Bees: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Bees: a lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst

The word I drew from my word hoard for this stitch pattern is Bees, suggested by Christina on Patreon. I like bees a lot, and enjoy watching them working away in flowers, looking for pollen and nectar.

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. I make two of these into knitting stitches each month: the first is drawn from the collection of new words; the second is drawn from the collection of unused words. A random number generator helps me choose these, 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.

The stitch patterns are not meant in any way to look like the original words; the words are the seeds of my creativity.

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On swatching, part 1

A small swatchlet, with regular eyelets around the edge to make it easier to block.

I get occasional questions about how I knit my stitch pattern swatches, and since I’ve finally settled down into something consistent, I thought I’d write up my full process.

The first thing to know is that there are actually several categories of swatches in the world. The swatches I’m going to write about in this post are not my rough draft design swatches (here’s an old, somewhat out of date post), where I figure out what the heck I’m doing, make changes as I go, and learn from a variety of mistakes. They are also not the kind of swatches that are used to help work out a full-size design. And they are definitely not gauge swatches.

These are finished objects, the swatches I knit to photograph for my stitch pattern posts. The example I’m using here is a traditional mesh patter, Star Rib Mesh. I found it in the first of Barbara Walker’s treasuries.

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Rolled up version 2: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Rolled up v2: a free lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst

Something that I often do with my stitch patterns is to try out what they look like with the alternating repeats moved over halfway. So why not try that with the single row pattern from a couple weeks ago?

In the end, I don’t like it quite as much. One side effect is that the natural undulation of the lace is removed. I do like some things about the vertical band that is made with the waves up the middle. I am glad I tried it, though, as I learned things from it.

Follow link for charts, photos, and explanations.

Burst: a free needlework chart for any craft

The random number generator picked Burst for my first encoded word post of this month, suggested by Lara, one of my Patreon supporters.

I usually develop a complicated knitting stitch pattern for each word, but I also like to provide a basic chart for any craft that’s worked on a grid: beads, cross stitch, whatever. I also try to provide an image of the pattern repeated all over not as a chart. It doesn’t necessarily look like a finished object for any particular craft, but I just want to give a sense of it in use.

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Burst: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Burst: a free lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst

The first word I’m encoding for this month is Burst, suggested by Lara on Patreon.

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. I make two of these into knitting stitches each month: the first is drawn from the collection of new words; the second is drawn from the collection of unused words. A random number generator helps me choose this, 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.

The charts are not meant in any way to look like the original words; the words are the seeds of my creativity.

Follow this link for charts and written instructions

Rolled up: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Rolled Up v1: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

One thing I’ve noticed over the last nine (!!!) years of learning to design lace, is that it’s easier to make lace look at least reasonably good if it has only a few right side rows, even if it’s wide. There are some other constraints, but repetition helps make things look like a pattern very quickly.

Follow link for charts, photos, and explanations.

Lace Crescents v2: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Lace crescents version 2: a free lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst

Here’s the sequel to last week’s Lace Crescents post. I found myself looking at the edges of the vertical repeats and thinking that I could reduce two columns to one – after all, the decreases were on alternate rows.

Indeed, I like the final result even better. I like the braided effect where the repeats come together.

(This isn’t one of my encoded word patterns.)

Follow this link for a chart and written instructions