Cosmos: a lace knitting stitch pattern

The first word I drew from the words suggested on Patreon this month is Cosmos, suggested by Enting, a Patreon supporter. Cosmos is a pretty great word, meaning either the universe as a complex and orderly system, or the plural of Cosmo, which can mean a number of things, but I’m particularly fond of the flowers (that’s a lot of pretty pictures).

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 Cosmos 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.

knitted sample of Cosmos lace
chart showing how to knit Cosmos lace by means of special symbols. Written instructions elsewhere in blog post.f
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.
  • The repeats in the charts and the text aren’t in the same places. (The double YOs complicate writing the repeats logically in the text.)
  • Cosmos is a multiple of 12 + 12 stitches and 12 rows.
  • I’ve made a stitch map for Cosmos.
  • 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!


  • 1/1 RC: Slip next stitch to cable needle and place at back of work, knit 1, then knit 1 from cable needle.
  • k: knit.
  • k2tog: knit 2 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning decrease)
  • p: purl.
  • 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): k2tog, yo, k2, k2tog, *yo × 2, ssk, k2, yo, ssk, k2tog, yo, k2, k2tog; work from *, yo × 2, ssk, k2, yo, ssk. (24 sts)

Row 2 (WS): p5, (k1, p1) in double yo, *p10, (k1, p1) in double yo; work from *, p5.

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

Row 4: p6, *p5, (k1, p1) in double yo, p5; work from *, p6.

Row 5: (yo, k2tog) × 2, k2, *k2, ssk, yo, ssk, yo × 2, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k2; work from *, k2, (ssk, yo) × 2.

Row 6: p6, *p5, (k1, p1) in double yo, p5; work from *, p6.

Row 7: k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1, *k1, (k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk) × 2, k1; work from *, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk.

Row 8: purl.

Row 9: yo, ssk, k2, yo, ssk, *k2tog, yo, k2, k2tog, yo × 2, ssk, k2, yo, ssk; work from *, k2tog, yo, k2, k2tog, yo.

Row 10: p6, *p5, (k1, p1) in double yo, p5; work from *, p6.

Row 11: yo, k2tog, yo, ssk, k1, *1/1 RC, k1, k2tog, yo, ssk, yo × 2, k2tog, yo, ssk, k1; work from *, 1/1 RC, k1, k2tog, yo, ssk, yo.

Row 12: p6, *p5, (k1, p1) in double yo, p5; work from *, p6.