Decoding Knitting Patterns

Today there is no picture. Today is all about the written word!

While they don’t really use secret code, knitting patterns can appear as written in one. It can be especially daunting when the project involves new techniques, something you have never tried before but is essential to the design. This is what I am talking about today.

The conscientious knitter starts reading through the pattern, as often recommended, and soon feels quite uncomfortable because there is so much the knitter does not understand. Right there in the second paragraph the knitter is stumped by an explanation that ABSOLUTELY does not make sense. Doubt sets in. “Will I be able to do this? This is much too complicated.” Reading further only confirms what was already suspected: “This is too difficult, I cannot do this.” and the lovely lace shawl/sweater/cowl (insert accordingly) pattern gets discarded and the knitter goes back to what she knows.

This is quite a sad story, don’t you think? I know I cannot set a benchmark for what you should knit, but I do know about patterns. I can tell you ‘this is not a difficult but rather tedious technique’ (see the difference?), ‘this lace pattern is not difficult as long as you make sure you pay attention and count’ (so it is not TV knitting, but absolutely doable) – you only have to be willing. Willing to try and willing to learn.

Just to clarify, I am not talking about abbreviations used in knitting like CO, BO, k, p, k2tog etc., what I am talking about is paraphrasing the pattern itself.

Let’s start with very common use of phrases you are going to read in a lot of patterns:

Work in pattern/evenly until piece measures xx inches  This means that the piece should measure a certain length before you go to the next step in the pattern; please measure somewhere in the middle of your knitted piece and NOT along one edge. Edges tend to be a bit looser (hence: longer) than the rest of the knitting and you could be lulled into thinking you are already there, while when measured in the middle you are missing 3/4 of an inch. “In pattern” means do exactly what you have done so far, be it stockinette stitch, seed stitch or a cable pattern, just continue as started. ‘

…ending with a WS row means exactly what it says: stop knitting after finishing the wrong side row. Then do whatever the pattern says next.

*Knit to last 3 sts before marker, ssk, k1, sl m, k1, k2tog; rep from * 3 times more This is a very common description of raglan decreases, though the * is often used to describe something that needs to be repeated. You do as the pattern says, once you have arrived at ‘k2tog’ you start over at ‘knit to…’ until you have worked the required number of repeats, in this case 3.

Repeat these two rows 4 times Read with care and figure out exactly what needs doing: you have worked 2 rows as instructed, be it decreases, increases or something else completely, and the pattern asks you to repeat what you did 4 times more. There.

Repeat decrease row every 2nd/every other row 3 times more, then every 4th row 7 times more I picked decreases, it could be increases or any other shenanigan of the pattern, what it means though is: you just worked a decrease row, most probably on the right side of the knitting, since this is where decreases are usually worked, you are going to knit a wrong side row (which would be the ‘other’ or ‘2nd’ row), and then repeat your decrease row. You do that until the number (3 here) are complete. Then you work another decrease row, but instead of just knitting 1 wrong side row, you are going to work 3 rows even before you decrease again.

Turn work I don’t know why, but this throws many people off balance. It means exactly what it says: turn the work. I think it is because we usually do it automatically, we read too much into it and think it means more than it does.

With RS of work facing and beginning at the lower edge of right front... Some knitters read this and something in their head goes ‘information overload! cannot process!!’ Not so. First information is ‘RS of work’ – now every knitter knows what the RS of their project is, so go from there. ‘Facing’ means you look at it. If you don’t look at it, it is not facing you. ‘Lower edge’ – if you have been knitting on it, you’ll know where the bottom and the top is located. Here we are looking for the bottom. ‘Of right front’ – now, I will admit that can a be a bit tricky when you overthink it. You want to locate the piece that makes up the right front of your knitting when you are wearing it. If you pick the right front while the piece is lying in front of you on the table you are sure to pick the LEFT. Once you get all this sorted out – and it is easier than you might have thought – off you go!

On beginning of next 4 rows BO 4 sts Other than decreases, bind-offs have to be worked at the beginning of the row. So at the beginning of the next row you bind off 4 sts, then you repeat that 3 times. Done.

Using (insert according method) do whatever This means the designer has found a method she or he particularly likes for this part of your knitting. It doesn’t mean that it is a better method all over, it just means at this particular point for this particular design it is a good thing to use. If it is something you have never done before, well, here’s your chance to widen your knowledge once again.

Most knitting patterns rely on the same information in one way or another. Sure, some are more complicated than others, but the more you try, the better and easier you are going to understand the subtle variations and will know how to deal with them.

One of the best examples for puzzling instructions is the garter tab pick up for the beginning of a lace shawl. If you have ever knit a triangle lace shawl there is a good chance you were stumped by instructions like these – which in return are describing a quite simple thing:

CO 3 stitches.

Knit 6 rows.

Turn work 90 degrees and pick up 3 stitches into garter ridge edge – 6 sts.

Turn work another 90 degrees and pick up 3 sts into cast-on edge – 9 sts.

When I have to do something like this I rely heavily on my experience and my common sense. Far be it from me to insinuate that knitters who do not understand these instructions have no common sense, I rather assume that they are so intimidated by them that it is just not available at this moment. I won’t deny that experience helps too, but then again instructions are written so that every one should be able to do whatever needs to be done.

What it essentially means is that you knit a little garter tab (knit 6 rows) and then pick up stitches on two more sides of this tab to add to the three that are already there. To do this you have to rotate your knitting so you get access with your needle to pick up stitches and that you do twice.

Yes, I know. It still sounds like ‘blah, blah, blah’, so sit down and do it! If it seems that what you want to do is different than described in the pattern, do it anyways. Use your common sense  – I know you have it! – to try what you think is right. Sometimes only trying and trying again will get you to understand what to do – especially when there is no one around to help just this minute. I know I am repeating myself, but because it is true: look up this or any other technique you are not sure about on youtube.

Another fact of my knitting life is that there are things I read in a pattern before I actually am at that point in my knitting and I go ‘HUH?’. Trust me when I say that most of these ‘huh’s’ go away on their own once your knitting has caught up and you realize that there is really just one way how to follow the instructions and that is how you are going to do it.

What you should never forget is that knitting gives you the perfect opportunity to try out things. If it is wrong you can undo. If you have to do it three, four or maybe even five times until you figure it out or it is perfected, that is ok also. And if you are really, really stuck – we’re ready to help!

Happy knitting, as ever!

– Mona

128 thoughts on “Decoding Knitting Patterns

  1. Laura says:

    Mona, I generally love your posts, peppered liberally with your sense of humor, and this was no exception! I laughed out loud when you write that we’re sometimes too intimidated by the instructions in a pattern that common sense just isn’t available to us at the moment. Priceless! Thanks for your great tips.

    • Tess says:

      Hello. I am stuck on a sweater pattern. It states repeat rows 3-4 for 20 more rows. Does that mean knit rows 3-4 10 times? ☹

      • Mona says:

        Hello Tess,

        Yes, that is exactly what it means. Good luck with your sweater!


      • Mona says:

        Hello Aneta,

        To be able to help you I would need a bit more information – I have not encountered P.O. (1,3) standing alone myself. Can you please let me know a bit more? What it is you are working on? The instructions before the part you have an issue with? Thanks!


      • espacetricot says:

        Hi Ann,

        I am assuming this is a question about instructions? This is how I read it: When the piece you are knitting measures 15 inches from the beginning (cast on), you end with a wrong side row, meaning ready to start a right side row and mark this row with a thread.

