Whimsy: a lace knitting stitch pattern

The word I drew from the words suggested on Patreon for this post is Whimsy, suggested by Kate, a Patreon supporter.

Each month, my Patreon backers have the chance to suggest words for me to encode as knitting stitches. A random number generator helps me choose which word I will encode from 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 Whimsy charted design 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 in blue yarn of Whimsy lace. Plain ovals are surrounded by swirly wavy columns of holes. The top of the sample has a wavy edge with points.
chart showing how to knit Whimsy lace by means of special symbols. 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.
  • Whimsy is a multiple of 12 + 13 stitches and 24 + 12 rows. (rows 13-24 are the same as rows 1-12, just shifted sideways by half a repeat. End after either row 12 or 24.)
  • I’ve made a stitch map for Whimsy.
  • 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!


  • CSD-yo (centered single decrease with 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. The middle stitch of the original three has been knit together with each of its neighbors. Blog post about centered single decrease with yarnover.
  • k: knit.
  • k2tog: knit 2 stitches together as if they were 1. (Right-leaning decrease)
  • 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): k2, ssk, yo, k3, *k2, yo, k2tog, k3, ssk, yo, k3; work from *, k2, yo, k2tog, k2. (25 sts)

Row 2 (WS): purl.

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

Row 4: purl.

Row 5: yo, ssk, k1, ssk, yo, CSD‑yo, *yo, k2tog, k1, CSD‑yo, k1, ssk, yo, CSD‑yo; work from *, yo, k2tog, k1, k2tog, yo.

Row 6: p6, *(p1‑below, p5) × 2; work from *, p1‑below, p6.

Row 7: k1, (ssk, yo) × 2, k2, *k1, (yo, k2tog) × 2, k1, (ssk, yo) × 2, k2; work from *, k1, (yo, k2tog) × 2, k1.

Row 8: purl.

Row 9: k2, (k2tog, yo) × 2, k1, *(yo, ssk) × 2, k3, (k2tog, yo) × 2, k1; work from *, (yo, ssk) × 2, k2.

Row 10: purl.

Row 11: k1, ssk, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k1, *yo, k2tog, yo, k1, k2tog, k1, ssk, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k1; work from *, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, k2tog, k1.

Row 12: purl.

Row 13: k3, yo, k2tog, k2, *k1, ssk, yo, k5, yo, k2tog, k2; work from *, k1, ssk, yo, k3.

Row 14: purl.

Row 15: k2, (yo, ssk) × 2, k1, *(k2tog, yo) × 2, k3, (yo, ssk) × 2, k1; work from *, (k2tog, yo) × 2, k2.

Row 16: purl.

Row 17: yo, ssk, yo, k2tog, k1, CSD‑yo, *k1, ssk, yo, CSD‑yo, yo, k2tog, k1, CSD‑yo; work from *, k1, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo.

Row 18: p6, *(p1‑below, p5) × 2; work from *, p1‑below, p6.

Row 19: k2, (yo, k2tog) × 2, k1, *(ssk, yo) × 2, k3, (yo, k2tog) × 2, k1; work from *, (ssk, yo) × 2, k2.

Row 20: purl.

Row 21: k1, (yo, ssk) × 2, k2, *k1, (k2tog, yo) × 2, k1, (yo, ssk) × 2, k2; work from *, k1, (k2tog, yo) × 2, k1.

Row 22: purl.

Row 23: k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, k2tog, k1, *ssk, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, k2tog, k1; work from *, ssk, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k1.

Row 24: purl.

Repeat rows 1-24, ending after either row 12 or 24.