Photo of knitted sample of Junco lace.

Junco: a lace knitting stitch pattern

The second word I drew from the words suggested on Patreon last month is Junco, suggested by Enting, a Patreon supporter. Juncos are cute little birds that I associate with wintertime. (Not so much where I live, but where I grew up.)

I really liked the way version 1 was coming out, but then I was pleasantly surprised when I turned it into version 2 by how much it looks like a non-secret code stitch pattern. I like my stitch patterns that look like arrangements of plant cells, but I think it’s fun when they turn out looking nothing like that.

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. (I’ll be publishing this next week.)

The stitch patterns are not meant in any way to look like the original words; the words are the seeds of my creativity.

Notes:

  • The bottom half of the swatch is three repeats of version 1; the top is one repeat 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.
  • Junco version 1 is a multiple of 10 + 1 stitches and 10 rows. Version 2 is a multiple of 10 + 11 stitches and 20 or 20 + 10 rows. (End after either row 10 or row 20.)
  • I’ve made stitch maps for Junco, version 1 and Junco, 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:

  • BEY (bunny ears yarnover): This is a variant on the bunny ears decrease, with a yarnover added in the middle. It turns three stitches into three stitches. Knit 2 together, but only remove the first stitch from the needle; yarn over; then work ssk with the second and third stitches. The middle stitch of the original three has been knit together with each of its neighbors. Blog post about bunny ears yarnover.
  • 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.
  • p1b: purl one below. For this stitch pattern, it’s not quite the same as a regular p1b, because it’s actually purling the bar below a yarnover, but the action is much the same. From behind, pick up the bar below the yarnover with the right needle and place it on the left needle next to the yarnover; purl both those strands at the same time. This prevents the bar from making a horizontal line in front of the yarnover.
  • ssk: slip each of the next 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Or substitute your favorite left-leaning decrease)
  • yo: yarnover. Bring the yarn forward between the needles so that it will make a loop over the needle when the next stitch is worked. When there are two in a row, bring the yarn forward, wrap it once around the needle, and leave the yarn in front so it makes a second loop.

Junco, version 1

chart with symbols showing how to knit Junco lace, version 1
Click to enlarge

Row 1 (RS): *K2, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k1; work from * to last st, k1.

Row 2: Purl.

Row 3: *K1, k2tog, yo, k1, BEY, k1, yo, ssk; work from * to last st, k1.

Row 4: P1, *p4, p1 below, p5; work from *.

Row 5: *K1, ssk, yo, k5, yo, k2tog; work from * to last st, k1.

Row 6: Purl.

Row 7: *K1, yo, ssk, yo, k2tog, k1, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo; work from * to last st, k1.

Row 8: Purl.

Row 9: *K2, yo, ssk, yo, CDD, yo, k2tog, yo, k1; work from * to last st, k1.

Row 10: Purl.

Junco, version 2

chart with symbols showing how to knit Junco lace, version 1
Click to enlarge

Row 1 (RS): k2, yo, k2tog, k1, *k2, ssk, yo, k3, yo, k2tog, k1; work from * to last 6 sts, k2, ssk, yo, k2.

Row 2: Purl.

Row 3: Yo, ssk, k1, yo, ssk, *k1, k2tog, yo, k1, BEY, k1, yo, ssk; work from * to last 6 sts, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, k2tog, yo.

Row 4: P6, *p4, p1b, p5; work from * to last 5 sts, p5.

Row 5: K3, yo, k2tog, *k1, ssk, yo, k5, yo, k2tog; work from * to last 6 sts, k1, ssk, yo, k3.

Row 6: Purl.

Row 7: K1, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo, *k1, yo, ssk, yo, k2tog, k1, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo; work from * to last 6 sts, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k2tog, k1.

Row 8: Purl.

Row 9: K2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, *k2, yo, ssk, yo, CDD, yo, k2tog, yo, k1; work from * to last 6 sts, k2, yo, ssk, yo, ssk.

Row 10: Purl.

Row 11: k2, ssk, yo, k1, *k2, yo, k2tog, k3, ssk, yo, k1; work from * to last 6 sts, k2, yo, k2tog, k2.

Row 12: Purl.

Row 13: K1, k2tog, yo, k1, *BEY, k1, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k1; work from * to last 7 sts, BEY, k1, yo, ssk, k1.

Row 14: P1, p4, *p1b, p5, p4; work from * to last 6 sts, p1b, p5.

Row 15: K1, ssk, yo, k2, *k1, k2, yo, k2tog, k1, ssk, yo, k2; work from * to last 6 sts, k1, k2, yo, k2tog, k1.

Row 16: Purl.

Row 17: K1, yo, ssk, *yo, k2tog, k1, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk; work from * to last 8 sts, yo, k2tog, k1, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo, k1.

Row 18: Purl.

Row 19: k2, yo, ssk, yo, *CDD, yo, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, yo; work from * to last 7 sts, CDD, yo, k2tog, yo, k2.

Row 20: Purl.

4 thoughts on “Junco: a lace knitting stitch pattern”

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