        I hope this helps!

  2. espacetricot says:

    Mona – LOVED this post! You managed to cover so many of the most common pattern-related questions we’re asked in the store – addressed in your own unique (and hilarious) style. Thanks, as always!

  3. Carolyn says:

    Mona: Here is my problem: I am making a sweater. I am at the raglan sleeve part. The pattern is telling me the following: “keeping patt correct , cast off 3 sts at beg. of next 2 rows”.
    My pattern is as follows: P1,(TW2L) K into back of 2nd st on left needle, then K into front of 1st st and slip both sts off needle together, P2 and repeat the TW2L. My question is: Do I make my cast offs over this pattern or do I just cast of with knitting. Any help would be appreciated. Carolyn

    • Mona says:

      Hello Carolyn,

      When a pattern asks you to ‘keep the pattern correct’, it usually means that even when you have to bind-off or decrease that the rest of the stitches need to be worked in the pattern as before.

      For your specific pattern it means the following:

      P1,(TW2L) K into back of 2nd st on left needle, then K into front of 1st st and slip both sts off needle together, P2 and repeat the TW2L.

      You are supposed to bind off three stitches – that means the p1 and the TW2L will be gone, and the next stitch after binding off is p1, the second of the P2. The rest of the row you continue the pattern as you would before. The next bind off will be on the wrong side, same spiel, just reversed (knit is purl and purl is knit – got it?)

      If you would feel better about binding off in pattern, then by all means do that. By working the stitches as they appear you are binding off in pattern and don’t have to worry about how they look. I usually bind off knit wise on the RS and purl wise on the WS – if it is a sweater piece that gets seamed to another, that is.

      I hope that helps!


  4. Christina says:

    You are awesome! I’m working on my first project where there are decreases and I hit an absolute wall when I read “work a decrease every 2nd row.” Whaaa? Does that include the WS rows? Is it two RS rows? And you clarified it PERFECTLY. Thank you so much!

  5. Debbi Gibson says:

    Hi Monaco,
    I am working on a cable cushion pattern and the instructions show an
    ‘a’ with ^ above it, followed by €.
    I have no idea what this means.
    I ve Google it but can find no explanation.
    Can you help?

    • Mona says:

      Hello Debbi,

      This sounds like the you are working a cable pattern from a chart, and whoever prepared the chart used combinations not commonly used in a chart.
      Frankly, I have no idea what this could mean, this is the first time I have heard of a ‘symbol’ (if you will) like that.

      I am very sorry that I am not able to help you with this,
      Kind regards,

    • Anne says:

      Hello Mona.. I’m pretty new to knitting so trying patterns that are simple. This pattern for a baby’s hat says. Repeat last two rows having one stitch less between decreases until you have 16 on your needle… I know how to decrease but don’t understand “having one stitch less between decreases”. Thanks so much

      • espacetricot says:

        Hello Anne,

        As you are working on what is called the crown of the hat, you are working decreases that shape this last bit. It is good that you know how to work the decreases – and I do hope the pattern tells you how many stitches are in one decrease section to begin with.

        Usually crown decreases are worked on one round, then another is plain knitting. ”having one stitch less between decreases” means exactly that: whenever you are working a decrease, you are taking a stitch away. So if you start, let’s say, with 16 sts, you will have 15 after your first decrease round. 14 after the second, etc.

        Does that make sense now?

        Happy Knitting,

  6. Julia says:

    Working raglan shaping pattern says
    Next row P2 K3 K2togtbl pattern to last 7 st K2tog K3 P2
    Next row keeping pattern correct work with no dec Repeat these 2 rows 19 times more, then work 3tog for raglan dec 7 times
    Does this mean 3tog on every row or alternate as the first bit?

  7. Margie says:

    Hi Mona:

    I just read your article about Decoding a Pattern which I thought was a God send because I’ve been trying to understand a section of a raglan sweater pattern for days. The pattern says to dec on 3rd (9th-5th-5th-1st-1st) row and every following 12th (10th -6th-4th-4th) row 2 (2-4-4-7-7) times more 57 sts.
    Can you please help me understand. I have an idea what I’m supposed to do, but the numbers in parentheses confuse me.

  8. Erica Cuthbert says:

    Hello , I’m knitting s jumper and am completing the front (I have knotted the back). So I am up to the shape neck and it states “cont in pattern without shaping until work measures same as back to beg of shoulder shaping , ending with a same pattern row” . Whilst I understand all of that except for the last part that states ending with same pattern row???? Not sure how to continue thank you erica

    • Mona says:

      Hello Erica,

      All it really means is that you knit the front exactly as the back – same number of rows, which should end with the same pattern row as the back!
      Let’s say the pattern is made up of 10 rows, and you started the shoulder shaping of the back on row 7. That means you want to start the shoulder
      shaping (or whatever the pattern tells you to shape) also on row 7 of the pattern.

      I hope that helps!

  9. Wendy says:

    I am knitting a pair of capri pants for my granddaughters barbie…I do not understand what is meant by this statement….please help me.
    Work 4 rows garter stitch (every row knit) Change to larger needles
    Work 4 rows ss
    Inc 1st at each end of next and every following 6th row to 22sts ending wrong side Work 2 rows ss*
    I have done the 4 rows garter and 4 rows ss but not sure how to proceed from there.

    • Mona says:

      Hello Wendy,

      At the point you are now with your knitting, you are going to start with the increases.
      “Inc 1 st at each end of next row” – this is the RS row and you want to work an increase (kfb, m1 – your choice) after the first stitch and before the last stitch
      “and every following 6th row to 22 sts” – before increasing again, you are going to work 5 rows after the last increase row and then increase again as before until you have 22 sts
      “ending wrong side” – after your last increase row you work 1 more WS row
      “work 2 rows ss” – work two more rows in stockinette

      That’s it – I hope this helps you along!


  10. Amy J says:

    Thank you so much for your blog and explanations. They are so very helpful!!
    Unfortunately I am still stuck on my current pattern for a childs tunic where I am increasing for the sleeves. The pattern says:

    Repeat the row increase every following alt row 2 (0) times, every following 4th row (5) times, every following 6th row (0) times.
    Continue until pattern is 16 cm.

    What does this mean? Do I knit 6 more rows 5 times increasing at every row 4?
    This is what I am reading it as, but I think this will make my knitting much more than just 16 cm?

    Any help or advice would be really appreciated. 😦

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Amy,

      So sorry to hear that you are stuck on a pattern, I hope I’ll be able to help:

      Repeat the row increase every following alt row (meaning every second row, usually on the RS) 2 times more if you are knitting the small size,
      0 times if you are knitting the larger size. This should be clear – though I would like to know which size you are knitting, since in the following
      instructions the numbers for the smaller size seem to be missing!

      You only gave me the numbers in the brackets – are the other ones really missing? If you are working the numbers in the brackets, you work an increase every 4th row
      five times (meaning altogether 5 increases). Since there is a zero in the brackets for the 6th row increases, you do not have to work those.

      I hope that helps!


      • Amy J says:

        Hi Mona,

        Thank you so much for your reply, I truly appreciate it!
        I got this pattern from a British magazine, Simply Knitting although it’s an old copy from 2014. When I’ve tried to google it, it seems the pattern was originally French so I’m worried there’s a translation error possibly.

        The pattern has guidelines for a bunch of sizes. I am knitting for a 4 year old, so I put on the instructions for that. I think that’s why there’s gaps.
        I am always following the second instruction. -if that makes sense?

