Oriental Mat, or Hookah Carpet

From Exercises in Knitting by Cornelia Mee. Original text at Project Gutenberg.

Original Pattern

This may also be used as a carriage rug, or is very pretty as a mat for the front of the piano.

It is composed of an open stripe of dark knitting, and a stripe of white knitting, with a pattern worked in cross stitch on it, and is quite new. Large wooden pins are required, and 12-threaded fleecy, dark claret for the open stripe, and white, with 4 shades of gold, green, lilac, and scarlet, form a good combination of colours for the close stripe, and are extremely rich in their effect. For the open stripe cast on 18 stitches.

First row:—Knit 2 stitches, bring the wool forward, pass the first of the 2 knit stitches over, knit 2, bring the wool forward, pass the first of the 2 knit stitches over, repeat.

Second row:—Seamed: repeat these 2 rows alternately till you have done the length you wish your mat to be.

For the close stripe cast on 20 stitches, and knit the same length as the open stripe. When finished, pin it on to a weighted cushion to work the pattern on it, as that stretches the knitting, and shows more plainly where you should put your needle in.

Then work the annexed pattern on it. First pattern in shades of gold; second, shades of green; third, shades of scarlet; fourth, shades of lilac. Repeat with the gold. Four stripes of the white, and 3 of the dark, will make a nice-sized mat for a drawing-room. If for a carriage rug, an additional stripe of each.

Cross stitch chart for Oriental Mat, or Hookah Carpet

Updated Version


Worsted weight yarn
5.5mm needles


Approximately 18sts to 4 inches. Anything between 22 t0 16 sts to 4 inches would work fine.


Plain Strip (Make 4)

With MC cast on 20 stitches. Knit in stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) for a mulitple of 46 rows. (Your desired length)

Open Strip (Make 3)

A single repeat measures approximately 5 inches x 11 inches.

With CC cast on 18 stitches.

Row 1: * Knit 2 stitches, yarn over, pass the first knitted stitch over the second knitted stitch and the yarn over (similar to binding off). Repeat from * to end.

Row 2: Purl.

Repeat rows 1-2 23 times for the same number of rows as your plain strip.


Sewing strips together, alternating plain and open strips.

On plain strips embroider the design with a single strand of worsted weight yarn using cross stitch (see graph and sample).

Block and add fringe if desired.

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