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.

Idyll cross stitch project

I’ve been delighted on a number of occasions to see knitters use my stitch patterns or needlework charts to make things, but I haven’t had the good fortune until recently to see other crafters make use of my work.

cross stitched bookmark with the letters "Love" in the middle, and the encoded pattern made from Idyll around the edge.
photo copyright RJ Nelson

RJ Nelson has kindly sent in a photo of a cross-stitched bookmark using my Idyll needlework chart as the border. She’s done such beautiful work with it!

Woodland: a needlework chart for any craft

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

I usually develop a complicated knitting stitch pattern for each word, but I also like to provide a basic chart for any craft that’s worked on a grid: beads, cross stitch, whatever. I also 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 just 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

Woodland: a lace knitting stitch pattern

The word I drew from my word hoard for this stitch pattern is Woodland, suggested by Catnach, a Patreon supporter. I’ve enjoyed going for walks in the woods all my life; I find woodlands calming. This is a complex stitch pattern, so perhaps it’s not as soothing as hanging out in the woods, but I do find it beautiful. I hope you do, too.

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.

Follow link for charts and instructions

Heart: a mosaic knitting chart

A while back, I encoded the word heart and made it into a lace stitch pattern. 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

Junco: a needlework chart for any craft

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

I usually develop a complicated knitting stitch pattern for each word, but I also like to provide a basic chart for any craft that’s worked on a grid: beads, cross stitch, whatever. I also 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 just 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

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.

Follow link for charts and instructions

2021: a mosaic knitting stitch pattern

I have a small tradition of turning the digits of the upcoming year into knitting patterns. I must admit the last few years, I’ve felt less and less like doing it because each year feels grimmer.

Still, I’ve decided to go ahead and do it for 2021 with a kind of determined persistence. May this coming year be better! Also, I like the result. (I’m posting this a few days early because I have a Patreon post that will go up on January 1.)

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

Wild: a mosaic knitting pattern

A while back, I encoded the word wilderness and made it into lace stitch patterns and a needlework chart. For this week’s post, I reworked a code grid for Wild that 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

Zaftig: a lace knitting stitch pattern

The first word I drew from the words suggested on Patreon this month is Zaftig, suggested by Kate, a Patreon supporter. It’s a rather tall and skinny stitch pattern for the word, but at least the motifs within it are beautifully round and voluptuous.

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.

Follow link for charts and instructions

Zaftig: a needlework chart for any craft

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

I usually develop a complicated knitting stitch pattern for each word, but I also like to provide a basic chart for any craft that’s worked on a grid: beads, cross stitch, whatever. I also 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 just 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