        The pattern states:
        Sleeve Increases. (RS) K1, M1, K to last st, M1, K1. [(57, 63, 69, 73, 79)] *- I am following the pattern for 63 stitches.
        Rep this increase row on every foll alt row (2, 0, 0, 0, 0) times, one every 4th row (3, 5, 3, 1, 0) times, then on every foll 6th row (0, 0, 2, 4, 5) times.

        I should then have 73 stitches and cont in stst until work measures 16cm.

        I’m incredible confused…. Do I knit the increase just every alternate row?
        I thought it would be 6 rows knitted 5 times, with an increase at every 4th row. But that will make the work too long, longer than 16cm.

  11. espacetricot says:

    Ok, that makes more sense! It’s not hard, just do it one step at a time:

    1. you have 63 stitches
    2. you do not do any increases on the alternate rows, since your number is 0
    3. you increase every 4th row five times, meaning you increase 10 stitches – which makes 73 stitches (the increase is worked on the RS row, then work 3 additional rows = 4 rows. This you repeat 4 times, makes for a total of 5 increases)
    For your size, that’s it! If the piece doesn’t measure 16 cm yet, knit some more without increases, until you reach 16 cm.

    When I knit a pattern with multiple sizes, I underline my size or use a highlighter, This way you see what you need to do (and not need to) right away. Here are two “0” for your size, and when there’s a 0 you do not need to do anything!

    Happy Knitting!

  12. Amy J says:

    Mona, that’s perfect!!!!
    Thank you so much! 😀 It had crossed my mind that might be the case, but I think I was looking at it too hard and confusing myself. Thank you so much for your support and wisdom!
    Very happy to continue this pattern now

  13. Hope Scheimo says:

    I am very happy to find your blog. I have been searching all over looking for an answer to my dilemma. I am not very learned with knitting but I keep pressing on. I am attempting a vest for 2 of my granddaughters and think I am thinking an instruction a little too hard– it is a pattern off the label of a Baby Bee Yarn–After doing the scalloped edging which has taken the sts down from 90 to 58.

    Now I am on the Body and Row 1– and it says to place marker (PM), K CO 5 Sts to end of needle…I am assuming I am casting on 5 stitches and then knitting to the end–not continuing to cast on 5 more and 5 more and 5 more each next stitch. (this is only for a 2 year old).

    And then, though this calls for circular ndls, I assume it is because of the length of the vest because it doesn’t say to knit in the round (and it would not make sense to knit a vest in the round–one that calls for buttons to button together, and not a pullover)–but row 2 of the body says:

    K CO 5 Sts to end of Ndl, PM, P to marker, K 5–I understand the ones I P will be the 6 that I K CO 5 at the beginning of row 1, but where do I come up with the 5 I knit at the end? is that possibly a misprint and should be another K CO 5 ?

    Thank you for any help you can give. It takes me a very long time to knit the Christmas stockings I make for the new grandkids. This is going to be a birthday present for this summer…so I am starting it now!

    • Mona says:

      Hello Hope,

      It sounds to me that the instructions are not very clear, the knitting itself seems not too complicated.

      I have read what you wrote and hope I can help, since I am not able so see the knitting, it is a bit tricky. But here is what I think:

      On the body on row 1 cast on 5 sts knitwise (I suppose that is what K CO 5 Sts means) , place a marker and then knit to end of row.

      Now it gets to be a bit of guess work for me, since I have never seen even a photo of the finished design.

      I think you are supposed to cast on another 5 sts on the WS but also knitwise (meaning the knitted cast-on, since that is the only way to add these stitches here), place a marker and then purl to the marker on the other side and knit the last five stitches. It seems to me that the button bands are knit in garter, could that be?

      At some point the pattern will also ask you to make a button hole.

      To recap: 1st row of body is a RS, you cast on 5 sts with the knitted method, place a marker and then knit to end of row.
      2nd row starts the same (even though on the WS): you cast on 5 sts, place a marker, then purl to the other marker and k5.

      I really hope this helps you get on the way!


    • Mona says:

      Oh, and I forgot: It is probably a bit more comfortable to knit this on circulars beacause of the stitch count. However, if you are more comfortable knitting with straight needles, and don’t mind them crowded with stitches, there is no reason not to use them!

  14. Hope Scheimo says:

    WOW Mona!! That makes so much sense!!

    The picture is tiny, and I was wondering when the edging for the vest would come in (any patterns I have done in the past always stressed that I was knitting an edge–to a blanket or pot holder, stocking, etc.)– and I first began with a scalloped edging…and now realize that must be the bottom of the vest (which is not pictured). But I knew it could not be the neck, as it talks later of shaping the neckline.

    And yes, the first row was the right side, and since I had to purl on this 2nd row, I did not understand the cast on Knit-wise as you say…but if I am doing an edging, makes so much sense!

    THANK YOU!!! I have book marked your site and I will be visiting often to see all that you have to say about so much (I even found a post about a slouchy hat pattern I have to try!) I love finding new things to help me learn more and make for those I love!

  15. Maureen O'Brien says:

    I really need help with a pattern, it’s a baby sweater this pattern is really complicated to understand here is the part I do not understand; Insert 1 marker = mid on top of shoulder – At the same time cast on 2 new system at the end of the row towards the neck,repeat Inc on next row towards neck = 56 sts ( last row =WS).
    What is it with the (=)
    Hope you can help!

    • Mona says:

      Hello Maureen,

      Sorry you’re having trouble with a pattern, I’ll try to help as best as I can here:

      From what I understand, the instructions tell you to place a marker in the middle of the shoulder stitches. Since I do not know how many there are, this is something you would have to figure out.

      Then you want to cast on stitches (I am guessing it is stitches not system) at the neck edge of the sweater. You are going to use the knitted cast-on or the backward loop cast-on since that is the only way to make it work.
      After that you work the WS row as before, and one more RS row. Repeat casting on (increasing) 2 stitches at the beg of the next WS row – and you should have 56 stitches.

      the = (equals) is just to explain what you have done and where, meaning the last worked row was a WS row.)

      I do hope that this will help with your project, it is always a bit tricky when I can’t see the knitting!


      • Mona says:

        Hello Maureen,

        Guessing from what you wrote in your first comment, I rather think that the marker is supposed to be on the shoulder, not in the middle of all stitches.

        Since I cannot see the piece, it is hard for me to be certain.


  16. Marsha Shultz says:

    Pattern states repeat rows 8-19 until piece measures 48″, ending with row 15. Does this mean I just knit row 15 or knit from row 8-15?

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Marsha,

      It means you repeat rows 8-18 until the piece measures 48″ – but on the last repeat you end after row 15 and then do what the pattern tells you to do next.

      I hope that helps,

  17. Alissa says:

    This cleared up questions I have had for YEARS. Haha I’ve always just winged it and tried to make it fit. Thank you SO much!

  18. Keah-Paige Harrison says:

    Trying to knit a pair of children’s mittens from this pattern

    This is my first attempt at something like this and i’m stuck on knitting in the thumb/

    “16th Row: P31, turn


    K13, turn
    Working on these centre 13sts only work a further 9 rows
    K2tog 5 times, k3tog
    Cut off yarn leaving a tail. Draw a needle through these 6sts. Draw up tightly and fasten off.”

    I’ve done P31, turn, K13, turn. But I’m confused with what it means with the working on the centre 13sts. Does this mean I knit 13sts, turn, knit 13sts, turn etc. Until I’ve done 9 rows?

