Life: a lace knitting stitch Pattern

The word I drew from my word hoard for this stitch pattern is Life, suggested by Nim, a Patreon supporter. I’m pleased by the kite shapes in this one.

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. I make three of these into knitting stitches each month: the second and third (posted on the first day of the next month) are drawn from the collection of new words; the first is drawn from the collection of unused words. A random number generator helps me choose these, 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.

The stitch patterns are not meant in any way to look like the original words; the words are the seeds of my creativity.

lace knitted from the chart below
knitting symbol chart for the word 'life'
Click to enlarge


  • This is a stitch pattern such as might be found in a stitch dictionary. It is not a patterns for a finished object. You will need to add selvedges or some other form of knitted stitches to either side.
  • Life is a multiple of 10 + 1 stitches and 10 rows.
  • I’ve made a stitch map for it.
  • Designers, please feel free to use this in your patterns. I’d like credit but won’t be offended if people don’t give it.
  • My blog posts and free stitch patterns are supported by subscriptions on Patreon or donations to my Paypal tip jar in the sidebar. If you appreciate my work, please consider helping out. 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)
  • p: purl.
  • sk2p: slip 1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over. (Left-leaning double decrease.)
  • ssk: slip each of the next 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Left-leaning decrease)
  • yo: yarnover

Row 1 (RS): p1, k1, k2tog, yo x 2, *cdd, yo x 2, ssk, k1, p1, k1, k2tog, yo x 2; work from *, cdd, yo x 2, ssk, k1, p1. [21 sts]

Row 2 (WS): k1, p2, (k1, p1) in double yo, k1, *(k1, p1) in double yo, p2, k1, p2, (k1, p1) in double yo, k1; work from *, (k1, p1) in double yo, p2, k1.

Row 3: p1, k2tog, yo, k2, *p1, k2, yo, ssk, p1, k2tog, yo, k2; work from *, p1, k2, yo, ssk, p1.

Row 4: k1, p4, k1, *(p4, k1) × 2; work from *, p4, k1.

Row 5: p1, ssk, yo, k1, yo, *sk2p, yo, k1, yo, k2tog, p1, ssk, yo, k1, yo; work from *, sk2p, yo, k1, yo, k2tog, p1.

Row 6: k1, p4, k1, *(p4, k1) × 2; work from *, p4, k1.

Row 7: k2tog, yo x 2, k2tog, k1, *p1, k1, ssk, yo x 2, sk2p, yo x 2, k2tog, k1; work from *, p1, k1, ssk, yo x 2, ssk.

Row 8: k1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p2, k1, *p2, (k1, p1) in double yo, k1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p2, k1; work from *, p2, (k1, p1) in double yo, k1.

Row 9: p1, k3, yo, *sk2p, yo, k3, p1, k3, yo; work from *, sk2p, yo, k3, p1.

Row 10: k1, p4, k1, *(p4, k1) × 2; work from *, p4, k1.