Sprout: a free lace knitting stitch pattern


October’s stitch pattern word is sprout, suggested by Rebecca on Patreon. She suggested it quite a while ago, and it went into the word hoard I keep for months when nobody suggests anything. (Would you like to suggest words for me to encode as stitch patterns?) While it’s not spring where I am, it’s certainly spring in the Southern Hemisphere, so sprout seems apt.

I thought I’d try a different layout from usual, and I’m still thinking about the results and what I learned from them. I didn’t quite like this lace until I blocked it, and then I saw that it looked even more like leafy vines than I’d thought.

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. A random number generator helps me choose the word of the month, and then I get to work, first turning the letters into numbers, then charting the numbers onto grids in various ways. Finally, when I make the chart into lace, I turn the marked squares into yarnovers and work out where to place the corresponding decreases. (I usually make lace; occasionally I make cables instead.) I also make a chart for any craft that uses a square grid for designing; this goes in a separate post.
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Étude no. 17: further experiments in picture knitting

experiments in picture knitting

I have pretty much given up trying to invent a form of knitted filet lace, where filet lace is defined as a background of square mesh with filled in squares to make pictures or other designs. Besides, Jackie E-S has already done it (though I won’t reveal her method since it’s a paid tutorial).

The closest I’ve come up with is a variant with hexagonal mesh, which I really like quite a lot, except that the number of stitches used for one hexagon makes it harder to make detailed pictures the way one can with filet crochet or filet lace (done on netting) because of the scale involved.

I was considering the question of lace picture knitting some more and realized that my mental thought processes had gotten stuck on a particular design order. When I think about making filet crochet or hex lace, I start with the mesh chart and then mark the design on the mesh. But what if I reversed the order? I don’t know how other people do this kind of design work, but this is how my mind works. (A modern designer that I know of who does this sort of work—and is expert at it, unlike me—is Sharon Winsauer.)

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Étude no. 16: an exploration of hexagonal meshes

Swatches of more or less hexagonal meshes

I’ve talked about hexagonal mesh before, but I don’t think I mentioned that there’s more than one kind. The one I generally use is my favorite for most purposes: the stitch count doesn’t change from row to row, it doesn’t curl much, and it seems to have the most equally-proportioned hexagons. Also, it’s got decreases that face in both directions. The one minor flaw it has is that horizontal bar of yarn across the bottom point. I decided I might really be a little too biased (though the mesh isn’t), and so I should at least swatch some others, make variations along the way, and see what I might like to use at some point.

So here is my long swatch.

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Helianthe: a shawl pattern


Nim Teasdale and I collaborated together on Helianthe. She suggested sunflower to me and I encoded it as stitch patterns to suit the sorts of designs she likes to make. This is a pattern that will suit a variety of weights of yarns and can be worked to more than one size. Here’s more information on Ravelry. (No Ravelry account required for purchase.)
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Skulls: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Skulls: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

This isn’t secret code. This is the result of starting a secret code swatch back in August and having to start over because there were excellent skull faces in it. (It was not appropriate to have skull faces in that particular context.)

I’ve fiddled a bit with the design – removing the non-skull bits and elongating  the top a bit. I’m not sure the proportions are anatomically correct, but I like the effect, so.

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Suffrage: new shawl pattern


When I decided to knit a shawl based on sunflowers, I really had no idea what I wanted to call it. Shortly after starting work on this shawl, it was International Women’s Day, and I was reminded that my great-grandmother had been a suffragist in Kansas as a teenager. While looking around on the internet for information about Kansas suffragists, I happened across the information that they used the Kansas sunflower as a symbol. The name for my shawl became obvious, as did its purpose.

I’m donating all my profits from this shawl to organizations concerned with voting rights. Half will go to the League of Women Voters (the successor to the women’s suffrage movement) and half to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which works for voting rights, among many other civil rights issues.

The shawl is shaped like a letter C: cast on a somewhat long inner edge, work honeycomb mesh outward for a while with some shaping, work a mildly complicated transition (with some patterning on two wrong side rows), finishing up with chevron petals. The outer edges have some garter stitch to counter curling. The petals can easily be made longer or shorter to accommodate different quantities of yarn.

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Some patterns

some patterns

I’m making good progress on the big project that’s got my attention at the moment. I thought I’d take a few moments to spotlight the patterns I’ve published for sale this year (and an extra). Here is a link to all my patterns.

Meeting of the waters mitts

Meeting of the Waters

These top-down mitts are designed to make a matching pair from a yarn that would otherwise make fraternal mitts. The secret? Knitting them in one piece, then cutting them apart and sewing a seam in each mitt. This is good practice for learning to use steeks before trying them in a larger project. See more information, and buy here.

New Hope Creek shawl

New Hope Creek
This unusual, not exactly a crescent, shawl is made from five triangles which hug the shoulders nicely. The pattern is planned to work well with a wild yarn in combination with a mild yarn to make a more subtle fabric. See more information, and buy here.

Sycamore Creek

Sycamore Creek

This deep crescent shawl is all garter stitch with a few yarnovers. It starts at the center top and works outward, making it a great way to use up your stash. See more information, and buy here.

And a pattern from 2014 that uses one of my code stitches:

Onward hat


This top-down hat for any size head, in any weight yarn, is a simple knit-purl combination that encodes the word onward. See more information, and buy here.