    Many thanks,


    • Mona says:

      Hello Keah

      I think you have the hang of it already – but to answer your question: yes, indeed, to form the thumb you knit on thise 13 sts only until 9 rows are complete and the follow the rest of the instructions!

      Happy knitting,

  19. Aisla says:

    Hello Mona,

    Really helpful blog! Could I ask how you would interpret and work the following instruction? It’s the first line on a neckline shaping section of a cardigan:

    Place 6 sts on holder. BO 2 sts, work in patt to end. Work 1 row. BO 5 sts, work in patt to end.

    I don’t understand how you can place stitches on a holder and then bind off/carry on with the rest of the row as your working yarn would still be at the first stitch. Are you supposed to work those six stitches and then place them on a holder, or do something clever to slip the stitches onto a holder unworked and get the working yarn to the end of the six stitches?

    Any help gratefully appreciated

    Kind regards,

    • Mona says:

      Hello Aisla,

      In this case you did exactly ehat I do: if the instructions don’t really make sense, you think about it and find the way to work them. Infeed, I would knit those first 6 sts and then put them on hold – this way you can continue without having to cut the yarn.

      Best of luck with uour project and happy knitting!


  20. Keah-Paige Harrison says:

    I’ve finished the mittens (and a pair of booties) and have now dived head first into my first ever dress (and first time using circular needles, I might just be crazy).

    I’ve come to a row that instructs me to work something 4 times.
    “Row 4:(RS) (Button Hole Row) Knit 2, YO, K2tog, (Knit to 1 stitch before the next marker, KFB, Sm, KFB) work 4 times, knit to the end”

    Am I mean to be working from the start of the row to the end of the brackets 4 times, or just working what is in the brackets 4 times?

    Thanks in advance,

  21. espacetricot says:

    Hello Keah,

    No, you’re not crazy – you are just challenging yourself which is great!

    The ‘work for times’ is meant for the instructions in the brackets. You repeat from (knit to 1 st… to the end of bracket 4 times.

    I hope that helps!


  22. Peggy Vennum says:

    my pattern reads knit 44 rows in pattern at the end of 8″ bind, off decrease in 12 sts across. what happens to the other 22 stitches on the needle?

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Peggy,

      I’d love to help you but I fear without a bit more information I won’t be able to.

      What exactly are you knitting? Which part refers the instructions to?

      If you could let me know a bit more I’ll be happy to try to explain.


  23. Lilian says:

    Hi Mona,

    I’m trying to knit an adult size mermaid blanket and I’m stuck after I’ve reached 112 sts and knitt 5 rnds.

    Next rnd: *K18 (27). K2tog. Rep from * around. 76 (112) sts.
    Knit 5 rnds even.
    Cont dec 4 sts evenly (as established) around next and following 6th rnds until there are 44 (92) sts.
    Cont dec 4 sts evenly (as established) around next and following 4th rnds until there are 52 sts

    So do I just repeat the pattern of dec 4 & knit 5 rnds until I reach 52 sts? The 6th rnds and 4th rnds instruction is confusing me.

    Thanks in advanced!

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Lilian,

      After you knit the 5 rounds even, you need to work another decrease round. If you look at the pattern it states for the first decrease “k20, k2tog”, for the second decrease “k19, k2tog”
      and for the third it was “k18, k2tog”. When it tells you now to decrease ‘as established’ it means that you continue in that pattern and “k17, k2tog”, then you knit another 5 rounds. You repeat
      the decreases every 6th round as established until there are 03 sts, then you decrease every fourth round (k 3 rounds in between the decreases instead of the 5) until there are 52 sts left.

      Meaning your question is half right, because after you reach 92 sts, you decrease every 4th round.

      I hope this helps!


  24. Danice says:

    Hello Mona,

    I am knitting a pair of socks and the instructions say: Knit increase round every round 3 more times, then repeat increase round every other round 7 more times. Does this mean I knit 3 increase rounds and then immediately knit another increase round to start the every other round sequence for 14 rows? I see this in instructions often, sometimes I knit a round first and then the increase round second and sometimes I knit the increase round first and then a knit round second. I am not sure which is correct.

    Thank you for your help

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Danice,

      I think I can help you with these instructions:

      “Knit increase round every round 3 more times”: as you say, you knit 3 increase rounds.
      “then repeat increase round every other round 7 times”: indeed, since it says ‘every other round’ you knit one round without decreases, and make a decrease on the second round, that you do 7 times in a row.

      I hope that helps!


  25. Carrie Walker says:

    Hi Nina,
    A fab article and great blog, thank you.

    I am struggling with a pattern for a mermaid blanket, I have managed everything so far and need to start the increases of the skirt of the tail.
    The pattern reads,

    Last 2 rows set inc and position of pattern (after 1st inc).
    Keeping continuity of patt as set (throughout) work 52 rows inc 1 st at each end of 7th and eveey folk 9th row.
    62 stitches.
    Work 74 rows more without shaping.

    I am doing the 2nd size so have only put in those numbers,

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    • Mona says:

      Hello Carrie,

      Ok, let’s see if I can help you:

      “Last 2 rows set inc and position of pattern (after 1 sts inc)” – Since you haven’t given me the information of how the increases are worked, I do hope this was not a problem for you. This part of the instructions means that you keep working the pattern (which I also do not know) as established, however you need to incorporate the stitches that you increased.

      “Keeping continuity of patt as set (throughout) work 52 rows inc 1 st at each end of 7th and every following 9th row” – I understand this as follows: As I have already said, keep the stitches in pattern. All together you are going to work 53 rows, and they ask you to increase 1 sts at the beginning and at the enc of the 7th row and then every 9th row that follows. Since I do not know with how many stitches you started, I can only tell you that at the end of the 52 worked rows you are supposed to have 62 sts.

      Then you work 74 rows in pattern without shaping.

      I do hope this helps you to knit on –


  26. Debi says:

    Hi Mona,

    Having problem understanding the directions for shoulder shaping the left front on a child’s cardigan. I’m making the cardigan for my granddaughter from an old pattern I found in my grandmother’s stash of The Workbasket and Home Arts Magazine.

    It is for a size 2 with 4/6 in parenthesis. I am making the size 2.

    From the back instructions: ….When armhole measures 4-1/4 (5, 5-1/4) inches shape shoulders. Bind off 5 (6,7) sts at beginning of next 4 (6,4) rows, then bind off 4 (0,6) sts at beginning of next 2 (0,2) rows. Sl remaining 21 sts onto holder for back of neck.

    From the left front instructions: … Work until armhole measures same as back to shoulder, bind off same as shoulder on back.

    Please advise what I am suppose to do. I only start with 31 sts for the front, so I am highly confused.

    • Mona says:

      Hello Debi,

      I don’t know what happened, but my last answer apparently did not get posted! I am so sorry – let’s try this again:

      Bind off 5 stitches at beginning of next 4 rows: bind off 5 stitches at the beginning of the RS row, then 5 at the beginning of the WS row. These two rows you repeat – you have bound off 5 sts at the beginning of next 4 rows, as requested.
      This you repeat for one RS row and one WS row with 4 sts,
      However, if you started with only 31 sts, this seems too many stitches bound off. I wager the guess that it is 5 stitches at beg of next two rows and then 4 sts at beg of next two rows, Then you would be left with 14 stitches, which seems alright for the neck.


