Nature’s microcosms provide a wealth of inspiration for stitch patterns. Simply looking at some of the tiniest plants and creatures in the natural world can spur the desire to translate these visual wonders into something we can wear and carry with us. Lichen, fungi and mosses provide interesting idea sources, their structures diverse and repetitive, much like stitches on a knitting needle.
When looking at lichens, my thoughts immediately look for something slightly tweedy, in a variety of rich green tones. Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft seemed like an ideal yarn to swatch with — the Sap colorway is the same bright yellow-green found in these lichens, photographed by Michiel Thomas. The woolen, rustic texture of this yarn also calls to mind the world in which these lichens are found. A damp forest with cool humidity is just the right place to wear something made in water-resistant, warm wool!
The stitch I chose is called “Eye of the Lynx” in the 1960s stitch dictionary I referenced. It’s a sort of eyelet faux-cable, worked on a base of garter stitch. This makes the finished texture pretty similar to a mossy forest floor, or the indents of the lichens. While I worked my swatch up without any sort of flanking stitch border, I think it would look really lovely with a bank of garter stitches on either side of the motif.
I could see this swatch leading to a truly beautiful scarf — perhaps with an ombre effect, fading from one of the tweedy Brooklyn Tweed tones to the next? Or maybe I would use a variety of different fingering-weight yarns to further reflect the texture mixture of these tiny growths. Whatever I choose, I can rest assured that it will remind me of mossy, tiny worlds whenever I wear it.
How to do this stitch: Eye of the Lynx (from the Mon Tricot Knitting Dictionary of 900 Stitches & Patterns)
You will need a multiple of 8 + 6
Rows 1, 3 & 11: Purl
Rows 2, 10 & 12: Knit
Row 4: P5, *p1, sl2pwise, p5* p1
Row 5: K1, *k5, sl2pwise, k1* k5
Row 6: P5, *p1, sl2, p5*p1
Row 7: K1, *sl1, k1, psso, m1, k2tog, k1, sl2, k1* sl1, k1, psso, m1, k2tog, k1.
Row 8: P2, p into front and back of made stitch, p1 *p1, sl2pwise, p2, pfb into made stitch, p1* p1.
Row 9: K1 *k5, sl2, k1* k5
Row 13: K1 *k1, sl2, k5* k1, sl 2, k2
Row 14: P2, sl2, p1 *p5, sl 2, p1* p1
Row 15: K1 *k1, sl 2, k5* k1, sl 2, k2.
Row 16: P2, sl 2, p1 *p2tog, m1, p next stitch and put back on lh needle, pass next stitch on lh needle over st to the right, replace st on rh needle, p1, sl 2, p1* p1
Row 17: K1 *k1, sl 2, k 2, kfb of made stitch, k1* k1, sl 2, k2
Row 18: P2, sl 2, p1 *p5, sl 2, p1* p1