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


65 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!


  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,

  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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s