  27. Debbie says:

    Hi , I’m making a hat and its k2,p2 then change to double points and it said to work in pattern over six
    Stitches , k2tog what does that mean. Thank u

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Debbie,

      For your hat you want to change to the dpns before the stitches get too stretched on the circular needle. The decreases are worked as described – ‘work in pattern’ means the k2,p2; meaning over 6 sts k2, p2, k2, then k2tog. This you repeat for the whole round.

      I hope that helps!


  28. Linda Fleeger says:

    I’m woeking on a shawl. The first set of the instructions includes the placement of 2 markers (on either side of the center stitch) . I get that part.however the pattern then changes after a few inches to a lace pattern for 4 rows. The problem is that the lace rows do not mention those markers.
    If I knit the lace rows ( total of 4) leaving the markers in place I end up with 4 stitches between the markers.
    Of course it goes back to the repeating the original garter pattern before then going back to a few rows of lace.
    What am I supposed to do with those stupid markers while knitting the lace pattern?
    Do I remove them and then try and put them back in place when I
    Return to the garter rows??
    I have actually seen a couple shawl patterns that I would love to make but the patterns do the same thing.

    • Mona says:

      Hello Linda,

      From what you tell me I can only guess that you are having trouble with the yarn overs slipping over your middle stitch markers. Usually there is an increase before and after the middle stitch, done with a yarn over before and after the middle stitch.

      Make sure that the markers stay before and directly after the middle stitch, this way you should be ok. it is rare that you need to replace markers in a pattern.

      I hope this helps, since I can’t see the pattern you are working on, it is a bit hard for me to say.


  29. Lisa says:

    Hi Mona,
    I know this post was posted a while back, it is extremely helpful for a self-taught knitter like myself, but I have a question.
    In the pattern I’m working on (a pullover sweater) It says the following:
    Beg with a P row cont in stocking stitch shaping sides by dec
    1 st at each end of 22nd and every foll 16th row to 102 [112,
    126, 138] sts
    Can you help explain this to me? The main confusion is whether I should start decreasing on the 22nd row or stitch, also whether or not if I should decrease one st in the start and 1 st in the end?
    and “every foll 16th row” means that I should decrease again after doing 15 rows (in the 16th row)?
    I’d appreciate an answer! (from Mona or anyone else that can help.)

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Linda,

      I hope I can help to make this pattern a bit clearer: “dec 1 st at each end of 22nd row” – this sounds to me that you are supposed to make your first decrease already after 22 rows of knitting. Then you work 15 rows even and decrease again on the 16th row. This last part you repeat until you have the number of stitches left that your size demands. (Since you did not tell me which one of the four sizes you are knitting, you have to pick the one that is the correct number for your size…)

      I propose to do the decreases as follows, because it makes seaming after easier:
      K1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. Decreases are worked on the RS row.

      I hope this helps to knit on!


  30. Rosa says:

    Hi. Am stuck on pattern have worked stocking stitch to measure 15cm ending with a knit row…then it tells me to purl to centre of next row, your panel should measure 31cm inwidth for a perfect fit, purl to end of row this is where I don’t get it have purled to centre of row what do I do now….help

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Rosa,

      Since I do not know what exactly you are knitting and what the panel is for, I am struggling slightly with my answer. However, having said that, it seems even though you are supposed to only purl to center of row first, they ask you to finish the purl row after measuring, if I understand correctly.

      If you let me know what you are knitting and what the ‘panel’ is for, I might be able to verify my answer.


  31. Emma says:

    Hi Mona,
    I am stuck on a sweater pattern.
    Row 4:(RS) Knit to 1 stitch before the next marker, (Kfb, Sm, Kfb, knit until you have 1 stitch before the next marker) work 4 times, knit to the end

    I don’t understand the work 4 times instruction as at that point I’m in the middle of a row, does it mean do the same increases on the other half of the row and then repeat the whole row 4 times?

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Emma,

      Sorry for this belated reply – but here goes:

      You start with knitting to 1 stitch before the next marker, and then work the instructions in brackets. The brackets mark the repeat, and that means you work what is written in brackets 4 times in total and then knit to the end (of round, I guess).

      I hope this helps and you can continue with your sweater knitting!


  32. Anne Jeffriess says:

    Ian trying to knit a jumpsuit for baby he patter states for crotch every 10 rows, 4 x 1 insert inc
    Do I inc by 4 st once
    Please help

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Anne,

      The increases for the crotch are worked every 10 rows, 1 stitch 4 times – meaning you increase one stitch, *work 9 rows in pattern, increase 1 stitch on the next row, two increases complete. Repeat from * two times more. This way you increased 4×1 stitch every 10 rows. I hope this helps!


  33. Anne Jeffriess says:

    Thank you it dose but 40 rows have to be knitted which will make the garment rather big for baby oh well I’ll give it a go.
    Thanks Anne

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Anne,

      Indeed – this is one of the drawbacks when I cannot see the knitting – that would make the piece too long. I think my advice is wrong after all. Sorry about that.

      Would it be possible to get the exact wording of the pattern, please?


  34. Liz says:

    I am doing a child’s cardigan where the back measures 13 inches including ribbing. I am now working on left front which has 43 cast on stitches. I have done ribbing and am working pattern. Instructions read as follows: keeping pattern correct, dec 1 st at end of next row and every following 40th row until 34 stitches remain. Work straight until front measures same as back. I have interpreted this to mean knit 1 row in pattern, on row 2 of pattern decrease 1 so I now have 42 stitches. Keep knitting in pattern and decrease next on 40th row then decrease again on 80th row etc. I have now come to row 120 and have decreased and have 39 stitches. If I continue in this fashion my front panel will be twice as long. Obviously not correct. Help!

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Liz,

      I am a bit confused about these instructions and it is difficult because I cannot see the piece you are knitting on. Are the decreases for the neckline of the cardigan? is it a V-neck? This is the only explanation I would have. Were the same decreases worked for the back?

      For any regular pattern, you cast on 43 stitches, work the rib then up to a specific height in pattern and then decrease for the neckline. I think there might be a typo in the instructions (have you checked on ravelry for errata?) and you are supposed to decrease every 4th row (instead of every 40th!) to the 34 sts remaining.

      I hope that helps – if not, let me know and I’ll try again.


      • Liz says:

        Thanks so much Mona. Turns out there was an error and had to reconfigure the number of rows between the decreases. All is good.

  35. Sarah says:

    Could you help me decipher this knitting pattern? It is my first time knitting from a pattern!

    Cont in St st working center front inc row every 10th row 2(2,0,0,0,0,0) times, every 8th row 8(8,9,6,3,3,0) times, every 6th row 0(0,2,6,10,10,14) times;

    I am the 4th from the left size inside the parentheses. I was confused how many rows were being made with these instructions. The instructions explain which rows have increases. If my size has zero increases, like the first one for every 10th row, do I still do the 10 rows, but leave off the increases?

    I think this was explained before above, but do the increases for the 8th and the 6th overlap or are they completely separate steps? Do you do all the every 8th increases, then start on the every 6th increases? I was trying to number off the rows and I had overlap for for the 24th row. I think I am doing something wrong here.

    Please help!


    • Mona says:

      Hello Sarah,

      I think I will be able to help, thanks for for asking! 😉

      For the first part: if you are knitting the fourth size in the parentheses, this means the following:
      No increases every 10th row need to be worked, since the number is 0.
      3 increases every 8th row – these you work first, until three repeats of 8 rows are completed, then you work increases 10 times every 6th row.

      In this case you work them one after the other, meaning they are indeed separate steps.

      I hope this helps!


      • Sarah says:

        Hi, Mona!

