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Tips For Reading a Knitting Pattern

Lesson 10 from: Knit Maker 101

Vickie Howell

Tips For Reading a Knitting Pattern

Lesson 10 from: Knit Maker 101

Vickie Howell

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Lesson Info

10. Tips For Reading a Knitting Pattern

Lesson Info

Tips For Reading a Knitting Pattern

alright, we've covered a ton of stuff already. We've talked about materials, we've learned a bunch of stitches, all the great foundation stitches. Now, I think we're ready to talk about patterns. So I'm hoping that you're gonna be like in it to win it and want to knit something right away. And so I've brought back the stitch sampler scarf onto the table and I've also brought in the pattern for it. So a pattern is just the instructions on how to make what ever the product is. This particular pattern will be as part of the bonus material and also all the abbreviations that you need to read some of the pattern. I've actually written most of it out in here. But any time there's an abbreviation that you don't know, it should be on the abbreviations list which is bonus material for this course. alright so you're gonna get, so you get the written instructions and there's a lot of, what kind of looks like code. It's just a bunch of letters sometimes. So, this might be a little tedious but if y...

ou'll walk with me for a bit I really want to make sure that you're completely comfortable with this particular pattern so that later, when you pick up a pattern, you will feel like you own this. Like you get it. And, I'm hoping that you'll all make this and wear it and snap pictures of yourself and tag yourself, and tag me. You don't need to tag yourself. Tag me, tag Creative Live. There is nothing that I love more than seeing people create stuff based on things that I've designed or taught. It just makes me super happy. So let's go through this so you can be successful, which really ends up being more about me because then I get to see you be successful. alright, so we've got this pattern. The first thing generally that's listed on a pattern, and this goes for knitting magazines, patterns that you can download online or even in knitting books. It starts with the materials. So these are the supplies that you need for everything. For this particular pattern I used a yarn called Malabrigo. This is kind of a high end, fancy, hand painted yarn. You can use, so it says three hanks. And then it tells you, normally in a pattern it'll also tell you what it's made out of. Just so you know right there, if you want to use the exact same yarn as it which students tend to want do to because it just feels safe and I totally get that. But you should know that you don't have to. Yarn companies around the world are now giving me the big sad frowny face. But I want you to feel empowered to know that all you really need to do is have a similar yarn to get sort of the same look or drape. So, this is 100% superwash wool. Superwash means it's been treated with something. So even though it's wool, you can still wash it without it felting. Felting just means all of the fibers meld together. You've probably seen it. You have this wool sweater, you accidentally throw it in the washer and dryer. It started out like all big and beautiful and all of a sudden it's like tiny. That's felting. You don't want that unless you're specifically going for a felted project. So, the superwash is really important if you plan on machine washing it. If you're hand washing it, doesn't matter at all. Then it'll tell you how much you need of it. So, because it already says, it says three hanks, you're like I know I need three hanks. Why do I need to know the yardage on it? Well this is when substitution comes into it. So, let's say you didn't want to use or you couldn't find this particular yarn. Well you could go to the yarn store and say I need a yarn that's similar to this or that gets the similar gauge. We talked about gauge earlier. Well that's how you know what yarn to use. Like, you need a yarn that gets around the same gauge. And so you'd look on the back of the yarn label and you'd say like, oh, this gets 13 stitches to the inch. That's exactly what I need. This would be an option for me. So, but you'd need to know but how many, how many do I get? Do I just automatically get three? Probably not, it would be really rare for them to be exactly the same yardage from company to company. So, you could figure out well, 130 yards times three. Totally not doing that math for you right here in my head is what ever that magic number is. And so you know that you'd need to get that amount. So it might be, it might be the same amount. It might be three hanks or it might be four, or two, or whatever. So this is really just information for if you want, if you want substitution. If you're not gonna substitute, you don't even have to deal with any of that. And then it usually will tell you the color. Often it will just tell you the color or it'll also tell you a number of the color. Either is great. Sometimes numbers are easier for companies to look up. But I like color names so I tend to use color names more than anything. So it'll say that or this will