Merci: a lace knitting stitch pattern

The second word I drew from the words suggested on Patreon last month is Merci, suggested by Catnach, a Patreon supporter. Merci is the French word for thank you.

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 made a Merci needlework chart for any craft that uses a square grid for designing.

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

photo of Merci lace sample
click photo to enlarge
Chart showing how to knit Merci lace with knitting chart symbols. See blog post for written instructions.
click chart to enlarge


  • 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.
  • Merci is a multiple of 12 + 13 stitches and 20 or 20 + 10 rows. (End after either row 10 or row 20.)
  • I’ve made a stitch map for Merci.
  • 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!


  • BEY (bunny ears yarnover): This is a variant on the bunny ears decrease, with a yarnover added in the middle. It turns three stitches into three stitches. Knit 2 together, but only remove the first stitch from the needle; yarn over; then work ssk with the second and third stitches. The middle stitch of the original three has been knit together with each of its neighbors. Blog post about bunny ears yarnover.
  • 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.
  • p1b: purl one below. For this stitch pattern, it’s not quite the same as a regular p1b, because it’s actually purling the bar below a yarnover, but the action is much the same. From behind, pick up the bar below the yarnover with the right needle and place it on the left needle next to the yarnover; purl both those strands at the same time. This prevents the bar from making a horizontal line in front of the yarnover.
  • ssk: slip each of the next 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Or substitute your favorite left-leaning decrease)
  • yo: yarnover. Bring the yarn forward between the needles so that it will make a loop over the needle when the next stitch is worked. When there are two in a row, bring the yarn forward, wrap it once around the needle, and leave the yarn in front so it makes a second loop.

Row 1 (RS): ssk, yo, k1, k2tog, yo, *BEY, yo, ssk, k1, yo, cdd, yo, k1, k2tog, yo; work from *, BEY, yo, ssk, k1, yo, k2tog.

Row 2 (WS): p6, p1 below, *p11, p1 below; work from *, p6.

Row 3: k2, k2tog, yo × 2, k2tog, *k1, ssk, yo × 2, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo × 2, k2tog; work from *, k1, ssk, yo × 2, ssk, k2.

Row 4: p3, (k1, p1) in double yo, p2, *p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p5, (k1, p1) in double yo, p2; work from *, p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p3.

Row 5: k1, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, *cdd, yo, k2, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k2, yo; work from *, cdd, yo, k2, yo, ssk, k1.

Row 6: purl.

Row 7: k2tog, k3, yo × 2, *cdd, yo × 2, k3, cdd, k3, yo × 2; work from *, cdd, yo × 2, k3, ssk.

Row 8: p4, (k1, p1) in double yo, p1, *(k1, p1) in double yo, p7, (k1, p1) in double yo, p1; work from *, (k1, p1) in double yo, p4.

Row 9: k5, yo, *cdd, yo, k9, yo; work from *, cdd, yo, k5.

Row 10: purl.

Row 11: (yo, ssk) × 2, k1, yo, *cdd, yo, k1, k2tog, yo, BEY, yo, ssk, k1, yo; work from *, cdd, yo, k1, (k2tog, yo) × 2.

Row 12: p7, *p5, p1 below, p6; work from *, p6.

Row 13: k1, ssk, yo × 2, ssk, k1, *k2, k2tog, yo × 2, k2tog, k1, ssk, yo × 2, ssk, k1; work from *, k2, k2tog, yo × 2, k2tog, k1.

Row 14: p2, (k1, p1) in double yo, p3, *p2, ((k1, p1) in double yo, p3) × 2; work from *, p2, (k1, p1) in double yo, p2.

Row 15: k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk, *k1, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, cdd, yo, k2, yo, ssk; work from *, k1, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk.

Row 16: purl.

Row 17: ssk, yo × 2, k3, *cdd, k3, yo × 2, cdd, yo × 2, k3; work from *, cdd, k3, yo × 2, k2tog.

Row 18: p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p4, *p3, (k1, p1) in double yo, p1, (k1, p1) in double yo, p4; work from *, p3, (k1, p1) in double yo, p1.

Row 19: ssk, yo, k4, *k5, yo, cdd, yo, k4; work from *, k5, yo, k2tog.

Row 20: purl.