        Thanks for your reply! I appreciate your help. This has really helped me move forward with my first big knitting project. Your instructions made it so much clearer! 🙂

        Many Thanks,

  36. Heidi says:

    Hi, I’m starting a pattern and like you said, almost immediately it doesn’t make sense. Maybe you can help. It tells me to cast on ten and then kfb to end of row. 20 st. Then purl the ws. This is the part that doesn’t make sense. For Row 3 it says (k1, kfb) to end of row. 30 st. It seems to be that if 10 st kfb made 20 st then would 20 kfb make 40 not 30. It goes on like this to til it gets to 90 st. So row 5 is (k2 kfb to end of row. 40 st. Row 7 (k3, kfb) to end of row 70 sts. Row 9 (k4,kfb) to end of row 60 st. Row 11 (k5 kfb) to end of row 70 st. It seems like I’m going to end up with a lot more then 90 stitches if I follow those instructions. What am I missing?

    • Mona says:

      Hello Heidi,

      I can see what your problem is, let me explain:

      When you cast on 10 sts and kfb in each, you end up with 20. However, if you continue with k1, kfb, you only double 10 of the 20 sts, and have 30 after the increase row. The math of this pattern is ok, just make sure you follow the instructions exactly and knit the number of stitches required before kfb. This way you will end up with the 90 sts as written.

      Happy knitting,

      • LENAH ALFALLAJ says:

        Hello Mona,
        thank you for your post. I have a similar problem
        I am a beginner knitter and it seems that I can’t figure out the math in increasing sts. for example, I am doing a bird now and the instructions say:
        8 sts
        row1: p
        row2: kfb to end.16 sts.
        row4:k1, kfb to end. 24 sts.
        row6: k2, kfb to end. 32 sts. (here is where I get it wrong ending up with 36 sts).

        Thank you Mona,

      • espacetricot says:

        Hello Lenah,

        From what you are telling me, there is a problem with row 6 – though I do not understand why, because if it works out until row 4, it should be correct after row 6 also, as you are adding another 8 stitches.

        Maybe it is just a case of miscounting stitches when you do your increases? That is easy to do and might be the culprit. As to the numbers, they are correct. So when trying next time, please make sure to knit 2, then kfb (2 sts) and if you do this 8 times total you should end up with 32 sts!

        Happy Knitting as ever!

      • Elyce Wakerman says:

        Hi Mona,

        I have a question about shaping RAGLAN SLEEVES. The instructions say to follow raglan shaping as for back. But the sleeve is 54 stitches and the back was 78. (This is a sweater for a two-year-old), Do I just decrease same as back until I run out of stitches? I’m confused.
        Thank you for your response.

      • espacetricot says:

        Hello Elyce,

        Even though the sleeves have less stitches than the back, you are decreasing them in the same manner as for the back. There are probably more than 2 stitches left on the back when done, but you want the same amount of decreases on the sleeves so that assembly will be easier!


  37. Beth Hoeppner says:

    I am knitting the cutest baby sweater and all was going well…till the sleeves! Now it makes no sense. I have tried it all different ways over and over again trying to figure it out. I really need help.
    If you can get a hold of the instructions for Carole Prior’s “Sweet Layettes to knit”, “Beloved Blue” Sweater pattern and go to the sleeve to see if you can figure it out. The stitches don’t match up or the pattern. I am really not sure what it is trying to tell me. Help!!! Please!!!

  38. Mona says:

    Hello Beth,

    Unfortunately I was not able to get a look at the pattern and without more info I am not able to help you out. If you are willing to explain a bit more and put the part of the pattern that is unclear here, I will take a look.


  39. darlene jones says:

    06/05/19 Mona i am stuck—pattern reads work rows 5 and 6 sixty -two more times–would that mead together sixty two more times or row 5 sixty two more times & row 6 sixty-two more times–i hope you can help me thank you

    • Mona says:

      Hello Darlene,

      First of all, please excuse my tardy reply – I hope my answer will still come in time…

      Usually, when a pattern says “rows 5 and 6 sixty-two more times” you work both rows 62 times more.
      Since I do not know what you are working one, I cannot verify if this makes sense, but this is how I would interpret it reading the pattern. I hope that helps.

      Happy Knitting,

  40. Lisa says:

    Hi Mona, I have a pattern that says CO 90 , join to begin working in the round for 1.5 inches(this is fine).
    Next it says R1 {RS} K27, W&T
    R2 {WS} p9 W&T
    R3 RS K 10 W&T etc… If I am knitting in the round why is the pattern giving me instructions for p side rows…sorry I can’t wrap my head around that. Help! The pattern is Thelma Egberts Fish Hat.
    Thanks in advance,

    • Mona says:

      Hello Lisa,

      The reason you are being asked to turn and purl is that the pattern contains short rows. Short rows help with creating certain shapes and they are very useful and it is good to know how to work them.
      Short rows are sort of difficult to explain without showing here, I highly recommend to go to youtube and search for videos that show how to do it.

      However, your pattern should include a section with explanations to the abbreviations.

      W&T – Wrap and turn: the most common way to work short rows. (A short row is a row that ends before all stitches of the row or round are worked.)
      R1 k27 – okay, knit 27 stitches, then wrap and turn. The wrapping happens around the leg of the next stitch and helps preventing holes once you go back to knitting in the round.

      As I have said, please go to youtube and look for “knitting short rows with wrap and turn” and soon you will be able to understand and proceed with your pattern!

      Happy Knitting,

  41. Susie Nott-Bower says:

    Would be so grateful for your help. I’m stuck after beginning the armhole shaping on a jumper. The back was fine, but the front says: ‘Continue straight until 10 rows less have been worked to start of shoulder shaping, ending with RS facing for next row.’ (and then moves on to neck shaping). I just don’t understand what it means by ‘until 10 rows less’ means – why doesn’t it give a measurement? Is it saying that I need to put the two pieces together and count back ten rows and begin to shape the neck ‘earlier’?

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Susie,

      If you have worked the back, there shouldn’t be any problem continuing with the front. I, for one, always count my rows of each piece because having the same number rows makes seaming so much easier! So if you have the total amount of rows for the back up to where the shoulder shaping begins, you deduct 10 rows and when you have worked that many rows on the front, you begin the neck shaping. By the end of the neck shaping you should be about where the shoulder shaping starts (the pattern will tell you if you have to work a few more rows).

      I hope that helps!

      Happy Knitting,

      • susan nott-bower says:

        Hi Mona,
        Thanks so much for your reply to my question – unfortunately it went into my spam folder and I’ve only just found it! But I did pretty much what you suggest, so thank you. 😊
        Best wishes,

        Sent from Mail for Windows 10


      • Betsy Naumburg says:

        So I am not new to knitting but confused (or maybe annoyed ) by the instructions “ending with RS facing for next row”
        Isn’t that the same as ending with a WS row. And if it is the same- why are they saying it that way?


  42. Sharon Harber says:

    Hi Mona,

    Thanks for your explanations decoding knitting patterns.

    I am knitting a hat in stockinette and cable with a ribbed edge for a baby (6-12 months). The pattern for the cable bit says “Continue in pattern until Hat measures 15cm”. What I want to know is do I include the ribbed bit (which is 6cm – so 9cm of cable) in the measurement or does it mean just the cable section (so 6cm of rib plus 15cm of cable)?

    The crown shaping will take 13 rows if that helps.


