Candle: a lace knitting stitch pattern

The first word I drew from the words suggested on Patreon this month is Candle, suggested by Kate, a Patreon supporter. This one has multiple unusual maneuvers, but it couldn’t be helped. This was the only arrangement of yarnovers based on the word that could be turned into lace I liked. So it’s got a bunny ears yarnover in it, and a (k1, yo, k1) in next stitch, and also both a k1 tbl and its mirror image. The latter was needed because otherwise the yarnover between it and the CDD at the center of the design collapsed and disappeared when I got to the next right side row. I haven’t untangled why. Yet.

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 Candle 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 for Candle lace
chart showing how to work Candle lace by means of dark and light squares. Written instructions in blog post.
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.
  • Candle is a multiple of 12 + 13 stitches and 12 rows.
  • I’ve made a stitch map for Candle.
  • The second and fourth k1-tbls in Row 5 are twisted in the opposite direction; I’ve called this “mirror‑k1‑tbl”. This is structurally necessary to keep some of the stitch pattern from collapsing on itself.
  • 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 turns three stitches into three stitches with a yarnover in the middle. Knit 2 together, but only remove the first stitch from the needle; yarn over; then work ssk with the second and third stitches. Blog post about bunny ears yarnover.
  • CDD: slip the next 2 stitches as if to knit 2 together, knit the next stitch, then pass the 2 slipped stitches over the third. (Stands for centered double decrease.)
  • k: knit.
  • k1‑tbl: knit 1 through the back loop to twist the stitch.
  • k2tog: knit 2 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning decrease)
  • kyok: (knit 1, yarnover, knit 1) all in the same stitch.
  • mirror‑k1‑tbl: slip 1 knitwise, slip back to left needle, knit through the front loop to twist the stitch in the opposite direction from a regular k1tbl.
  • p: purl.
  • p1‑below: purl one below. For this stitch pattern, it’s not quite the same as a regular p1‑below, 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): k4, ssk, yo, *k1, yo, k2tog, k7, ssk, yo; work from *, k1, yo, k2tog, k4. (25 sts)

Row 2 (WS): purl.

Row 3: k3, k2tog, yo × 2, *cdd, yo × 2, ssk, k5, k2tog, yo × 2; work from *, cdd, yo × 2, ssk, k3.

Row 4: 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 5: k2, k2tog, yo, k1‑tbl, yo, *cdd, yo, mirror k1 tbl, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, k1‑tbl, yo; work from *, cdd, yo, mirror k1 tbl, yo, ssk, k2.

Row 6: purl.

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

Row 8: 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 9: k2tog, k3, yo, *BEY, yo, k3, cdd, k3, yo; work from *, BEY, yo, k3, ssk.

Row 10: p6, p1‑below, *p11, p1‑below; work from *, p6.

Row 11: ssk, yo × 2, ssk, k2tog, *(k1, yo, k1) in 1 stitch, ssk, k2tog, yo × 2, cdd, yo × 2, ssk, k2tog; work from *, (k1, yo, k1) in 1 stitch, ssk, k2tog, yo × 2, k2tog.

Row 12: 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.