“End last rep” – what does it mean?

Dear SweaterBabe, 

Greetings… Uggg….I am stuck and do not know what to do. My pattern reads; Row 2: * K1, yo, k3, sl1, k2tog, psso, k3, yo, rep from * across (I understand this part), end last rep k1 (this is what I I am stuck on, I do not understand….I end my last yo, but then I am able to k1, yo, and then k2). I would greatly appreciate the help on what to do. Thank you for your time,

– Patricia

Dear Patricia,

When it says “end last rep k1″, it should mean “end last rep with k1 instead of k3, yo”.  It should always be the very last part of the instruction that is different just for the last rep.  (Assuming a well-written, standard pattern!)

That being the case, I’m afraid you might have worked your row incorrectly or have the wrong number of sts if you are getting to the end of your row and still have enough to do k1, yo, k2, instead of just k1. 

I would suggest double checking the number of sts you have and making sure you are doing the “K1, yo, k3, sl1, k2tog, psso, k3, yo, rep from * across” correctly.

If neither of those suggestions fix your problem, then I would wonder if the pattern is just not well written…

My only other interpretation is that you are able to do a complete rep from *, then you still have one st leftover, which you can do your k1 with.  If this is the correct interpretation, then I believe it should have been written “end k1″, instead of “end last rep k1″.

Hope it works out!

– SweaterBabe 

July 4, 2008 at 11:36 am 1 comment

Confusing Crochet Instructions.

Dear Sweaterbabe,

I am fairly new to crochet. I have done several afghans, and recently bought a book of smaller projects. Crochet and Knit Simply Plushious.

The smaller projects seem to hit more confusing instructions for me however. In working Cropped top from the link, I hit this line which is simply not making sense to me.

Shape Right Neck-

Next Row(WS) Ch 3, sk first sc, dc in next sc, {work cable} 8 times, place marker in next st turn leaving rem sts unworked – (34) sts

Neck Decrease Row: ch 1, sc3tog (neck edge), sc in each rem st across; turn – 32 sts.

Next Row: ch 1, sc in each st across; turn.

Next Row: Ch 3, dc in next sc, [work cable] 8 times, dc in each of last 2 dc; turn.

(Here is the part which is confusing me dreadfully) Work 3 rows even in established pat. Rep Neck Decrease row twice more – 28 sts
(Does this just mean repeat from the neck decrease row 2 more times? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

– Jessica

Dear Jessica,

Without seeing the stitch pattern… I am guessing thar you need to work 3 rows even (no decreasing) first.  I’m not clear whether these 3 rows are 2 sc rows, then a dc row?  I’d have to look at the photo or pattern to tell.  It should be clear from what you’ve been doing…

THEN, just the Neck Derease row 2 times.  Just that row, not the rows that are after it.  This is the interpretation if I take the instruction very straight-forwardly, which is what most well-written patterns expect you to do!

Hope that makes sense!  As usual, I always recommend interpreting instructions in the most direct way, not presuming any words were left out first.  Then, follow your gut as to what you see in the photo and what makes the most sense for what you are making.

Sigh!  I prefer patterns that are more explicit about what row you are on and what to do on each specific row number; however, because people have different row gauges (yarn substituting and natural variation in knitting and crochet tensions), and patterns are often written to save space, you can end up with instructions like these that are not so clear.

– SweaterBabe

July 4, 2008 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

Working 2 balls of yarn because of dye lots.

Dear SweaterBabe, 

I recently bought some fine merino wool called Merinos 8 Shadow. It came with this Notice/Suggestion. “. . . . .special dye process that produces gentle shading and subtle variations . . . . . . To alleviate any possible striping, we suggest that you join 2 skeins of yarn and alternate them every 2 rows.” How exactly do I do this?

– Lorena

Dear Lorena,

For some yarns, there is natural variation eve within dye lots because of the dyeing process.  That’s when they recommend that you alternate from 2 balls of yarn throughout so you won’t don’t end up with a project that has sections that look like different shades of the same yarn.

To alternate yarn every 2 rows, use the same technique you’d use to add a stripe to your project.

For instance, begin knitting or crocheting with ball #1.  Work 2 rows of your project.  Then, join in the 2nd ball at the end or Row 2/beginning of Row 3 and work Rows 3 and 4.  You can join by just picking up the strand from ball #2 and using it to knit or crochet.  It will feel “loose” because you have not knotted it to anything, but just keep using it and you can secure it later when you weave in all your loose ends at finishing time.

After Row 4, you should be on the same edge of your work where you left ball #1 hanging.  Just drop the strand from ball #2 and use the strand from ball #1 to work the next 2 rows.

