Posted by: GourmetGirl | September 18, 2012

Learning to Read a Pattern

Learning to Read a Pattern jumps you to a new level of knitting.

Learning what you should expect out of a pattern, helps you decipher the poorly written pattern – or move on to a better written pattern.

Every magazine, book or on-line publisher has a style. A style that they follow for every pattern. Type face, order of information given, etc.

Since we have a bombardment of  self-published patterns through the internet, we do not always get the luxury of complete pattern information – free or paid.

Measurements, Size, Materials and Gauge should be at the top of the pattern. If there are Special Abbreviations or Pattern Stitches, that should be next. (If you need basic abbreviations translated, look in the back of a magazine or book – or find one on-line.) It helps if the key words are in bold or distinguished typeface for easy referral.

When you finally get to the pattern – it should say Pattern, Body, Front Side or something to indicate the start of the pattern. There are far too many patterns floating out there that make it difficult to find where you actually start the pattern. I have helped way too many knitters and crocheters find the starting point of their pattern – most of the time the knitter has started at some random instruction that was given at the top of the page. These bits of information or instruction should have a title before it stating what is being given.

Charts and Schematics are very helpful tools.

Even if you are chart-shy, a chart can give you a visual clue to what the pattern stitch will look like.

A schematic gives you a quick guide to what the measurements of each piece should be. Checking that you get what the schematic is showing is YOUR responsibility.

And finally – Finishing. Even if all it says is weave in loose ends – this is an indication that nothing further is required for finishing the pattern.

These are just the basics of a well written pattern – not everything that should be in a pattern – but a good start in helping you navigate the oodles of patterns that you may want to explore.

Happy Knitting,



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