    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Sharon,

      I will have to guess here, but as I understand it is it with the rib included. Otherwise it should say “Until hat measures 15 cm from rib”. As it does not say that, it is from Cast-On edge. Total length 15 cm, before the decreases start. That also makes sense considering the size!

      Happy Knitting,

  43. Lynn says:

    Hi Mona,
    I am knitting a jumper in the round from top to bottom. I have come to A-line shaping below armholes. Pattern reads,

    Work increase rounds as follows:

    5 inc ends every (4cm)

    Inc rnd. Sm, k to m, (sm, k1, m1lkw, k to 1st st bef m, m1rkw, k1) twice.

    There are 2 markers in total one under each armhole.

    How does this work.


    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Lynn,

      When you get instructions like these, you want to follow them exactly:

      sm – slip marker, in this case it is the beginning of round marker – considering the following instructions it must be
      k to m: knit to the next marker
      (sm – slip marker
      m1lkw – make 1 left knit wise (I am assuming, as I do not have the legend)
      knit to 1 st before m (this would be the beginning of round marker again)
      m1r kw – make 1 right knit wise
      k1 )
      then work what is written in brackets again

      I hope this helps – happy knitting!

  44. Tanja Lähteinen says:

    Can I ask a simple question; I have my first knitting pattern in english and I don’t really get it. I have CO 88 sts and the first row was just P1, K to end – easy :-). But now I’m lost; what does “P to 18 sts remaining on the needle” mean? Do I need to P the FIRST 18 sts, or do I P UNTILL there is 18 sts LEFT on the needle? I have googled like an hour now and cannot find the answer :-). Thank you!

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Tanja,

      As I am not a natural English speaker, I do understand that patterns in English can be confusing at times. When it says “P to 18 sts remaining on the needle” I take it to mean that I purl all stitches EXCEPT THE LAST 18, so “purl until there are 18 sts left on needle” (which is how I would write it).

      I hope that helps and happy knitting!

  45. Tanja Lähteinen says:

    Thank you! I would guess that option makes more sense (when I continue reading the pattern) so I’ll just try it that way and see how it goes :-)!

  46. Liz says:

    Ok…I’ve gotten pretty good at decoding patterns but this one has me scratching my head. I am making a textured coat in the flat. I have finished the back and front panels. The panels will have 2×2 perpendicular ribbing comprised of 9 rows. In the past I have done add on borders by simply picking up and knitting the number of stitches specified. This is what the pattern says:

    “Left front border: cast on 8 sts, with rs facing, using same needles and yarn pick up and knit 138 sts evenly along front edge. 146 stitches”. Then you proceed with ribbing.

    “Right front border: pick up and knit 138 sts evenly along front edge, using same needles and yarn cast on 8 sts. 146 sts.” Then you proceed with ribbing.

    “To Assemble: join shoulder seams. Join border seam and placing seam to center back of neck sew border evenly in position to back of neck.” Is this border seam the 8 cast on stitches??? Thanks for your help.

  47. Sindi Valdivia says:

    Hello! I’m hoping you are still answering questions from this post. I am pretty new at knitting, although I am a fast learner, excellent crocheter, and determined to make this pattern (even though I chose a difficult first piece!). Just reading through the pattern notes the first 5 times was daunting. Then I realized what RS and WS meant, wrap and turns, and I am figuring out a few other codes so I’m feeling more confident. I decided the internet and I are going to tackle this tree skirt one stitch at a time 😂 but the very first instructions have me absolutely stumped. I cannot find an answer.
    In the notes it says •Tree Skirt is worked from radius of circle around, using Short Rows to shape wedge-like segments. On each Row 1 of Chart (after the first repeat), knit the wraps together with the wrapped sts for all knit sts •
    The actual pattern has a picture of a rough wedge and the bottom shows the numbers 1-73 from right to left. Under that it looks something like this [—————— 73 st repeat ——————]
    I’m assuming that is a basic notation to any knitter and that’s why I cannot find a definition. If you can help me I would really appreciate it! Thank you

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Sindi,

      Basically what it means is that the Tree Skirt is knit sideways, adding one pie piece after another. As I have not seen the pattern, I can only assume that the number is the number of stitches to be cast-on and work the short rows with. 73 stitch repeat means exactly that – once you are done with the first segment, you repeat the instructions for the second, third etc.

      I hope this helps and you can get going!

      Happy Knitting,

      • Sindi Valdivia says:

        That was so fast! Yes that is the number of stitches on the long side. So, I understand the idea of it being in pieces that will be joined but that first step is still a little confusing. After I cast on, do I repeat the cast on? It doesn’t start getting short until row 5. And I think I can basically follow each square as I go, but do I have to do something else first? Otherwise I’m going to cast on then just start stitching through the pattern starting on row one and sort of ignore that until I find out it’s all wrong. Not my favorite idea. Thanks again!

  48. Alison says:

    Hello, I am starting on a Garter stitch jacket for a 4yr old, the finished jacket has to be done on Feb.16th,2020. The body is worked in garter stitch in one piece sideways. The work starts with the left sleeve.I understand the instructions for the sleeve, which ends with “cont even in garter st for 40 rows more ending with RS facing for next row. Cast on 45 sts beg next 2 rows. Place markers each end of the needle. 152 sts. Proceed in garter st until work from markers measures 4 1/4 ins. ending with RS facing for next row.” I understand how to cast on sts beg the next 2 rows. My question is where and how do i place the markers at each end of the needle? Thank you very much.

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Alison,

      From what I can tell, you place the markers into the knitted fabric (at the end) where you cast on. I am not exactly sure why, but it seems to make the measuring easier once you reach the height you are supposed to have worked. Please do check if there is any mention of these markers further on in the pattern, that might help you also understand better what they are needed for.

      I hope this helps, happy knitting!

  49. Bev says:

    I am trying to knit a baby poncho in the round and I found the pattern among my Mom’s old knitting books. Can you please tell me what the following means? “Working colors as listed, repeat decreased round every 5th round twice, every 4th round twice, every 2nd round 11 time.” WHAT????

  50. Elyce Wakerman says:

    Hi Mona, I am knitting a baby sweater with Raglan sleeves. What does it mean for the front when it says, “Work same as back until piece measures 2 3/4 inches from first BO”? What am I measuring from? Why doesn’t it just say ‘until piece measures so and so inches’? I am very confused. btw, for the back, it did say to repeat pattern until piece measures 7 inches.
    Thank you so much for your help.

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Elyce,

      As this is the raglan front piece, I am assuming you will be starting with the neckline after the notion of ‘work same as back until piece measures 2 3/4 inches from firs BO’ – which is the first raglan bind off, I would call it underarm. The neckline on the front is usually a bit lower than on the back, so you have to start working on that and doing more raglan decreases at the same time.

      I hope this helps you to move forward with your front.

      Happy Knitting, as ever!

      • Elyce Wakerman says:

        So for the front, I am doing same as Raglan instructions for the back until I’m 2 3/4″ from my first BO. I think I get it. THANK YOU!

  51. Theresa says:

    Thank heavens for a site that ‘may be able to help me decipher the written pattern!).
    1.Pattern is for a baby cabled pullover – which I have made a few – but the wording on this one has me totally stumped. Please bear with me as I attempt to make. This as clear as possible:

    1. Needles: one pair and one set (5) dpn each 4 & 5 mm (I’m reading this as ‘straight needles – I use cable needles – which should be just fine).

    2. Rib pat: with 4 mm needles – st st with 5 mm (very clear.

    3. *Pullover worked from the collar down* . Start by working in rows (the center back is a placket), then in rounds) (not sure about this – BUT I read on ….)

