Category Archives: Charts for Embroidery, Crochet, or Knitting




Well, I did make some progress on Rogue over the past several days. I’ve finally gotten past the grief of the pocket (my fault); finished the equivalent depth of the body behind the pocket, and fused the two together.

Here you see the area adjacent to the nifty pretzel-terminated side panel, showing off the contrast between that knotwork design and the Little Dragon Skin patterning.

The pocket fusing step went off without a hitch. I remembered to bind off four stitches of the body at either side of the pocket fusing row, again to leave a notch inside which the zipper will be installed. Here’s a process shot, with the pocket stitches held on the pink needle, and the body on the silver circ. Because my right-side rows have so much shaping, I made sure to do the fusing on a wrong-side row – all purls in the patterned part.

Progress however has been somewhat less than it might have been because I’ve gotten two new needlework assignments since Thursday.

First, my mother has asked me to design a needlepoint pillow top for her that incorporates multiple Fleur de Lys motifs in wine, an off white background, and some sort of framing mechanism. She’s looking to make a piece on 16-count canvas. This is pretty much a “bring me a rock” assignment (one of those in which your efforts are greeted by the response “Wrong rock. Try again.”) Here’s my first attempt at just a single motif:

The second was a last-minute request from Wild & Woolly in Lexington, MA to cover a class in sock making. They has a workshop scheduled for March 20th that covers cuff-down socks on two circs and one oversized circ (aka “Magic Loop”), and the original instructor has had a last-minute conflict. I’m the designated hitter for this one. Which means that because my own favored method for socks is toe-up on DPNs, I have to do a bit of brushing up before I can demo and explain those methods to others. If you’ve signed up for this class, please don’t worry. I guarantee that in two weeks I’ll be fully confident in the material to be covered.



A short post today on a time-stressed weekend day.

Buzzing in on the hopping heels of last week’s bunny, here’s another small graph from my embroidery book. This super-simple one is original. One dragonfly can be spot-placed, or they can be done in series using stranding. A strip of dragonflies can bealigned either katywumpus as I show here, or all facing the in same direction. In knitting, I think that these would be particularly fun to accent with shiny beads or duplicate stitching on the body or wings. They’d also be a killer trim if done in bead knitting.

Other uses for simple graphs include filet crochet (Mary Thomas’ Knitting Book describes filet knitting, too); all types of cross stitching; needlepoint; and lacis or pattern darning. I’ve even heard from people using TNCM patterns for wood marquetry and tile mosaics!




I was re-graphing this rabbit from my book of embroidery patterns, and I thought angora-fanciers might like to work it into a headband or sweater front.

The original plate from 1597 showed a large group of animal motifs clustered together to save space. It included this one, two coursing dogs (possibly greyhounds) a squirrel, an owl, a stag, a unicorn,a parrot, a yale, and the lion I previously shared for Gryffindor pullovers.


Again apologies to those on the updates mailing list. I did a bit more maintenance, adding categories to all the existing posts so it’s easier to page through this ever-growing mound.

A couple of people have asked for the graph I used to knit the interlace shown on myoverly warm teal and black alpaca hat. Here it is.

This one didn’t make the cut for my book because it’s one of the designs for which I lost my notes. A long time ago I had a miserable move between apartments. Several boxes were stolen off the back of my truck. Among the things that went missing was a notebook full of source notations for counted embroidery patterns. I had been researching them casually for more than ten years, and had hundreds compiled. The sketches for most of them had already been redone on my ancient Macintosh, butall associatednotes remained solely on paper.

When I was composingThe New Carolingian Modelbook I had to go back and confirm the exact origins for all the counted patterns I wanted to include. I managed to find the sources for about 200 of them, but a third as many more have eluded me. This particular interlace is frommy collection of the lost. It is similar todesigns by Matteo Pagano as published in his 1546 book Il Specio di Penfieri Dell Berlle et Virtudoise Donne, but I can’t swear that it came from that or one of his other works. Given the relatively clumsy, heavy spacing and short repeatit might evenhave been something I doodled up myself after a day of research.

Many of these early Modelbook designsgot there by way of Islamic influences (especially patterns cribbed from woven carpets and embroidered texiles).Over the years the patternsdriftedaway from work worn by the elite to work worn by middle and then lower social classes, eventually ending up in folk embroidery where they never quite died out.Counted thread needlework styleswere revived big-time among the fashionablein the mid 1800s. Researchers found and reproduced surviving older pattern books, and began collecting motifs from traditional regional costumes and house linen. Some of the later and folk uses of counted patternsinclude standard cross-stitch, Hedebo, Assisi-style voided ground stitching, and various types of pattern darning or straight stitch embroidery done on the count.

This pattern can be interpreted in many crafts. Historically accurate uses contemporary with first publication include cross stitch panels (the long-armed style of cross stitchis overwhelmingly represented in historical samplescompared tothemore familiarx-style cross stitch); weaving, orlacis and burato (types of darned needle lace).

Counted patterns are a natural for knitting. The first book of general purpose graphed designs that listed knitting as a specific usecame out in 1676 in Nurnberg, Germany and was published by a woman: Rosina Helena Furst’s Model-Buchs Dritter Theil. (the titleis actually much longer). There may be others that predate this book, but I haven’t seen mention of them, and I haven’t seen the Furst book in person. It’s in the Danske Kuntsindustrimuseum in Copenhagen,a tad far for a day trip from Boston, Massachusetts. Theentire group of graphed designsdisplayed inthe early Modelbooksshows a straight continuity with the geometric strip patterns found in modern northern European stranded knitting.

The short 14-stitch/17 row repeatof this graphdoes work well at knitting gauges. I’ve always meant to use this one again on socks -either as-is orstretching it a bit by repeating the centermost column so that it better fits my sock repeat, or doing eight full repeats at an absurdly tiny gauge. As is, you’d need a multiple of 14 stitches around. A standard 56-stitch sock could accommodate 4 full iterations of the design withoutadding any columns.

Some people have asked how to get a hold of my book. The answer is, aside from the used market where it is going for quite a premium, I haven’t a clue. Sadly all I can report is that the publishers absconded shortly after publication. I have no idea where they went, and have had no replies from them to any queriessince 1996. I received only about a year of royalties on the first 100 or so copies,in spite of the fact that the book went throughtwo printings with an estimated total run of 3,000. New copies continue to trickle onto the market even today (they’re sold as used but mint). The new-copysellerhas rebuffed myattempts to find the ultimate source.

Moral of the story – don’t enter into publication contracts without a literary agent, and if the company has a name like “Outlaw Press” there’s probably a reason.