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Ankh Morpork Guild of Assassins: Pointy Stick Case – Free Knitting Pattern August 30, 2009

What does every good knitter need? Yarn, good light, yarn, friends and relatives who value hand-knitted gifts, yarn, storage space, yarn, needles, yarn…  What does every good Discworld Assassin need?  Aristocratic birth, good contacts, climbing ability, ruthlessness, black clothing of the highest quality, plenty of concealed weapons…  Ah! Assassins carry thin pointy objects around with them at all times, so do knitters. Bingo.

This pointy stick case was created for the Ankh Morpork Knitter’s Guild swap on Ravelry in 2009.  I entered as an Alchemist, my swap partner is an Assassin.  If you choose to keep anything other than knitting needles in it, that is entirely your affair and I shall not be held liable for the consequences.

Assassin’s Pointy Stick Case – Knitting Pattern

The case has a linen stitch body and faux-smocked border, creating a densely textured fabric. The design on the flap is the alchemical symbol for Night – this pattern is charted.

The pattern can be easily adapted for different yarn and a wider or narrower case, although a different charted pattern may need to be substituted if you are changing stitch numbers. As long as you cast on an odd number of stitches initially, you will be able to work the faux-smocking by increasing 1 stitch as you finish the linen stitch section.

You will need:

Black DK yarn (any, as long as it’s a matt black – Assassins don’t want to carry anything shiny that might give them away)

3mm circular needle & 2.5mm dpns (for cast-on & setup)

3.5mm circular needle

Cable needle (optional)

1m black ribbon, width 1.5 inches

Embroidery needle


Black thread


k = knit

p = purl

kfb = knit into front and back of stitch

swyif = slip next stitch with yarn in front of work

sl = slip next stitch with yarn behind work

yf = bring yarn to the front of the work

yb = bring yarn to the back of the work

k2tog = knit 2 together

ktbl = knit through back looop



Using a 3mm circular needle, cast on 16 stitches.

Row 1: kfb 15 times, k1 (31 stitches). Slide stitches to the other end of the needle.

Using 2 double pointed needles held parallel, rearrange stitches, starting with the needle further away from you and alternating them between the 2 needles. IE 1st stitch goes to back needle, 2nd stitch to front needle, 3rd stitch to back needle, 4th stitch to front needle, etc. When all stitches are transferred you should have 15 stitches on the front needle (Needle 1 from now on) and 16 stitches on the back needle (Needle 2).


Using a 3.5mm circular needle, work linen stitch in the round as follows:

Round 2: [k, swyif] to last stitch in round, k

Round 3: [swyif, k] to last stitch, swyif

Repeat these 2 rounds until case is approximately 4 inches shorter than the total length of the knitting needles it will eventually contain.

Setup round for faux-smocking: kfb, k to end of ro (32 stitches)


To create the smocking effect, work the following rounds 1-8 twice, then rounds 1-6 once.

Rounds 1-3: [p, k] to end of round

Round 4: [p, {sl3, yf, sl same 3 stitches back to left needle tip, yb} twice, k, p, k] to end of round

Rounds 5-7: [p, k] to end of round

Round 8: p, k, move these 2 stitches onto Needle 2, and 2 stitches from other end of Needle 2 onto Needle 1 so that 16 stitches are on each needle still. Then work as for Round 4. When you next work rounds 1-3 you will need to rearrange stitches back to the original needles so that the gathered stitches for Round 4 will occur in the correct places.

Setup for Flap:

k, move this stitch to Needle 2. Cast off next 14 stitches – do not cast off in rib as this would make the edge less smooth. 18 stitches remain, these will be worked back and forth for the flap.


Work in stocking stitch, slipping the final stitch of every row with the yarn on the wrong side of the work. Measure your work against the knitting needles to go in the case, and start chart when the flap is long enough to bend around the needle ends.


This chart shows the Alchemical symbol for Night. If using the chart on another project you may need to turn it upside down - the bottom of the chart is for the top of the symbol as on this pattern you are knitting down from the top of the flap.

This chart shows the Alchemical symbol for 'Night'. If using the chart on another project you may need to turn it upside down - the bottom of the chart is for the top of the symbol as on this pattern you are knitting down from the top of the flap.

After working chart, finish as follows:

Next Row (wrong side): p2, k2tog, [p, k] to last 2 stitches, p, slwyif.

Final Row: k2, [p, k] to last stitch, slwyb

Cast off purlwise.

Break yarn and weave in ends.


Turn the needle case inside out. Take one end of the ribbon and fold about 5mm to make a hem. Pin the folded end of ribbon to the inside of the stitches you cast off before starting the flap (the front of the case). Lay the ribbon out flat down the front of the case, and fold over on itself at the cast on stitches, so that there are 2 layers of ribbon on top of the case (see diagram).

Pointy-Stick Case - Lining Diagram

Pointy-Stick Case - Lining Diagram

Pin the ribbon to the case securely and cut off any excess length, leaving about 1cm for the back hem.  Oversew the sides of the ribbon to the sides of the case, the lower fold to the cast on stitches, and the upper hem to the cast off stitches, using black thread. I found it helpful to insert a ruler into the case while doing this, to make sure I only sewed through one layer of knitted fabric.

When you have attached the ribbon, turn the case back inside-out (or should that be outside-in, or maybe inside-in?). The ribbon will now be enclosed inside the case. Fold the cut end of the ribbon between the ribbon pocket and the back of the needle case so that it is hidden, then sew along the fold.  Take a little time to make sure that the corners of the lining are securely anchored to both the front and back of the case, as most wear will occur here.