say or equivalent bulky weight yarn. So this goes back to what I was just talking about before. You go in and you say hey, I'm allergic to wool. But I want to make this project. Do you have a bulky weight yarn that might be a great fit for this? And often yarn stores, not craft stores so much but yarn stores will have the yarn either by fiber or by weight. Or else they can help you. If you're going to a craft store you're gonna have to do a little more investigative work. You're gonna have to kind of eye something say oh this looks relatively bulky and then turn it over and look at the label. So then it tells you what needles to use. For this, we talked about gauge for a scarf. I don't worry about gauge. I really don't because you know, this, this scarf is probably about eight inches wide. If it's seven inches wide does that really make or break the awesomeness of the scarf? No, it really doesn't. If it's nine inches wide? Just more lovin'. That's all it is. So I don't really worry about it for this particular one. Because this is going to be one of your first projects, I don't want you to worry about it either. And then it tells you, so it tells you the needles. And then it tells you a tapestry needle. Just any yarn needle, you're always gonna need that for any project 'cause there's always gonna be ends to weave in. So I talked about earlier the supplies that you'd need for knitting. Some of them aren't ones that you get right away. That would be something that you'd wanna have in your arsenal right away is a good yarn needle or tapestry needle. They're kind of interchangeable terms within the industry. alright, then it's gonna tell you the finished measurements. This is just as it sounds like. How wide and how long the scarf is for this project. Then the gauge, we've talked to death about gauge. But the one thing I want to point out here is if this tells you the gauge in a particular stitch. So on a yarn label you always assume that it's stockinette stitch. Which is that knit every right side row, purl every wrong side row. But for a pattern for a garment, generally not always if it doesn't say anything assume it's stockinette. But otherwise they're telling you what stitch they used. I find that I get a little bit different, you're definitely gonna get a different row gauge with garter stitch than you are with stockinette stitch because they're much shorter stitches. I personally get a little bit wider of a stitch for garter too. My, my friend, she's super masterful. Carla Singer, who is the editor of Knitscene one of the magazines I write for. She says that she gets the exact same stitch gauge. But she's super fancy like that so you know, you just never know. But often it'll say use size in this case US 10, six millimeter needles. Often there'll be a note not for this 'cause I told you not to be concerned with gauge. But often there'll be a note that says or size needed to obtain gauge. So this is when you would do a little swatch before you even dive in. If gauge is important, you need to make a little bit, a little bit of a swatch and then measure it and see if you're getting the gauge. If your stitches are super tight, you might want to go up a size needle. The needle size is less important than you actually getting the gauge for a project that needs to fit. For this one you're gonna be fine with whatever is listed here. Alright, then it's time to move on. It's time to get started. Directions. Okay, so this is CO 26 and it says STS. So, there's a lot of abbreviations in knitting. I'm not sure why I guess it just takes less space especially in magazine. You know real estate is expensive in the publishing world. So they just like to abbreviate everything. You can fit more on a page this way. All of the abbreviations are part of bonus material through this course page though so you don't ever have to you know feel panicky about not knowing what it means. So CO which means cast on 26 and this is the abbreviation for stitches. Okay so you've got them cast on and then you're going to get started. Rows one through 10 knit. So we know from learning garter stitch or that if all of these rows are knit, we're creating garter stitch. And this, because this is a stitch sampler scarf, I've broken it down into sections. So this is the garter stitch section. So you work that. alright, so once you've gone through all ten rows and if you're keeping track of rows there's actually apps for that. Of course, obviously. But you can also just you know use a pencil and do like old fashioned tick marks or you can use a like a little clicker or whatever. So then you go to row, so row 11, 13 and 15. So the reason why it's listed like this is because these are alright side rows and it saves real estate to not write them all out because it's exactly the same thing. You're gonna knit for all of those right side rows. On the wrong side rows though, the even numbers, you're gonna purl. Well, when you knit on the right side and purl on the wrong side, what stitch pattern is that? I'll wait for it. Yes, stockinette stitch. That's exactly it. So this is the stockinette section. So, often it'll be listed like that where there's a collection of rows that are exactly the same instead of