Posted by: GourmetGirl | September 25, 2012

Learning to Read a Pattern 2

After you learn to spot a well organized pattern, (see previous post) how do you know if the contents are all there?

Most of the time you don’t until you have cast on and start working the pattern.

Mostly the “understanding” of the pattern comes with “working” the pattern. It is not always clear by just reading. The pattern should give you enough instruction to lead you from the cast on to the bind off.

If the pattern has a pattern stitch that you have not worked before, cast on and work a repeat or two. This will give you a basic understanding of how the pattern stitch works up and looks. This knowledge, with the visual information, can help you navigate some pit falls in the pattern.

Look at the photo of the pattern.

How is the pattern stitch used?

Visually seeing the piece helps know how it might be constructed.

If there is a schematic, compare the schematic with what is shown in the photo. Your eyes can tell you a lot about the pattern.

So, if you are knitting along happily and you hit a snag – there is something missing or your piece is not progressing like you think it should – Read Ahead.

Sometimes the pattern gives you a note or a bit more of instruction after the main instruction is given. By Reading Ahead in the pattern, you sometimes can figure out where the pattern is taking you.

If not – well, we are lucky. There is the internet and better yet – Ravelry. You might find Errata or notes about the pattern from another knitter.

But, you also may not find anything. Go back to your knitting, go over the pattern again – it can be “reader’s error”.

I hate when that happens…:) ….that means I am expecting the pattern to have something missing – not every pattern has errors. It might mean I need to pay attention – or look at the pattern in a different way.

Learning to read patterns and learning to navigate through them takes time and practice. Knowledge that comes with experience.

Happy Knitting – it contains a lifetime of joy,



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