Tag Archives: my designs

Announcing New Hope Creek shawl


New Hope Creek is designed to be knit with two skeins of yarn that coordinate with each other but that don’t match exactly. The shape is crescent-like – formed by knitting five triangles pointing in alternating directions.

The sample is knit with one muted skein and one that’s wildly variegated with short runs of color; I think of this as one mild and one wild. Many variations are possible: one gradient and one wildly variegated yarn, two self-striping yarns with different length stripes, multiple scrap yarns left over from other projects, even two solid yarns. Instructions are also provided for working with a single yarn.

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Pattern Release: Onward top-down hat recipe

There are days when I need to acknowledge unpleasantness, but keep moving forward. On those days, my motto is onward. I made this hat as a tactile reminder to myself for those days.

I took the letters of onward, encoded them as numbers, and then charted those numbers, using my methods for encoding words as patterns. The marked squares were turned into purl stitches, and thus I made this stitch pattern.

This is a top-down hat. It can be ended when the yarn does if necessary; the pattern has sufficient purls in it that it doesn’t curl. A shorter hat will be a cap; a longer one can cover the ears for warmth; an even longer one can be slouchy. Knit the crown and some ribbing in a contrast color if desired. I have seen this hat worked to good effect in solid yarn, tonal yarn, variegated, and self-striping. Gradient would also be fun!


Onward Ravelry page

Continue reading Pattern Release: Onward top-down hat recipe

Sanguinaria yarn bag

One of my favorite spring wildflowers is bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis. The design on the bottom of this bag, with its asymmetrically-spaced petals and squarish shape, reminds me of that small white flower.

This lace bag, knit from the center outward, will carry yarn, a handkerchief, or other such things. The stitch pattern is based on the Arrow Pattern from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury.

The bag also makes a fetching child’s cap without the drawstring.

This pattern is available for $3.00 USD

Ravelry page.

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Bread & Roses

The phrase bread and roses originated in the early twentieth century in the American labor movement. There are stories about it being sung as part of a song by strikers, which seems to be apocryphal. The meaning is not, however: Bread and Roses stands for the desire for both fair wages and dignity. The slogan has particularly come to be associated with a textile workers’ strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912.

I looked up the individual concepts for bread, roses, and labor unions in the Dewey Decimal System (used to catalog books in many libraries in the US) and then placed the numbers on a grid as a starting point for designing this lace. The yarn overs in the alternating columns of lace in the middle are placed based on bread and roses; the border is generated with the numbers for labor unions. Decreases were placed to form undulating lines; occasional two-stitch cables highlight this effect.

(For more on this method of designing stitch patterns, see my blog posts on embedding meaning in knitting or other crafts.)

This pattern can be used to knit a rectangular scarf or stole.

Pattern is now available on Gumroad as well as Ravelry.

Happy Labor Day! (As observed in the US.)

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Étude no. 3 — a Roll of the dice, version 2

First, I’d like to thank everyone for their sympathy last week. It really means a lot to me!

I usually try to include one lace pattern and one not, for the sake of those who don’t wear lace. I forgot last time, so here’s something to fill that gap.

I envisioned the pattern as charted, with the floats and the bulk of the purl blips on the front, but it turns out I like both sides equally. I worked it in both solid and variegated yarn because slip stitch patterns often work especially well with variegated. The solid is more subtle, especially on the mostly knit side – but I think it’s still a pleasing texture.

When designing textured stitches in particular, it’s always worth looking at both sides of the fabric. Sometimes you’ll find that you prefer the side that was meant to be hidden!

Continue reading Étude no. 3 — a Roll of the dice, version 2

Étude no. 2 – Stepping Stones (free stitch pattern)

Here is another in my series of posts about design exercises. I’ve been noticing a little arrow motif popping up in my secret code charts:


It intrigued me. I happened to notice it yet again in a grid, this time with rotational symmetry and with a couple of extra squares:


Nifty! I thought. I’ve been wanting to stretch myself with designing asymmetrical patterns (that would admittedly have translational symmetry when repeated). Even though the little chart above has rotational symmetry, I knew that by the time I was done with it, that would be gone. (This is a future étude for me, I think: to design lace with vertical mirror symmetry or rotational symmetry.)

So, I plugged in the yarn overs in my usual way, and added wrong side rest rows with purls where necessary. Then I guessed where to put the decreases. My draft chart follows, from before I’d even started my rough draft swatch for the design. (This one definitely needed one, so far as I was concerned.)


As I knit my rough draft, I worked out the following chart. I wasn’t sure at first if I liked the results, but I think I do. For one thing, I like the way that each diagonal ovally section is completed over three pattern repeats. I think that the decrease lines of this might make a scarf collapse along the bias.

I do regret not managing to put in no-stitch squares to make the pattern match the result more clearly; this one gave me fits and I just had trouble. If there’s interest, I would probably be willing to give it another try for the sake of learning to do better!



