Quip: a free cable knitting stitch pattern

Quip: a free cable knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst

Last week’s cable experiment wasn’t a success, but it gave me an idea for how to more reliably encode words as cables: work with narrower charts.

I quickly sketched out about ten possible narrow word charts in my graph paper notebook, and found that a large majority of them were feasible as cables. Success! However, it’s still most practical for short words.

In celebration, here is quip as a cable, encoded in base 3 and then charted with my method 1.

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Obscure telegram methods and encoded knit cables

table showing the Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph codes

Recently, a friend on social media linked to an article about the Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph system, which used something different from Morse code. My immediate reaction was to look at the code chart and think that it looked like knitted cables. I found this exciting, because it’s been very hard to reliably produce fancy braided cables from my code charts.

It doesn’t help that my very first attempt to produce such cables worked, but most of my efforts since then have failed.

In the end, the Cooke and Wheatstone system turned out not to work for my purposes, for the same reasons that my usual code grids don’t (with the added difficulty that there’s several letters missing with that code, so that one has to use S instead of Z and K instead of Q, and a few other substitutions). Nonetheless, this has led me in some helpful directions, because I talked the problem through with a designer friend. This kind of dead end is never a waste of time for me, even if there’s mild disappointment involved.

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Rest: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Rest: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

This month, the random number generator chose the word rest, suggested by Alisa on Patreon. I tried to make the lace below as restful to knit as possible. There might be double yarnovers, but all the decreases are single. I’ve included a panel version and an offset version; they combine nicely.

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. A random number generator helps me choose the word of the month, 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.

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Gather together: permutations of a knitting stitch

Gather together: permutations of a knitting stitch.

There’s a knitting stitch combination that I’ve seen called a gather, and I’ve mostly seen it in Estonian stitch patterns, though I’m guessing they get used elsewhere too. Essentially, they are a combination of a double decrease (or more) and a double increase (or more) happening at the same time.

It sounds more complicated than it is. Take the 3/3 gather. When making a k3tog decrease, the basic principle is to insert the needle through all three stitches as if they were one stitch, and then knit one stitch in that clump of stitches. The gather expands upon that: knit those three stitches together without removing them from the needle, then yarnover, then knit the three stitches together again. This is the same as working a KYOK at the same time as a k3tog. Start with three stitches, end with three stitches, but they’re gathered together.

But thinking of it as a decrease/increase started making my brain fizz.

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Hedgehog: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

This month, the random number generator chose hedgehog, suggested by Hazel on Patreon. Hedgehogs are pretty darn cute, and I’ve always had a soft spot for them.

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. A random number generator helps me choose the word of the month, 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.

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2018: a free mosaic knitting stitch pattern

2018: a free mosaic knitting stitch pattern by Naomi Parkhurst

I have a tradition (four years is a tradition, right?) of using the four digits of the upcoming year as a basis for designing a stitch pattern to celebrate the New Year. May this year be a good one for all of us.

The first three years were all lace. This year, I realized that one of the possible code grids for 2018 was suitable for a mosaic knitting chart. This is the first time I’ve seen that possibility in my code grids, so of course I had to go with it.

The thing about mosaic knitting is that it just looks difficult. It’s really easy to do! Basically, you’re knitting two row stripes, and slipping stitches from the row below to make the contrasting pattern. If you can knit stripes, you can knit mosaic patterns.

Here’s an article from Twist Collective about how it works.

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Texture and code charts, part 1

Three possible ways to knit up the Frost needlework chart

I focus a lot more on encoded lace patterns than anything else, because I’ve always felt that that they take more personal creativity. I don’t do fancy cables like Autumn so much because a lot of the code grids just aren’t suitable for them. And I figured someone would be happy to turn the needlework charts into regular stitch patterns.

I do find myself a bit wistful, though, because I think people haven’t really seen the possibilities in the needlework charts. I think this is mostly on me, though. I haven’t generally had time to make a swatch to go with the chart at the beginning of each month, but I think I’ll post a series of swatches to demonstrate some things to do with them, using older charts. I hope this will inspire someone!

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Bonifate: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Bonifate: a free lace knitting stitch by Naomi Parkhurst

This month, the random number generator chose bonifate, suggested by Ange on Patreon. According to my Oxford English Dictionary Bonifate is an obsolete (but very cool) word meaning “lucky, fortunate, well-fated”. Its derivation from Latin is pretty straightforward: boni- for good, and fate for fortune or fate.

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. A random number generator helps me choose the word of the month, 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.

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