Wild/erness, a free lace knitting pattern.

Wilderness, a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Every month, my backers on Patreon can suggest a word for me to encode, and I use a random number generator to pick the word of the month. This month, the RNG landed on wilderness, suggested by Nim. (The RNG has been very kind to Nim lately, and so she’s decided to stop offering words for a while so as to give other people’s words a chance.)

Anyway, it struck me that if I picked the right grid for wilderness, I could simultaneously offer lace knitting charts for just plain wild, so that the two stitch patterns would coordinate and flow into each other. It worked out even better than I had hoped!

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Etude no.8: an old asymmetrical pattern, mirrored

A mirrored version of Pattern 54, from Knitting Lace, by Susanna Lewis

Something I’m wanting to work on in the long run is designing lace that has yarnovers on every row. This is intimidating me more than it probably should, so I decided to start with some baby steps.

It’s often a good idea to play around with existing designs in a technique:  swatching other people’s stitch patterns teaches me a lot about structure. To this end I decided to browse through the stitch patterns in Susanna Lewis’s Knitting Lace. Pattern 54 looked like a good place to start – it’s not terribly complex.

Just for kicks, I decided to try mirroring it. (I added an extra column of knit stitches between each repeat so as not to deal with double yarnovers.)

In the end, I’m not sure the mirroring was a good idea – the fabric is so very lumpy that it’s hard to block flat. The slightly bubbled texture after blocking could be charming or could be annoying. Still, I think I’ve got a somewhat better feel for how the yarnovers shift from side to side as decreases and new yarnovers are added on every row.

I had thought the self-striping yarn would do some nice rippling because of how wiggly the fabric is, but it turns out that it wiggles in opposite directions and cancels out any rippling in the color. Something with a shorter repeat might show it more than this yarn, though.
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Étude no. 7: garter lace with a sawtooth edge

There’s an old kind of lace edging that always makes me grin, because it’s so different from all the other lace I’ve seen in knitting. My mental narrative when I’m knitting one goes like this:

  1. Cast on a few stitches.
  2. Knit a row, adding some yarnovers to start a pretty pattern.
  3. Knit back.
  4. Knit a row, adding some more yarnovers to continue the pattern.
  5. Knit back.
  6. Knit a row, adding some more yarnovers.
  7. Hey, wait! Where’d all these extra stitches come from? I guess I’d better bind them off until I have the right number, and then I’ll knit back.

Of course, it’s actually more deliberate than that. The bound off stitches take the place of decreases, in the process making a decorative sawtooth edge.

There’s a number of examples of this kind of lace around; one place to see them is at knitting-and.com.

I thought it might be fun to try it with a secret code chart or two.

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Crocheted Beloved – a free stitch pattern

Beloved, a free stitch pattern, thanks to my Patreon backers. Beloved stitch patterns by Naomi Parkhurst are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

My friend Rebecca very kindly agreed to do an occasional swatch for the crochet stitch patterns I’d like to try. This month’s Patreon word is Beloved. I converted the letters to numbers and charted the numbers on a grid in a variety of ways.

This stitch pattern is available for personal use and published designs alike (with credit, please). Do let me know if you use it; it makes me happy.

I also made a very different lace pattern for knitters, which I put in a separate post. It has a very different character, and I’m fine with that – it’s a result of how the encoding works with different crafts. If I’m making lace designs for knitting, the marked spaces are turned into increases which have to be counterbalanced by decreases. The decreases take work to place in an aesthetically pleasing way, and the end result can look very different from the beginning chart with just marked squares on it. (If you look at the knitting version, the code is encompassed by just the squares with little circles in them.)

I am not going to get the opportunity to explore and swatch with the more delicate versions of crochet lace; that’s just how it is. (I’d love to see a crochet designer figure out how to turn the numbers from encoding letters into that kind of lace!) But I can make simpler charts that are a straight-up translation of my grids into simple crochet.

This is the grid I worked with, which can be used for a variety of crafts:

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Beloved: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Beloved, a free lace knitting stitch pattern.

Every month, my backers on Patreon suggest words for me to encode as a stitch pattern (using the methods I’ve developed over the last few years). I pick one at random and publish the result on the first of the month. This month, I decided on a variation – charting the encoded numbers on a diamond instead of a square. I’m particularly pleased with the result, which fits neatly in a triangle. (The edging in the swatch photo is a picot bind-off. I couldn’t resist.)

This stitch pattern is available for personal use and published designs alike (with credit, please). Do let me know if you use it; it makes me happy.

I’m going to post a crochet version of Beloved in a separate entry because it deserves to be seen on its own. (Thanks to a friend for making the swatch for me!) A chart for any craft that works from a grid will be  included in that post.

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Festive, a free stitch pattern, thanks to my Patreon backers.

Festive, a free lace knitting stitch pattern, thanks to my backers on Patreon.

Every month, I encode a word suggested by one of my patrons on Patreon. This month’s word was suggested by Katherine: Festive. The color of my swatch might not be particularly bright, but it’s still nice to think of cheerful things in the depths of a grey winter (in this hemisphere, anyway).

I encoded the letters of festive in base 6, charted them as yarnovers on graph paper using several different layout methods, and then noodled around with the different decrease possibilities until I found a lace pattern I liked. I think this one strikes an interesting balance between symmetry and asymmetry.

As always, a chart for any craft that works from a grid is included at the bottom of the post.

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Free Stitch Pattern: Friendship

This month’s word, suggested by Nim on Patreon, is Friendship. This seems a delightful way to start the new year – I hope we all have plenty of it. I encoded it in base seven and then found a way to make two layouts: one lace, and one chart for a variety of needlework. Thanks to my supporters on Patreon who help support my blog work!

I like the way it looks as if there are moths (the nice kind) or butterflies in the pattern.

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Free lace stitch pattern: Winter

The word Winter encoded as knitted lace.

Happy Winter Solstice – it will be nice to see the days grow longer again.

Here’s the last of the four seasons. I was considering trying for another cable, but I couldn’t make any of the charts work out as a nice cable design, so here we are with lace. (I might go back and do an autumn lace to make the set complete.)

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