Understanding Knitting Instructions on Increasing.

June 15, 2007 at 6:35 pm 1 comment

Hello SweaterBabe,

I was wondering if you could help me figure out a part of a debbie bliss pattern that’s giving me a  headache.  Where it introduces an increase to the sweater it gives the stitch of the increase row, then says “cont in patt and inc in this was at each end of 5 foll 6th rows.”

This direction isn’t covered in any of my ‘how to knit’ books, and doesn’t make any sense.  Can you tell me what it means?

Thanks,
Valerie

Dear Valerie,

Good question!  Knitting patterns can seem so cryptic. 

Here are a few translations:

“Continue in patterns as established, increasing one stitch at each end on the 6th row [from now] and every following 6th row 4 more times.”

OR

Let’s say you are currently on Row 10.  Then, increase 1 stitch at each end on Rows 16, 22, 28, 34, and 40.  That’s 5 increase rows, where 2 stitches are added per increase row = 10 added stitches.  You can usually use whatever basic technique you like to increase at or next to the 1st stitch on an increase row and at or next to the last stitch on that same increase row.

OR

Let’s say you are currently on Row 10 when you read this instruction.  It means:
Rows 11-15: Work even in pattern.
Row 16 (1st increase row): Increase 1 stitch at each end of the row = 2 stitches added.
Rows 17-21: Work even in pattern.
Row 22 (2nd increase row): Increase 1 stitch at each end of the row = 2 stitched added.
Rows 23-27: Work even in pattern.
Row 28 (3rd increase row): Increase 1 stitch at each end of the row = 2 stitched added.
Rows 29-33: Work even in pattern.
Row 34 (4th increase row): Increase 1 stitch at each end of the row = 2 stitched added.
Rows 35-39: Work even in pattern.
Row 40 (5th increase row): Increase 1 stitch at each end of the row = 2 stitched added.

This is a very common instruction in shaped patterns.  I often have a separate pen and paper where I map out the rows (like I did in the 2nd and 3rd translations above) to make sure I do all of the proper increases.
Ideally, the instructions would confirm with you how many stitches you should have after all of the 5 increase rows so you can double check that you are interpreting the directions correctly.

Hope that clears it up for you!

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Entry filed under: Ask SweaterBabe, Knitting Questions and How to.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Gail  |  June 28, 2007 at 7:55 am

    Dear Sweater Babe,
    I’m working on a sweater pattern with raglan sleeves in which all the rows are knit; when I get to the sleeve area, the pattern calls for an increase on each row in the first and last stitches. It seems that no matter how tightly I try to do the increase stitch, I end up with a small “hole” on each row where I did the increase. Is there some way to combat this?

    Thanks,
    Gail

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