Knitting Project

I picked out an afghan pattern to knit for Wolf’s niece who is getting married. Thankfully she hasn’t set a date so (theoretically) I have all the time in the world to finish it. It’s a sampler afghan. I chose it because it has 50 squares, all with different patterns which will give me practice with all kinds of stitches.

The problem I’m having right now is learning how to read a patterns.* For instance, this is what the directions say:

1st row: k4, † * insert right needle, from back to front, between 1st and 2nd st on left needle, k the 2nd st, then k the first st and drop both sts from left needle *, repeat between *’s twice, then k3; repeat from † twice, k also the last st.

Now WTF does all that mean?

According to the abbreviation code:

A *, or †, indicated the directions immediately following are to be repeated the given number of times, in addition to the first time. This, “repeat from *3 times: means to make pattern 4 times, in all.”

So, I guess that means I k4 twice (eight times)? Or does it mean something else?


*Actually, I shouldn’t say “right now” because learning to read the pattern — any pattern — has been the biggest obstacle. Well, that and learning to “yarn over.”

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8 Responses to Knitting Project

  1. Turtleheart says:

    Okay… let me see if I can explain this and have it make sense… sometimes it helps to think of it as an algebra equation, with all the parentheses and such that indicate what order you do the math. Same idea here.

    You will k4 and follow the directions as written until the second *, there it says repeat directions BETWEEN *’s twice, so you will do what is between the *’s two more times( for a total of three times), THEN k3, THEN repeat ALL directions between +(the crosses)TWICE, and THEN k the last stitch.

    Clear as mud? It took me a while to figure out how to read crochet patterns. It can definitely get confusing. Sometimes it helps to get different colored hi-lighters and highlight * to * with one color, + to + with another color to keep things straight.

    Hope this helps!

  2. Howling Hill says:

    Turtle: algebra and I are mortal enemies. You have no idea how twisted up my brain gets when you put numbers and letters together. Does NOT do my dyslexia any good.

    Wolf thinks he gets what you mean. Sadly, I do not.

    What I’ve been doing is re-writing the instructions out. So if the instructions look something like this

    1st row k3, p4, k4, p5, *, k3; 2nd row k4, p4, k5 *; 3rd row k5, p8, k4, p7

    I re-write it to look like this

    1: k3, p4, k4, p5, p5
    2: k4, p4, k5, k5,
    3: k5, p8, k4, p7

    so the instructions are less cluttered and less difficult to read. And it’s easier for me to cross off what I’ve done if I have the directions laid out more clearly.

    That’s the second major problem with this pattern. I can’t re-write it because I don’t know how to read it. It’s frustrating.

    I’d like a live teacher but don’t know where to look for one so I looked into videos. I tried finding an instructional video on Netflix but they didn’t seem to have one.

  3. Allie says:

    When I started knitting I took Knitting and Crocheting for Dummies out of the library. I never could pick up crocheting from the book, but the knitting part helped a lot with reading patterns. I haven’t done any knitting in awhile, so I’d have to go back to it to figure out what’s what again with difficult patterns, but I would highly recommend it. The library is my favorite place for knitting patterns — since you usually don’t make the same ones over and over.

  4. Howling Hill says:

    Allie: a good idea. However…

    We live in a very small town (about 1000 people). While we have a library, it’s predominately the grade school library. That is, our town has one school (grades 1-6). The library is in the building next to the school. It’s filled with kid stuff and only a small section for adults. The adult section has very little to choose from. And we don’t have inter-library loan here because that costs a lot of money the library can’t afford.

    I’m thinking of putting a sign up in town requesting help but I don’t know how to word it. Suggestions?

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