Each month, my supporters on Patreon suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. This month’s word is Prism, suggested by Lara. I usually do a certain kind of lace encoding, but as the first of the month approached, I was getting more and more frustrated with the results.
Fortunately, as readers of this blog know, I recently figured out another branch of lace knitting (though not, so far as I know, actually a new one). So yesterday, as I was doggedly knitting the best of what seemed like a bad lot of possibilities for prism, I realized that I should try using code with this method, which involves charting on a hexagonal background.
Next month I will probably return to my more usual encoding methods, as there are some factors with this one that make it less suited for my Patreon stitches. (More on this after the stitch pattern.)
Instead of publishing a chart for any craft that uses grids, I’ll suggest this one; the basic chart is near the bottom of the post.
- Blue stitches are selvedge stitches. Cast on a multiple of 48+1.
- At the end of every odd-numbered row, turn work as if to purl back, but instead cast on two more stitches using cable cast-on. Then work the wrong-side row.
- Work the decreases along the right edge of the chart loosely.
- This pattern is worked on the bias.
- The little numbers on the chart show how many knit or purl stitches to work before the next different stitch.
- Bind off on the wrong side of the last row, but don’t cast on two new stitches, and knit the last three stitches together, not the last two.
- I worked one repeat horizontally, but three vertically.
- k: knit.
- k2tog: knit 2 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning decrease)
- p: purl.
- ssk: slip each of the next 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Left-leaning decrease)
- ssp: slip each of the next 2 stitches as if to knit, then purl them together through the back loop. (Left-leaning decrease) (p2tog tbl not recommended – stitch needs to be loose.)
Row 1 (RS): (Ssk, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, k4, (k2tog, yo x 2, ssk) x 3, k2tog, yo x 2) x 2, ssk, co x 2. [51 sts]
Row 2 (WS): (P3, k1) x 2, p7, k1, p7, (k1, p3) x 4, k1, p9, ssp. [50 sts]
Row 3: (Ssk, k4, k2tog, yo x 2) x 2, ssk, k4, (k2tog, yo x 2, ssk) x 4, k4, (k2tog, yo x 2, ssk) x 2, co x 2. [51 sts]
Row 4: (P3, k1) x 2, p7, (k1, p3) x 3, (k1, p7) x 2, k1, p5, ssp. [50 sts]
Row 5: Ssk, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, k8, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, k16, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, k8, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, co x 2. [51 sts]
Row 6: P3, k1, p11, k1, p19, k1, p13, ssp. [50 sts]
Row 7: (Ssk, k2tog, yo x 2) x 2, ssk, k4, (k2tog, yo x 2, ssk) x 4, (k4, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk) x 2, k4, co x 2. [51 sts]
Row 8: (P7, k1) x 3, (p3, k1) x 3, p7, k1, p5, ssp. [50 sts]
Row 9: ((Ssk, k2tog, yo x 2) x 4, ssk, k4, k2tog, yo x 2) x 2, ssk, co x 2. [51 sts]
Row 10: P3, k1, p7, (k1, p3) x 4, k1, p7, (k1, p3) x 2, k1, p5, ssp. [50 sts]
Considerations about hex lace and my Patreon stitches:
Encoding words with this style of lace turns out to make patterns at a much larger scale, which I think explains why Niebling’s patterns with hex lace as a background are so huge. Anyway, that’s one reason I probably won’t do this again for my Patreon stitches. This kind of work seems more suited for a finished item than for a stitch pattern!
Also, the kind of lace and occasional cables I’ve done for my Patreon stitches is harder to explain how to do; I think I’ll be able to explain how to encode as hex lace in a fairly straightforward way before too long.
So, all in all, I think this method will be a one-off. But I’m glad it was available to me just in the nick of time for this month!
Encoding the word:
I started with my usual sort of chart. Prism in base 9 is 17, 20, 10, 21, 14. I started in the bottom right, counted 1 square, then marked the next. The next number is 7, so I counted over 4, then ran out of space, so I finished counting to 7 on the next row and marked the space. Then 2, but there’s nowhere to put the space, so I marked the first space on the next row. The next digit is zero, so I counted no spaces and marked the next one, and so on and so forth.
The nature of hexagons means that they’re not stacked vertically on top of each other, but are shifted halfway over on alternate rows. The simplest way to convert a chart like the one above is therefore to work it on the bias. Mirror symmetry doesn’t work so well on the bias, based on my past experiments with hexagons and on the tapestry crochet I’ve seen, so I picked a chart that would look interesting with rotational symmetry.
Then I had to decide which way to bias it. Neither chart looks entirely like the encoded squares, but that’s because of the bias and the way the hexagons sit. I picked the one that leaned left and made the stitch pattern chart. (It turns out that while each hexagon is composed of four stitches and four rows, whether it is filled with stockinette or is open lace depends on just the first two rows.)
That’s all I can think of – please feel free to ask questions!
Designers, please feel free to use this stitch in your patterns. I’d like credit but won’t be offended if people don’t give it. Thanks! – Naomi
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