Coffee: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Coffee: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

This month, the random number generator chose coffee, suggested by Nim. I have a little feeling that a lot of you will be very pleased right now, as I know just how many people love coffee. I’ve never acquired a taste for the beverage myself (I’m a tea drinker), but I do love the way the stitch pattern came out!

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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Omega: a free stranded knitting pattern

Omega: a free chart for stranded knitting

Omega is a Greek letter, used as the scientific symbol for the ohm, the unit for measuring electrical resistance. This makes it a useful symbol for resistance in general, and so I’ve made it into charts for your craftivism needs.

There’s one version that’s a single letter, useful for duplicate stitch or cross stitch. There’s another version that’s for making a band of stranded knitting around a hat or anything else you like.

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Étude no 18: noodling around with Granite Stitch

Periodically I blog about some of my knitting experiments – I call these études, after the kind of musical exercises.

I recently joined Instagram (@gannetdesigns) and have been joining in with the @yarnlovechallenge, which provides photo prompts on a given yarny handcraft theme. The theme for this week is texture, which made my brain fizz.

I’ve been meaning to fool around a little with Granite Stitch just to see what I could see, because much as I love lace and cables, I think there’s a lot of other textured knitting stitches to play with and turn into other stitch patterns.

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Braid stitch socks, finished.

A year and a half ago, I wrote a blog post about a pair of socks I was knitting for myself, talking about my design decisions and how I messed around with a stitch pattern called braid stitch from a stitch dictionary to make it sit correctly on the top of the sock. I knit the first half of the second sock and then other projects became shinier. The braid stitch socks went into hibernation until a couple of weeks ago, when I picked them out of the bin. I need more socks, and the stitch pattern was freshly attractive to me. 

I finished the second sock last night, and I thought I’d share my conclusions so as not to leave that blog post hanging. 

Finished braid stitch socks
First, I still like the way they look — I really like the way the stitch pattern looks when stretched out on the foot. However, the stitch pattern is stiff enough that I really should have increased enough stitches at the toe to put in another 7-stitch repeat. I can get the socks onto my feet, but it’s a close thing. Fortunately, they are not so tight that I can’t wear them comfortably. 

Or, wait. Now that I look again, I can see that I should have added more gusset stitches to make the heel flap longer. This would have let me add in one more stitch pattern repeat in the cuff, which would have made the socks easier to put on. I think I like this solution better, since it would have solved two problems at once. 

I should have taken better notes about how I worked the gusset – I think it might be slightly different on the two socks. 

Something I didn’t mention in the previous post – I didn’t just slap a standard k2p2 ribbing on the cuff. For one thing, it wouldn’t fit nicely in 63 stitches. For another, I like my ribbing to flow out of the stitch pattern that’s being used. One obvious choice would have been k5p2 ribbing, but I wanted something a little stretchier. So I put a purl column above the p3tog part of the stitch pattern, making the ribbing into *k2, p1, k2, p2; work from *. I like the effect. 

In any case, I have another pair of hand knit socks I like, and that’s always a good thing. I still need more socks, but I’m going to work on destashing some self-patterning yarn. I’m just going to knit plain socks in alternation with my design knitting for a while. 

Some swatches for my secret code rewrite

Just a small blog post this week. I’ve been rewriting my basic instructions for how to design secret patterns based on words. I knit these three swatches to go with the post about turning a code grid into a stitch pattern. While I love the lace designs I made from code grids, I also really like some of the possibilities with other kinds of stitch patterns. One shows the grid as colorwork, one turns it into a knit-purl pattern, and one shows it with slipped stitches with the yarn carried in front. 

This is two repeats of each Peace chart from side to side. I worked two and a half repeats of the knit purl chart vertically, stopping after row 3. I then started working the slipped stitch chart from row 4 (to continue the code pattern smoothly), and worked two and a half repeats of that chart.

I am considering reknitting this one to be tidier. I should have made a plain border at the bottom; I think that would have helped me get the gauge right from the start. I think I might also do the pattern stitches on rows 1&4 with duplicate stitch. This is two repeats of the Peace grid horizontally, and two and a half vertically, ending after a row 3. 

I have some other swatches to knit for that post, too. 

Persist: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Persist: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

I published two stitch patterns for the word Resist a couple of weeks ago, and today I’ve done the same for Persist. I converted the letters of Persist into numbers, and then used those numbers to make a lace chart. There is also a chart for stranded knitting at the end of the post.

The result isn’t exactly secret code, nor is it necessarily meant to be recognized by other people as a sign of your political affiliations. But if you want to make something you can wear unobtrusively as a reminder to  yourself, this is a stitch pattern for you.

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Three 2-to-3 increases

Three 2-to-3 increases

Christine Guest has been posting an interesting set of round ups about double increases, and in it she made a challenge to create a corresponding increase to the 3-to-2 decrease that’s also known as Bunny Ears Back.

A side note – the Stitch Maps system now has that decrease as an option. This blog post shows two stitch patterns using that technique – I really like the Little Hearts stitch pattern in particular.

Anyway! So my mind immediately started turning over the question of a symmetrical 2-to-3 increase. In some sense, the obvious thing is just two stitches with an increase in between: lifted increases, a YO, or the kind of m1 that involves lifting a bar. But if you don’t want a hole, you have to twist the increase. I am generally happy enough with the invisibility of lifted increases and don’t worry about their asymmetricality.

Still, I’m always up for challenges like this. Even if I don’t succeed, I often find interesting things along the way. I tried out three different methods that I think could genuinely be called 2-to-3 increases.

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