What do other people call these? I have no idea. I've seen them called stars and clusters and something else I can't remember. They are used a lot in the Haapsalu books with the beautiful Estonian lace. And they are main body stitch of my Charollais design.
When we sold the kits for Charollais at Sample It at TNNA, a lot of folks seemed to think that this shawlette was crocheted. There is a crochet bind-off, but the body of the shawlette is worked up in knit cluster stitches - they're actually deceptively simple.
If you want to follow along, grab some yarn and needles, cast-on 13 sts and knit one row.
The next row will be the cluster stitch row worked as follows:
Row 1: k2, (c3) 3x, k2
The c3 is worked as so: k3tog (knit 3 together) leaving stitches on the needle, yo (yarnover), and then k3tog again. No stitches are increased or decreased during the cluster - things are just worked up pretty:
k3tog - leaving sts on needles
Work this cluster twice more on the row and then k2. Work the following 3 rows:
Row 2: k2, p9, k2
Row 3: knit.
Row 4: knit.
It's really that simple. The body of Charollais is worked in that lovely cluster stitch until the lace edging, which is comprised of some simple yarnovers and decreases. And then the crochet bind-off!
Charollais is the second of the Seven Sheep and is available for download either individually or as part of the e-book. But even better you can get your hands on a skein of Baah! La Jolla and the printed pattern from my wholesale distributor Stitch Sprouts. For only $35 (which includes US shipping) you can get the skein of Baah in your choice of Iris (a rich gorgeous purple, or Orange Amber or Pretty in Pink which are the colors shown above. Shop the Stitch Sprouts Etsy shop!