Skip to content

When I was running errands last week, “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive came on the radio. I surprised myself by—probably decades after the last time I listened to the whole song—singing along and still knowing all the words.

I giggled, remembering how I used to belt out that song in the back seat of my mom’s car.

There is something about a remembered song that lifts me up and settles me down, even if I’m wailing along about a broken heart. These are the songs where you don’t think, you just open your mouth and sing, and it’s all there. Sequence knitting is like that in knitting for me.

Sequence knitting may be the perfect type of knitting for dark winter days, or dark days in general. Step into it cautiously—you may not be able to stop.

Versatile and intuitive

It’s easy to work sequence knitting at different gauges, easy to change sizes, especially if you knit scarves and shawls. The stitch patterns are easy to memorize, so the knitting becomes a rhythm almost instantly. Before you know it, you’re knitting as easily as singing.

And sequence knitting is a great way to experiment with yarns. Use a special skein or a mini or advent kits, sock yarn or chunky—they all work beautifully. It’s also a great way to play and experiment with color combinations or doubling or tripling yarns. You can imagine why I love it.

I recently spent the weekend playing with sequence knitting, I used the pattern Conversing from Cecelia Campochiaro’s new pattern release Three Sequence Knitting Shawls for my swatches. These three patterns for scarves and shawls are a great place to start (or stay) with sequence knitting. Kay did a bit of Anywhere shawl show-and-tell here.

If you want more sequences and shapes to play with, MDK Field Guide 5: Sequences has four designs that beautifully demonstrate what sequences do across the canvases of a wrap, scarf, a hat, and a festive bit of bunting. In both the Field Guide and in her new collection of shawls, Cecelia distills concepts from her book Sequence Knitting that showcases sequence knitted fabrics in over 40 patterns.

Swatch and see

Rowan Felted Tweed and Neighborhood Fiber Company Rustic Fingering

I started my adventure with two favorite yarns. Neighborhood Fiber Company Rustic Fingering and Rowan Felted Tweed. Using the same pattern with different types of yarns gives you a variety of looks.

Rustic Fingering is smooth, the stitches are defined, even though it’s a softly twisted single-ply yarn. You can see the pattern exactly, two rows of  2×2 ribbing and a garter ridge.

Felted Tweed has texture. It’s a little uneven, and while the pattern doesn’t disappear, it’s much less defined.

Comparing them side by side, you can see they are both beautiful but different. They maybe suit different moods. For me making a choice would be like choosing between Ella Fitzgerald with her smooth, soaring control, and Billie Holiday with her unique rhythm and that heartbreaking catch in her voice. You won’t be surprised to know Billie was my number-one listen for college breakups.

Let’s look at what I’ve dubbed the Campochiaro Combination. Sequence knitting is wonderful all on its own, but let’s marl it too!

Two strands of Felted Tweed. I wish you could feel the squish of this fabric. I’ve knit all these swatches at a looser gauge than I would for most garments. I want the drape and the softness. I thought the pattern would disappear entirely marling two colors. Because I choose two colors that are low contrast (similar on a gray scale), the pattern held visually.

Working Playing overtime

Next, I chose two yarns that were very different in texture and high contrast. I wish you could feel this swatch for the silkiness—it is so soft, I can’t quit petting it. This is Rustic Fingering and Kid Silk Haze held together. The fabric is busy, and may not be to everyone’s taste, but I think it’s dynamic and exciting. The pattern isn’t entirely lost; I can see where I made a mistake in the pattern, but it’s definitely obscured.

One last sample. I did warn you that it’s hard to stop. I grabbed a skein of handspun yarn (Polwarth/silk) that had a little too much twist in it, making it a little lively.

The marling resolved into some striping, and the twisty yarn makes the texture pop.

I’ll likely not block this when it’s done. I really like the wiggly texture of the fabric.

If you haven’t already, give sequence knitting a try. It may be just what you need to clear your stash, play with yarns, lift a somber mood, or pull you out of a knitting slump.

Stash it! Save this article to your MDK account with one click. Here’s how.

About The Author

Jillian Moreno spins, knits and weaves just so she can touch all of the fibers. She wrote the book Yarnitecture: A Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want so she could use all of the fiber words. Keep up with her exploits at


  • What exactly is sequence knitting? Sorry, but I didn’t understand what it is (specifically). Is it similar to sampling? TIA

    • Another gimmicky way to desctibe something so you can get paid to blog.

      • Grrrrr I cannot boast perfection today.

    • “Sequence Knitting” is the name of a book, published in 2015, by Cecelia Campochiaro, and available from her web site – book description is at Bonus feature of the book description – a very generous number of sample pages! She wrote another book, titled “Making Marls”, published in 2020, also available from her web site, also with a generous number of sample pages. Double-Bonus on her web site, under “patterns”, she links to Ravelry projects done from her patterns. Hope this helps, and hope you will take a look at her web site

      • Thank you. I’ll follow up.

    • Sequence knitting is just repeating a set sequence of knit/purl stitches that make different textured patterns.

      For example, the Marlogram pattern from the most recent Field Guide is just a repeated 10-stitch sequence, with one edge stitch (an increase on one side, a decrase on the other). Because of the bias shape, that 10-stitch sequence of knits and purls turns into a more complex kind of diagonal texture.

  • Yes, what actually is Sequence Knitting? Is it using the same pattern on different types of yarn? Thank you.

  • Sequences are expired in Field Guide 5.

    • Explained

  • Love!

  • Did you use t,who strands of the handspun for the last sample. Very intriguing.

    • Lovely article. Sequence knitting was new to me with the Marlogram Cowl and it is fascinating and engaging. Totally agree that it’s addictive. Adore the texture it creates. And appreciate your showing so many different yarns.

  • Inspired by all of the MDK posts, I recently used sequence knitting to create a textured pillow cover. The homespun yarn from our local Sheep Pasture sheep was a bit too scratchy and stiff for a scarf. With the strands doubled, it became a perfect weight for a sturdy pillow cover. The undyed white yarn really shows off the sequence pattern.

    This really was a “perfect project.” I found a way to easily transform wool that I love–because it comes from sheep I see everyday on my dog walks, but could not figure out how to use, into something cozy and decorative. I did not have enough for a back. But no matter. I used fabric.

    My daughter, who is just learning to knit, was very impressed that I made such an impressive bit of fabric using just two stitches and a repeating pattern.

  • Cecelia is doing a 2 hour sequence knitting class on vogue live this Sunday. I signed up after the the MDK zoom with her last week. $39 usd. Class wasn’t full as if yesterday. Sometimes a demo with opportunity to practice is easier for me than reading through something.

  • The pinks and purples, still on the needle, just sing! I see how a huge stash could feed some compelling colour combinations because I don’t really like purple and rarely knit with it, yet in marls I was so drawn to this photo. Thoroughly enjoy your articles and relearn the bookmark feature each time I read one.

  • I knit the sequence shawl in the field guide and had a really difficult time putting it down and doing anything else! It was great fun, totally addictive, and be sure to use a light color so you can see all the different patterns.

  • Nice. Clearly you bin workin overtime…

  • I fell in love with the parallelogram scarf and ordered field guide 5. Then I decided to swatch a few sequences from the corrugated shawl and ended up starting a throw blanket instead. I’m using a lovely colonial blue for the sequences and white for the spacing stripes. It’s for a gift but I’m definitely in love with how it’s turning out. I’m thinking a chunky cowl would be fun too. I can’t stop sequencing long enough to work on my Westknits MKAL.

My Cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping