitches or if you made a mistake. If you can catch a mistake as you work like this you will never need to rip out or correct more than a few stitches at a time. Much less ripping of rows!