Sway: a lace knitting stitch pattern

The first word I drew from the words suggested on Patreon this month is Sway, suggested by Catnach, a Patreon supporter. When looking through the possible charts for this word, I happened across one I felt I could make to look as if it’s swaying. Did I succeed? I think so, but I also like the way it came out.

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. I use a random number generator to help me choose words to encode each month. (This is the last month I’ll be encoding three, for now.) 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 Sway 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 Sway lace
chart showing how to work Sway lace by means of special symbols. Written instructions in blog post.


  • 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.
  • Sway is a multiple of 8 stitches and either 16 or 16 + 8 rows. (end after either row 16 or row 8.)
  • I’ve made a stitch map for Sway.
  • 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 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!


  • k: knit.
  • k2tog: knit 2 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning decrease)
  • k3tog: knit 3 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning double 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)
  • sssk: slip each of the next 3 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop. (Left-leaning double decrease; substitute sk2p if desired.)
  • 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): *k1, yo, ssk, k5; work from *.

Row 2 (WS): purl.

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

Row 4: purl.

Row 5: *yo, ssk, k1, yo × 2, sssk, k2; work from *.

Row 6: *p3, (k1, p1) in double yo, p3; work from *.

Row 7: *k2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1; work from *.

Row 8: purl.

Row 9: *k5, k2tog, yo, k1; work from *.

Row 10: purl.

Row 11: *yo, ssk, k2, k2tog, yo, k2; work from *.

Row 12: purl.

Row 13: *k2, k3tog, yo × 2, k1, k2tog, yo; work from *.

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

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

Row 16: purl.