All posts by Naomi Parkhurst

I call myself a string geek because I like doing a whole range of hand crafts, most of which involve string or yarn: knitting, spinning, sewing, nalbinding, crochet, embroidery, tatting, dyeing, and probably some I'm not even thinking of.

Coffee: a mosaic knitting chart

A while back, I encoded the word Coffee and made it into a lace stitch pattern and a needlework chart. For this week’s post, I reworked a code grid I made while planning that post and turned it into a mosaic knitting stitch pattern. (I used the process described in this post.)

A nice thing about mosaic knitting is that the charts are similar to the final appearance of the knitting, so I’m not going to provide a swatch. Mosaic knitting looks difficult, but it’s not as hard as it looks! Basically, knit two-row stripes, and slip stitches from the row below to make the contrasting pattern.

Here’s a detailed blog post I wrote about how it works.

Follow the link for charts and instructions

Brim: a mosaic knitting chart

A while back, I encoded the word Brim and made it into a lace stitch pattern and a needlework chart. For this week’s post, I reworked a code grid I made while planning that post and turned it into a mosaic knitting stitch pattern. (I used the process described in this post.)

Note: this isn’t meant to be a brim; it’s using the word brim as the basis for the design.

A nice thing about mosaic knitting is that the charts are similar to the final appearance of the knitting, so I’m not going to provide a swatch. Mosaic knitting looks difficult, but it’s not as hard as it looks! Basically, knit two-row stripes, and slip stitches from the row below to make the contrasting pattern.

Here’s a detailed blog post I wrote about how it works.

Follow the link for charts and instructions

Lichen: a needlework chart for any craft

The random number generator picked lichen from the suggestions for this post, suggested by Andria and Bookwyrm, two Patreon supporters.

I developed a lace stitch pattern for Lichen but I also like to provide a basic chart for any craft that’s worked on a grid: beads, cross stitch, whatever. I try to provide at least some digital art of the pattern repeated all over not as a chart. It doesn’t necessarily look like a finished object for any particular craft, but I want to give a sense of it in use. (I try to make it look like knitting when it’s got floats short enough for easy stranded knitting.)

Follow link for charts and more information

Lichen: a lace knitting stitch pattern

The first word I drew from the words suggested on Patreon this month is Lichen, suggested by Andria and Bookwyrm, two Patreon supporters. I’m very pleased with the lyre motifs I see in this one, even though they have nothing to do with lichen.

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 made a Lichen needlework chart for any craft that uses a square grid for designing.

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

Follow link for charts and instructions

Burst: a mosaic knitting chart

A while back, I encoded the word Burst and made it into a lace stitch pattern and a needlework chart. For this week’s post, I reworked a code grid I made while planning that post and turned it into a mosaic knitting stitch pattern. (I used the process described in this post.)

A nice thing about mosaic knitting is that the charts are similar to the final appearance of the knitting, so I’m not going to provide a swatch. Mosaic knitting looks difficult, but it’s not as hard as it looks! Basically, knit two-row stripes, and slip stitches from the row below to make the contrasting pattern.

Here’s a detailed blog post I wrote about how it works.

Follow the link for charts and instructions

Yearn: a needlework chart for any craft

The random number generator picked Yearn from the suggestions for this post, suggested by Bonnie C, one of my Patreon supporters.

I developed a lace stitch pattern for Yearn, but I also like to provide a basic chart for any craft that’s worked on a grid: beads, cross stitch, whatever. I try to provide at least some digital art of the pattern repeated all over not as a chart. It doesn’t necessarily look like a finished object for any particular craft, but I want to give a sense of it in use. (I try to make it look like knitting when it’s got floats short enough for easy stranded knitting.)

Follow link for charts and more information

Yearn: a lace knitting stitch pattern

The word I drew from my word hoard for this stitch pattern is Yearn, suggested by Bonnie C, a Patreon supporter.

Much as I like my stitch work, I’ve been feeling as if I’d like to stretch my abilities, and this pushed me in a couple of ways. Six years ago, I tried working with vertical symmetry, and found it difficult. When I looked at the possible charts for yearn, this yarnover layout caught my eye; I also realized I didn’t necessarily need to aim for perfect vertical symmetry, though this isn’t too far off. I also felt that since this was turning into a stitch pattern with a lot of cables that it might be good to add a little reverse stockinette as a contrast background. I’m really pleased with the result. (The reverse stockinette is optional; anywhere there’s a purl dot on the chart can be replaced with a knit square, except for the [k1, p1] symbols above the double yarnovers.)

I did have to invent three different cable/decrease combinations to cope with the layout, however, so this is definitely for those of you who like a bit of a challenge! This does mean I didn’t get a chance to check my work in Stitch Maps, so there’s an increased chance of mistakes, though I double-checked everything a couple extra times.

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 made a Yearn needlework chart for any craft that uses a square grid for designing.

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

Follow link for charts and instructions

Colour Confident Stitching: a book review

It’s been a while since I wrote my blog posts about color exploration and about some good books to use for learning how to use color. You can find all those blog posts under the color exercises tag.

I was at the library recently and browsing the craft shelves to see what was new (the main branch of the library had been closed for years even before 2020 to be entirely rebuilt, so the collection has changed a lot). I noticed a book about choosing colors that I thought would be helpful for any fiber artist, even though it is primarily written for embroiderers:

Colour Confident Stitching: How to create beautiful colour palettes, by Karen Barbé. Pimpernel Press Ltd, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-910258-65-1

https://www.pimpernelpress.com/colour-confident-stitching
Continue reading Colour Confident Stitching: a book review

Merci, modification 2: a needlework chart for any craft

After I made the Merci needlework chart, I figured out a modification to Merci to make it more suitable for stranded needlework. The result made me see that there was kind of one basic tile pattern in dark and light alternation, with two slightly different centers to the dark and light “tiles”. I wondered how it would look if I changed the center of the light “tiles” to be an inverted version of the dark “tiles”. (I say tile, because I don’t know what else to call the repeating shape). The result, posted here, is an interesting counterchange pattern.

I could go on to use the other pattern as a counterchange design too, but I think I’m ready to move on to other designs. If you like the other center design, maybe give it a try for yourself?

Follow link for charts and more information

Happy: a needlework chart for any craft

The random number generator picked Happy from the suggestions for this post, suggested by Cathy D, one of my Patreon supporters.

I developed a lace stitch pattern for Happy, but I also like to provide a basic chart for any craft that’s worked on a grid: beads, cross stitch, whatever. I try to provide at least some digital art of the pattern repeated all over not as a chart. It doesn’t necessarily look like a finished object for any particular craft, but I want to give a sense of it in use. (I try to make it look like knitting when it’s got floats short enough for easy stranded knitting.)

Follow link for charts and more information