sample knitting for Wren: a lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst

Wren: a lace knitting stitch pattern

The first word I drew from the words suggested on Patreon this month is Wren, suggested by Susan C, a Patreon supporter. Wrens are brash little brown birds with their tails held at a jaunty angle. Their call is not beautiful: they buzz at each other in warning when I come out the front door. They nest in odd spots. Someone in my twitter feed left a packing envelope on a shelf outside this spring and then discovered she couldn’t throw the envelope away because it was full of a nest and eggs. Then she forgot to throw it away when the babies fledged, and when she came back, there was another wren nest!

I love them.

This particular lace pattern is a little unusual in that it gently undulates along the bottom, but is straight across the top. Keep this in mind in your designs!

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. I make three of these into knitting stitches each month: the second and third (posted on the first day of the next month) are drawn from the collection of new words; the first 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.

sample knitting for Wren: a lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst

Notes:

  • The bottom half of the swatch is four repeats of version 1; the top is one and a half repeats of version 2.
  • These are stitch patterns such as might be found in a stitch dictionary. They are not patterns for a finished object. You will need to add selvedges or some other form of knitted stitches to either side.
  • Wren is a multiple of 16 + 1 stitches. Version 1 is a multiple of 8 rows; version 2 is a multiple of either 16 or 16 + 8 rows (stop after either row 8 or row 16).
  • The decreases are rather different in rows 1 & 3 of the two versions.
  • I’ve made stitch maps for version 1 and version 2.
  • Designers, please feel free to use these in your patterns. I’d like credit but won’t be offended if people don’t give it.
  • My blog posts and free stitch patterns are supported by subscriptions on Patreon or donations to my Paypal tip jar in the sidebar. If you appreciate my work, please consider helping out. 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)
  • k3tog: knit 3 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning double 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)
  • sssk: slip each of the next 3 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Left-leaning double decrease; substitute sk2p if desired.)
  • yo: yarnover

Wren, version 1

chart for Wren version 1: a lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst
click chart to enlarge

Row 1 (RS): *p1, yo, k1, cdd, yo, k1, k2tog, yo, p1, yo, ssk, k1, yo, cdd, k1, yo; work from *, p1. [17 sts]

Row 2 (WS): k1, *(p7, k1) × 2; work from *.

Row 3: *p1, k4, cdd, yo x 2, p1, yo x 2, cdd, k4; work from *, p1.

Row 4: k1, *p5, (k1, p1) in double yo, k1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p5, k1; work from *.

Row 5: *p1, yo, k1, k2tog × 2, yo, k2, p1, k2, yo, ssk × 2, k1, yo; work from *, p1.

Row 6: k1, *(p7, k1) × 2; work from *.

Row 7: *p1, k2, k2tog, yo, k3, p1, k3, yo, ssk, k2; work from *, p1.

Row 8: k1, *(p7, k1) × 2; work from *.

Wren, version 2

chart for Wren version 2: a lace knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst
click chart to enlarge

Row 1 (RS): *p1, yo, k1, sssk, yo, ssk, k1, yo, p1, yo, k1, k2tog, yo, k3tog, k1, yo; work from *, p1.

Row 2 (WS): k1, *(p7, k1) × 2; work from *.

Row 3: *p1, k4, sssk, yo x 2, p1, yo x 2, k3tog, k4; work from *, p1.

Row 4: k1, *p5, (k1, p1) in double yo, k1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p5, k1; work from *.

Row 5: *p1, yo, k1, k2tog × 2, yo, k2, p1, k2, yo, ssk × 2, k1, yo; work from *, p1.

Row 6: k1, *(p7, k1) × 2; work from *.

Row 7: *p1, k2, k2tog, yo, k3, p2, k2, yo, ssk, k2; work from *, p1.

Row 8: k1, *(p7, k1) × 2; work from *.

Row 9: *p1, yo, k1, k2tog, yo, k3tog, k1, yo, p1, yo, k1, sssk, yo, ssk, k1, yo; work from *, p1.

Row 10: k1, *(p7, k1) × 2; work from *.

Row 11: *p1, yo x 2, k3tog, k4, p1, k4, sssk, yo x 2; work from *, p1.

Row 12: k1, *(k1, p1) in double yo, p5, k1, p5, (k1, p1) in double yo, k1; work from *.

Row 13: *p1, k2, yo, ssk × 2, k1, yo, p1, yo, k1, k2tog × 2, yo, k2; work from *, p1.

Row 14: k1, *(p7, k1) × 2; work from *.

Row 15: *p1, k3, yo, ssk, k2, p1, k2, k2tog, yo, k3; work from *, p1.

Row 16: k1, *(p7, k1) × 2; work from *.

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