  • This is a stitch pattern such as might be found in a stitch dictionary. It is not a pattern for a finished object. You will need to add selvedges or some other form of knitted stitches to either side.
  • Stepping Stones is a multiple of 5 stitches and 12 rows.
  • I’ve made a stitch map for it.
  • Designers, please feel free to use this stitch in your patterns. Please note the Creative Commons license below (only a few of my older stitch patterns have this).
  • If you like my posts like this, please consider supporting me on Patreon or donating with my Paypal tip jar in the sidebar. Thanks!


  • 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)
  • k3tog: knit 3 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning double decrease)
  • p: purl.
  • ssk: slip each of the next 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Left-leaning decrease)
  • sssk: slip each of the next 3 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Left-leaning double decrease.)
  • yo: yarnover.

Row 1 (RS): *k1, k2tog, yo x 2, ssk; work from *.
Row 2 (WS): *p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p2; work from *.
Row 3: *k2tog, k1, k2tog, yo x 2; work from *.
Row 4: *(k1, p1) in double yo, p3; work from *.
Row 5: *yo, ssk, yo x 2, sssk; work from *.
Row 6: *p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p2; work from *.
Row 7: *cdd, yo x 2, k2tog, yo; work from *.
Row 8: *p2, (k1, p1) in double yo, p1; work from *.
Row 9: *yo x 2, ssk, k1, ssk; work from *.
Row 10: *p3, (k1, p1) in double yo; work from *.
Row 11: *k2tog, yo x 2, ssk, k1; work from *.
Row 12: *p2, (k1, p1) in double yo, p1; work from *.

Creative Commons License
knitting stitch pattern: Stepping Stones by Naomi Parkhurst is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Spring! (free stitch pattern)

Two stitch patterns based on the word, Spring.It has certainly been a while. I got sidetracked, and then I felt abashed, but now I have a backlog of things I’ve been meaning to write about. (The problem is never a shortage of material!)

Anyway, I’m in the midst of writing a stitch dictionary, among other things, and I was getting fed up with not being able to share any of the things I was doing. So I decided to make something that’s not going in the stitch dictionary and share it with you.

I used my secret code techniques to lay the word Spring out on several different grids, and ended up liking this one a lot. I made one lace design from it and also a stranded knitting chart. The stranded chart is mirrored vertically as well as horizontally. The lace one has an extra column down the middle and on each side; this avoids a double yarn over. I dote on double yarn overs, but I know that not everyone is comfortable with them.

Happy Spring!

Continue reading Spring! (free stitch pattern)

Spindle Hat: Katherine Whorl

Announcing the Katherine Whorl spindle hat pattern!


This pattern is included in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long until the end of 2013. Have a look at the Indie Design Gift-A-Long to join in the fun!

Many spindle whorls are decorated with little circles, and so this hat is covered with many circles created by crocheting the traditional Catherine’s Wheel stitch pattern and then outlining the circles with chain stitch. The hat name is a bit of a pun on the traditional stitch pattern name: whorl because of spindles; Katherine in honor of the five women named that in my knitting group who all spell it with a K.

I wanted to combine several of the crafts that use yarn, so I embroidered my circles and knitted the brim (instructions for an alternate crochet brim are provided). Use surface crochet to create much the same effect as the embroidery.

I’ve found that crocheting with a single strand of yarn and knitting with the same yarn doubled makes the two match up well in terms of both stitch gauge and appearance. I made use of that principle in this hat.

This pattern is intended for confident crocheters. No in-depth tutorials are provided.

New pattern & ebook

My friend Sarah and I have written six hat patterns this year that were inspired by antique spindle whorls from around the world. It’s been a lot of fun to see the differences and similarities between whorls from half a world apart.

We will be releasing the six patterns over the course of the next four months, including a couple of matching accessories. Scored and Mighzal are available for purchase already. They are both slouchy hats, though obviously to different degrees. (Mighzal is a slouchy beanie; Scored is like a slouchy beret.)





The patterns are (or will be) available individually, as accessory sets, and as an ebook, Our Heads are Spinning.

Each individual hat pattern is $5, while the accessories are $3 each. The accessory sets will be $7. The ebook will be on sale for $15 through October, and $20 from then on. (If you buy an individual pattern, we can arrange a corresponding discount for the sets (if relevant) or for the ebook.)

Thinking of winter

I’m having a knitalong on Ravelry this month for my Paper Snowflake pattern – please join me!


I love cutting paper snowflakes, with twelve folds and six symmetrical points. This knitted snowflake looks very much like one of my paper ones.

Knit these from the center out in cotton, linen, or hemp and then starch to use as ornaments. Knit in any fiber and use as appliqués. Good for using up leftovers from other projects.

For experienced or confident knitters. None of the techniques used are particularly difficult on their own, but the combination of some of them is a little finicky.

I’m going to be knitting several as holiday decorations, and will be starching something for the first time, as much so I’ll know how as anything else.

A full chart and written instructions are both available.

Techniques used:

  • casting on for the center of a doily
  • knitted cast on
  • multiple yarn-overs in a row
  • knitting through the back loop
  • knit two together
  • bind off (knit two, pass one stitch over)

You could easily use Magic Loop or 2 circulars; I used double-points. The pattern is needle agnostic.

(Out of curiosity, I tried this in worsted weight on size 8 needles and it took 19 yards.)

Pattern has been tech edited.