"Autumn" encoded as a cable (free stitch pattern)

Autumn is here (free cable stitch pattern, secret code)

With the arrival of the autumnal equinox, I’ve made a cable chart for knitters and a generic chart for use in a variety of crafts. The former was encoded in base 6 and the latter in base 3.

It’s been a while since I did a secret code cable chart; the last one I tried just wouldn’t work out whatever I tried. I got discouraged.

Fall made me not want to do lace, though. Cables seemed more the thing, so I looked through all the grids I made for autumn and realized that this one would work.

The first yarn that came to hand is in rather a wintery color. Oh, well.

I didn’t swatch the generic chart this time; it’s not too hard to see how it looks, though:
three of four seasons encoded as a chart for crafts.

(Click images to enlarge.)

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Sanguinaria yarn bag

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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Etude no. 5 - combining knitweaving with stranded knitting.

Étude no. 5 – combining knitweaving with stranded knitting.

Since learning about knitweaving, I’ve been curious about combining it with regular stranded knitting. All the projects I’ve seen have used one technique or the other (probably because knitweaving by itself can look better with doubled strands rather than single).

In this swatch I played around with two configurations. In the bottom section (variation 1), each column of dark stitches was worked using only one technique. The knitweaving sections therefore have little horizontal green bars while the stitches worked in dark green make a solid vertical stripe.

The upper section (variation 2) has the knitweaving and dark stitches worked out of phase with each other. This makes for a subtle knotted effect; the stitches worked in the natural color in those vertical lines disappear.

Etude no. 5 - combining knitweaving with stranded knittingAbbreviations:

CC: contrast color.
k: knit.
kw: knitweave. On right side, bring contrast yarn to the front as if to purl, but knit with the main color instead, then take contrast yarn to the back again. On wrong side, take contrast yarn to the front as if to knit but purl with the main color instead, then bring contrast yarn to the back again.
MC: main color.
p: purl.

Chart Étude no. 5 — vertical bars variation 1
Row 1 (RS): K1, kw 1, k1 in MC, k1 in CC, k1 in MC, kw 1, k1. (7 sts)
Row 2 (WS): P, kw 1, p1 in MC, p1 in CC, p1 in MC, kw 1, p1.

Chart Étude no. 5 — vertical bars variation 2
Row 1 (RS): K1 in MC, k1 in CC, k1 in MC, kw 1, k1 in MC, k1 in CC, k1 in MC. (7 sts)
Row 2 (WS): P1, kw 1, p1 in MC, p1 in CC, p1 in MC, kw 1, p1.

At first glance, I like variation 1 better, but I think variation 2 could be quite interesting with the contrast color worked in variegated yarn or two different colors.

This was a productive experiment; I can see I’ll have to play around with combinations like this some more!

The kind of selvedge I like for swatches

Swatch selvedges

I use a narrow garter edge for the selvedges on my flat stitch-pattern-testing swatches, and thought I would share the technique for those who aren’t familiar with it. It’s not enough of a garter edge to prevent curling, but that’s not usually relevant for my stitch pattern swatches. On the other hand, it’s narrow enough that the edge doesn’t pull up into proper garter ridges which would distort the pattern.

When I cast on, I calculate how many stitches I need for the body of my swatch and then add an extra four stitches, which accounts for both selvedges.

  1. Slip the first stitch of the row purlwise with yarn in back. This makes the purl bump from this stitch visible along the edge.
  2. Knit the next stitch, then work all pattern stitches, stopping when two stitches remain. Knit those two. Turn work.

That’s all there is to it!

Hello, Knittyblog!

If you’re coming in from the Knitty blog, hello! It’s good to see you here.

I realized after looking at my site stats that the navigation on my secret code pages wasn’t as clear as it might be, so I’ve added a link at the bottom of each page to the next in the series. There’s also a dropdown menu at the top of the page, under “Embedding Meaning in Your Knitting”.

You might also be interested in my newly-released pattern, Bread and Roses, designed using my secret code methods.

Serendipity (two free secret code stitch patterns)


Yes, it’s a double-post day! I post every week, but my Patreon-funded posts are extra. The first of the month falls on a Monday this month, so two posts it is.

One of my patrons requested that I make stitch patterns for the word serendipity, so here we are! (If you subscribe, you may also make such requests; I take one a month.)

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Bread and Roses, a rectangular lace stole pattern whose design is based on numbers derived from the name.

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.

Regular price US$5; half price through September 7, 2014. (Discount appears at checkout.)

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

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