Blossom: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

This month, the random number generator chose the word Blossom, suggested by Rebecca and Amy on Patreon. I was pleased to be able to make lace with no double yarnovers that even looks somewhat like flowers.

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.

Blossom: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

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

Notes:

  • This is a stitch pattern such as might be found in a stitch dictionary. This is not a pattern for a finished object. You will need to add selvedges or some other form of knitted stitches to either side.
  • A note about the purl columns: they were added in to eliminate the double yarnovers and to make the stitch pattern into a useful proportion of stitches to rows. The resulting stitch pattern should fit nicely into one of the standard crescent shawl shapes. The purl column can be changed into a knit column for ease of knitting, but at that point, Blossom will lose any semblance of being a secret code. This isn’t necessarily a problem.
  • Blossom is a multiple of 18+1 stitches and 24 rows.
  • I’ve made a stitch map for it.
  • Designers, please feel free to use it in your patterns. I’d like credit but won’t be offended if people don’t give it.
  • If you like my posts like this, please consider supporting me on Patreon or donating with my Paypal tip jar in the sidebar. Thanks!

Abbreviations:

  • cdd: centered double decrease: slip the next 2 stitches as if to knit 2 together, knit the next stitch, then pass the 2 slipped stitches over the third.
  • 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)
  • yo: yarnover.

Row 1 (RS): *p1, yo, k2tog, (ssk, yo) x 2, k2, p1, k2, (yo, k2tog) x 2, ssk, yo; work from *, p1.
Row 2 and all wrong side rows: k1, *(p8, k1) x 2; work from *.
Row 3: *p1, k1, yo, cdd, yo, k4, p1, k4, yo, cdd, yo, k1; work from *, p1.
Row 5: *p1, k2, yo, ssk x 2, yo, k2tog, yo, p1, yo, ssk, yo, k2tog x 2, yo, k2; work from *, p1.
Row 7: *p1, ssk, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, p1, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, k2tog; work from *, p1.
Row 9: *p1, k4, cdd, yo, k1, yo, p1, yo, k1, yo, cdd, k4; work from *, p1.
Row 11: *p1, k3, k2tog, yo, k3, p1, k3, yo, ssk, k3; work from *, p1.
Row 13: *p1, k2, (yo, k2tog) x 2, ssk, yo, p1, yo, k2tog, (ssk, yo) x 2, k2; work from *, p1.
Row 15: *p1, k4, yo, cdd, yo, k1, p1, k1, yo, cdd, yo, k4; work from *, p1.
Row 17: *p1, yo, ssk, yo, k2tog x 2, yo, k2, p1, k2, yo, ssk x 2, yo, k2tog, yo; work from *, p1.
Row 19: *p1, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, k2tog, p1, ssk, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo, k1; work from *, p1.
Row 21: *p1, yo, k1, yo, cdd, k4, p1, k4, cdd, yo, k1, yo; work from *, p1.
Row 23: *p1, k3, yo, ssk, k3, p1, k3, k2tog, yo, k3; work from *, p1.

Encoding explanation for the curious:

The first thing I did was to turn the letters of blossom into numbers, using base 9: 02 13 16 21 21 16 14.

Then I laid out the numbers on a grid. Here’s how I do that. Each letter of blossom is two digits. I’m going to use each of those digits to count squares from right to left starting on the bottom row (following the direction of knitting). After counting enough squares for each digit, I’ll mark the next square to the left, though I’ll have to account for line breaks.

blossom encoded chart process, part one

I started in the bottom right corner because knitting starts at the bottom right corner. (This is entirely arbitrary, but I like to be consistent when I do these.) The first digit of b is 0, so I counted no squares and marked the next square to the left; in this case that means I have to mark the first square. (I know that’s a little weird, but it’s really the only way to account for zero in this method.) The second digit of b is 2, so I counted two squares, and then marked the next square to the left with black.  The first digit of l is one, so I counted one square and marked the next square. The second digit of l is 3, so I counted three squares—well, I counted two square on this row, but then I ran out of room, so I jumped up to the next row and finished counting there. I continued on in this manner until I ran out of squares to mark. There’s four blank squares, but they don’t count for the code since there’s no black square to the left of them.

blossom encoded chart process, part two

Then I mirrored the chart I’d generated, added the purl columns, turned the black squares into yarnovers, and worked out where to place the decreases so that I liked the end result.

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