    4. Cast on 71 sts & k1 row on WS. Work next row in pattern as follows …. ( no problem to here – other than I’m reading that my work is FLAT?)

    5. Cont in pat as established for 1 1/4” (Okay)

    6. (Sweater is Raglan ) – pattern reads next: “then begin Inc. for Raglan……..(Is my work still FLAT and am I still using 4mm needles)

    7. After 3 1/2” from beg. Cont. to work in rounds (WHEN did it START in rounds,), and on the next row lay the garter st bands over one another and work k2 tog across these sts to join.

    I know this is lengthy – I feel like I’ve read this every way possible. Still unclear.
    When do I change needles – and when exactly do you think it is joined?

    I’d be more than grateful for ANY help!!!

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Theresa,

      Here are my notes on your numbers:

      1. One pair = straight needles 4 and 5 mm, then one set each of double pointed needles in the same sizes (for sleeves)

      2. This is self explanatory: rib is worked with the smaller needles, the rest with 5 mm

      3. When a sweater is worked top down, it is possible that the first bit is knit flat to accommodate the front neckline, which is usually a bit deeper. Once the neckline is completed, you will join to work in the round. Not to worry about this now, just follow the instructions and they will tell you when to join in the round.

      4. Relates to 3. First part is indeed knit flat, so there is a WS for now.

      5. You’re set.

      6. If this pattern starts with a rib, then you work with four mm needles – please do check what needle size you are supposed to start with, I have a hunch it is the larger size here as the neckline will be added after? Without seeing the complete pattern I cannot swear to this, though. And yes, because of the front neckline, you work raglan increases flat for the first few inches.

      7. It tells you to join to work in the round after 3.5 inches – not explicitly, but if you have worked flat so far and the pattern says “continue to work in rounds” it means you should join now as described by knitting the stitches from the garter band together (I propose to use a dpn to hold the stitches in front or back – this should be described)

      I hope this helps, even though I know writing instructions is not as clear as being able to to show…

      Happy knitting, as ever!

  52. Dorothea says:

    Hi Mona, I’m making little Christmas stocking ornaments. I get past the heat and this is the toe part.
    “Begin with a knit row, work 6 rows in stockinette Stich, (I have a total of 18 Stiches)
    Next row: K2 tog, K1 across row (12 stitches) — I’m totally confused
    Next row: purl — ok here
    Next row: K2 tog across row (6 stitches) — more confused

    If I have 18 stitches and K2 tog I still have a total of 17 stitches left, if I were to knitt 2 tog for the whole row I’d only have 9 stitches left. Sorry totally confused.

    Thank you

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Dorothea,

      Sorry for my tardy reply, let’s get to it as Christmas is not far away: The thing that is missing in your pattern is a definitely marked repeat. They ask you to *K2tog, k1; rep from * to end of row. See? this way it makes more sense.
      So you k2tog and then k1 and repeat this across the row.

      Same for the the row where it says K2tog across row, you k2tog and then repeat the k2tog across all stitches.

      Voilà! that should help you to continue.

      Happy Knitting, as ever and happy holidays,

  53. susrivett says:

    Hi Mona,
    I hope you can help me. My pattern says:
    -Cast 26 (28) 32 s on needle no 3. Knit in garter stitch. -At 2cm height (that is 6 rws in garter stitch) continue in plain knitting as follows:
make right-hand for the crotch every 10 rws, 4 x 1 insert inc (every 10 rws, 5 x 1 insert inc) every 12 rws, 5 x 1 insert inc from 1 s of edge
    make left-hand for the lateral widening every 6 rws, 6 x 1 insert inc (every 6 rws, 7 x 1 insert inc) every 8 rws, 7 x 1 insert inc from 1 s of edge.
You have 36 (40) 44 s.

    So I can cast on 26 stitches on needle no. 3 and knit in garter stitch for 6 rows then I am unclear after the ” : ” what is ‘make right-hand (what am I making here? Increase? Decrease?) for the crotch every 10 rows, 4 x 1(?) insert increase 1 stitch from edge (is that the second to the last stitch?).

    Thanks for whatever help you can give me – so appreciated!

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Susan,

      I hope I can help you out. How the pattern is written is new to me, I have never heard of make right-hand or left-hand but I do think I know what they are talking about. Is this a translation from another language? the way vocabulary is used is very unusual.

      Make right-hand means you need to increase at the beginning of the row. For the size you are working you increase every 10 rows 4 times. I propose to knit 1 stitch and then increase with the method you prefer. Make one is always a good choice as it is quite inconspicuous.
      At the same time you increase at the end of the row every 6 rows 6 times. Same here, knit to last stitch and increase, then finish with k1.

      Happy knitting, as ever!

  54. Tara Epps says:

    inc [dec: inc: dec] 1 st at centre
    of last row and ending with a ws row. 73. This is the part I cannot understand, can you please help???I will put down the part so you maybe can make more sense than me.

    Cast on 72 [80: 84: 92] sts using 3¼mm (UK 10 – US 3) needles. ( I’ve cast on 72)
    row 1 (rs) K3, *P2, K2, rep from * to last st, K1.
    row 2 K1, P2, *K2, P2, rep from * to last st, K1.
    These 2 rows form rib.
    Work in rib for 4 rows more, inc [dec: inc: dec] 1 st at centre
    of last row and ending with a ws row. 73 [79: 85: 91] sts.
    Change to 4mm (UK 8 – US 6) needles.

    Many Thanks.

    • espacetricot says:

      Hello Tara,

      After reading through this, I can tell you all that it means is that you have to increase one stitch in the middle of your knitting to make the stitch count go from 72 to 73.

      It says to work rib 4 more rows, and the increase is added on the last row of the rib (WS row). Work 36 stitches, then increase 1 stitch (Make1 will work) and then finish the row in pattern.

      Happy knitting, as ever!

      • Tara Epps says:

        Many thanks for your reply, after reading your blogs, you say about really reading what is written and you can usually work it out, I did actually do this and I did in fact work it out, by using your method. I am self taught, and use youtube videos a lot. So once again thank you.

  55. Maria says:

    Hi there
    I’m working on a baby romper. Quite near the beginning, I ran into the following:

    “ K2, M1, K to last 2 sts, M1, K2. 39[43,46,50,56] sts.
    Cont in st st and inc 1 st as before at each end of 6(2,11,5,6) foll 2nd(2nd,4th,4th,6th) rows and 5(9,1,7,5) foll 4th(4th,6th,6th,8th) rows. 61[65,70,74,78] sts.
    P 1 row.”

    I understand knit 2, make 1, knit to last 2 stitches, make 1, knit 2. 39 stitches on needle.

    At this point I’m baffled. I have no idea how to continue! Would you be able to clarify what this means? I’m so stuck!

    Maria G.

    • espacetricot says:

      Hi Maria – I hope we can help: The pattern states to continue in stockinette (knit the RS, purl the WS) and at the same time, you continue increasing on each side. “As before” means you increase in the same way as the first row: K2, M1, K to last 2 sts, M1, K2. You repeat the increase row every 2nd(2nd,4th,4th,6th) rows, 6(2,11,5,6) times (depending on the size). Then, repeat the increase row every 4th(4th,6th,6th,8th) rows 5(9,1,7,5) times. For example, if you are knitting the first size, repeat the increase row ever 2nd row 6 times, and after that, every 4th row 5 times. If you have any more difficulty please reach out to us by email at ! -Naomi

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