This month, the random number generator chose the word rest, suggested by Alisa on Patreon. I tried to make the lace below as restful to knit as possible. There might be double yarnovers, but all the decreases are single. I’ve included a panel version and an offset version; they combine nicely.
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.
Back in the fall, I started seeing discussion of a new kind of knitting needle set from Addi: Flexiflips. They’re like a cross between double-pointed knitting needles and circular needles. There’s three in a set, designed for knitting items in a small circumference, like mitts or socks, or toys.
I was instantly intrigued. I like my double-pointed needles, but sometimes I do get frustrated with them (most notably when they break or when I pull one out of my knitting by accident).
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are links to two heart-shaped stitch patterns for you:
Serendipity heart motif
Lark in the Morning
Last week’s cable experiment wasn’t a success, but it gave me an idea for how to more reliably encode words as cables: work with narrower charts.
I quickly sketched out about ten possible narrow word charts in my graph paper notebook, and found that a large majority of them were feasible as cables. Success! However, it’s still most practical for short words.
In celebration, here is quip as a cable, encoded in base 3 and then charted with my method 1.
This is just a random photo challenge I made up for myself, and you’re welcome to join in if you like!
My plan is to use a random number generator to pick three concepts from the following table at the beginning of each day, and then try to take at least one photo that day using at least one of those concepts. I’m going to try this for a week and see how it goes; if I’m having fun, I’ll keep going until it’s not fun anymore.
My goal is to stretch my photography abilities.
Recently, a friend on social media linked to an article about the Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph system, which used something different from Morse code. My immediate reaction was to look at the code chart and think that it looked like knitted cables. I found this exciting, because it’s been very hard to reliably produce fancy braided cables from my code charts.
It doesn’t help that my very first attempt to produce such cables worked, but most of my efforts since then have failed.
In the end, the Cooke and Wheatstone system turned out not to work for my purposes, for the same reasons that my usual code grids don’t (with the added difficulty that there’s several letters missing with that code, so that one has to use S instead of Z and K instead of Q, and a few other substitutions). Nonetheless, this has led me in some helpful directions, because I talked the problem through with a designer friend. This kind of dead end is never a waste of time for me, even if there’s mild disappointment involved.
This month, the random number generator chose rest, suggested by Alisa on Patreon.
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. I use a bunch of filters and things to try to make it look interesting while retaining the encoded layout. It doesn’t necessarily look like a finished object for any particular craft, but I just want to give a sense of it.
Here’s a set of stitch patterns I designed after writing Gather Together last week. In my original rough draft swatch, I only tried the first, but while I was swatching in the final yarn, I couldn’t help but try a couple of variations. I like them all, so here they all are!
There’s a knitting stitch combination that I’ve seen called a gather, and I’ve mostly seen it in Estonian stitch patterns, though I’m guessing they get used elsewhere too. Essentially, they are a combination of a double decrease (or more) and a double increase (or more) happening at the same time.
It sounds more complicated than it is. Take the 3/3 gather. When making a k3tog decrease, the basic principle is to insert the needle through all three stitches as if they were one stitch, and then knit one stitch in that clump of stitches. The gather expands upon that: knit those three stitches together without removing them from the needle, then yarnover, then knit the three stitches together again. This is the same as working a KYOK at the same time as a k3tog. Start with three stitches, end with three stitches, but they’re gathered together.
But thinking of it as a decrease/increase started making my brain fizz.