Repeat this last step, alternating balls #1 and #2 every 2 rows.

This method does assume you are either making a project where the “edges” of your work will end up in a seam, or the little bit of yarn that is carried over the 2 rows on each edge (whichever ball is unused for 2 rows) are not too noticeable.

Hope this answers it!

Of course, if you see no discernable difference in the shadings/colors of the balls of yarn you are using, then don’t bother!

Best,

SweaterBabe

July 4, 2008 at 11:06 am Leave a comment

Bind off 4 sts at beg of next 2 rows.

Dear SweaterBabe,

Bind off 4 stitches at beg of next 2 rows. Does this mean bind off 2 stitches each side to equal 4? or Does it mean 4 stitches on each side witch will equal a total of 8?  Thank you.

– Irene

Dear Irene,

YES – it means to bind off 4 sts at the beginning of your next row.

Then, bind of 4 sts at the beginning of your next row.

So, you end up with 4 sts bound off at EACH end for a total of 8.

When in doubt, try to read the instructions as directly as possible.  Each word is deliberate in a well-written pattern.

Hope that answers your question!  It applies to both knitting and crochet patterns, particularly when shaping armholes and shoulders.

– SweaterBabe 

July 4, 2008 at 10:52 am Leave a comment

Crocheting with Boucle Yarn

Dear Sweaterbabe,

I would like to crochet a shawl, but do not want to use the recommended yarn. The yarn I would prefer to use is one of the boucle yarns. Do I have to make any adjustments to account for the knobbiness of this yarn? Please advise. Thank you.

Dear Crocheter,

Hmm… good question.  I generally don’t recommend crocheting with a yarn that is too knobby, but if it is just a little and you don’t run into problems working with it, then give it a try.

It’s best if you can test it out first.  Just do a little swatch in the stitch pattern that will be called for in the pattern.  The issues I have with boucle are:
– you may not be able to see where to place each stitch because the boucle makes it hard to see distinct stitches
– the boucle may have big loopy parts in the yarn that cause your crochet hook to get caught and slow you down or create other problems
– the boucle yarn will product a different gauge because the boucle part will create more fabric where a “normal” yarn would not

This swatch really is your gauge swatch, which you should do just to be sure the yarn will work to your satisfaction.

One note is that if this pattern is one where you will mostly be working stitches into arches or spaces, then the boucle effect might be just fine.  Here is an example of a shawl pattern that works just fine with any kind of yarn because the crocheting is all done in the big spaces.

Best,

SweaterBabe 

June 16, 2008 at 12:14 pm 1 comment

Turning a dishcloth pattern into an afghan or baby blanket.

Dear SweaterBabe,

I have a lot of patterns for dishcloths that I would like to make into afghan sizes and baby blanket sizes. Is there a formula for increasing a crochet pattern or decreasing a pattern.

– Dawn

Dear Dawn,

Without seeing what your dishcloth pattern looks like, I can try to give some general advice.

Most crochet patterns have a section that repeats, then some number of chains that is needed to get started.  That’s why many crochet stitch patterns says to begin by chaining a multiple of X plus Y sts.

If you can figure out what that X and Y are for your dishcloth pattern, then you can extrapolate and make an afghan or baby blanket out of the same pattern.

For example, if it seems like the dishcloth pattern is over a multiple of 3 sts plus 4, then you just need to determine how many multiples of 3 will get you the width that you want for your afghan or blanket and add the chain 4.

Assuming the dishcloth is 14″ wide or so, multiplying it by 5 will give you approximately a 70″ wide afghan…

Many well-written patterns will provde the stitch pattern in a generic form (thereby providing the “mult of X plus Y” instruction needed) separately from the specific instructions for the project. 

Hope that helps!

– SweaterBabe

June 16, 2008 at 12:04 pm 1 comment

The New Cardigan is Finished!

lace cotton cardigan knitting pattern

Here is the latest project off of SweaterBabe’s needles – a romantic and pretty shaped cardigan.  It’s knit from the top-down, has 3/4 length sleeves that are slightly flared, and features a beautifully flared shape.  The waist is cinched with a wide ribbon and mock-cable belt loops that match the mock-cables in the flared bottom.

Knit in Blue Sky Alpaca’s dyed cotton.  It’s a wonderfully soft and very vibrantly colored yarn.

Look for this pattern coming very soon!  I’ll be busy writing it up right away.

Here’s the gorgeous detailing of the back:

cotton lace cardigan knitting pattern

June 16, 2008 at 11:08 am 20 comments

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