writing knit purl, knit purl, knit purl and taking up all of that real estate space. They just you know you just write it together like that. Alright so now you've done the stockinette stitch section. Alright so the next row is you'll see this little abbreviation right here RS. That's right side. Sometimes that's thrown in just to make sure that you're on track. For this pattern every right side will be an odd number so you can also use that as a fail safe check. And nine times out of 10 that's how it is. There are some projects that have setup rows on the wrong side. So that's not always the case but at least with beginning patterns and up to intermediate that's usually the way it works. alright so we see that this is a right side. Okay that's cool we ended with the wrong side before we know. 'Cause row 16 was a purl, a right 17. Alright so now we're gonna start our knit one purl one. So you see K1, P1. Those are the abbreviations so knit one, purl one. And then it says rep, which is an abbreviation for repeat, from asterisk to end. So you saw this little asterisk at the beginning. That just is a, just a symbol to tell you where the stitch, the repeat started. So you know that if I'm repeating from this to end I know that I'm just gonna repeat the knit one purl one again and and again and again 'til I'm at the end of the row. Alright so I flip it over and it's the same thing only in reverse. Oh, this must be the seed stitch section. So it's purl one knit one. We see there's an asterisk so we know that a repeat is coming up. Repeat from start to end or asterisk to end. Then down here the next however many rows that is, five row or so, it says instead of writing them out it says rep so repeat rows 17 to 18. So that's telling you that you're just doing these two rows again and again a handful more times. Alright, so when you get to row 25 to you're just gonna repeat that stockinette section again which is actually rows 11 to 16. So that is really sort of the bulk of it. You keep on going. And you're gonna go to, oh now we've got a rib section. Okay, so rows 35 to 38 knit one purl one from end. Okay so this is the staggering rib. So we talked about rib earlier. But this is not the rib stitch that we did. So this one says knit one purl one repeat from asterisk to end so K1 P1. Alright, so knit one purl one. So we're gonna do that and it says rows 35 to 38. So we've got a few rows, like four rows of that. Then we shake it up a little bit on rows 39 to 42 and we're doing exactly the opposite. So we're still creating those columns but we've staggered them just to kind of give a interesting effect, so nothing new that you haven't done before. You're just a you know, a step to the left or the right. Now we're on rows 43 to 52. Once again we're just repeating that stockinette stitch section so those are rows 11 to 16. And then it says repeat these 52 rows seven times total. So that means that you're just that we've created an overall repetition. And you're just gonna repeat that repetition. Since you're working on a scarf if you want your scarf longer or shorter, you can just add a repetition or take one away. It's totally up to you. And then, and then it says to repeat rows one through 10 one more. And that's so it will have this garter stitch edge at both ends. Or one times, one more times. So, you do that so that they are uniform on both sides. And then it says BO. That is bind off. And then at the end it'll give you the finishing instructions. This says weave in ends. I'm gonna show you how to do that. And then block if necessary. This is just a method of, you don't really need to worry about it for this particular project. This would just be a method if it wasn't lying flat on a, you know how to steam it. And that's something that we'll be covering in Knitmaker 102 if you're super interested. But it's really more for lace work or garments. So I think that you have a good solid basis now of understanding how a pattern works. And I'm really excited for you to get started on this project. Again you can find it in the bonus materials for this course.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Beanie Pattern
Gauge Swatch Symbol
Knitting Abbreviations
Phone Sleeve Pattern
Practice Swatches
Scarf Pattern

Ratings and Reviews

Claudia Quinonez

I have to say that I am a fan of Vickie Howell and I absolutely love the way she teaches this class. The way she teaches this class is so easy to follow and understand. I am a beginner and was having a hard time with adding a new ball and decreases and this course has helped improve my knitting skills.

Ashley Sarikaya

Very helpful class! Vickie Howell is engaging and easy to follow. Excited to be taking more of her classes :)

E.L. Bl/Du

Vicky, WHERE have you been? You are missed on PBS show. VERY much looking fwd to this class. Vicky is one of the BEST knitting/Crochet instructors I have EVER watched. You are guaranteed to learn how to knit easily with her easy to follow instructions. Her own knitting is the most beautiful Ive seen. She tells you how to choose yarn, needles and how to follow patterns. Your set with this class. Even a seasoned pro will learn something.

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