Understanding Knitting Instructions

August 28, 2007 at 8:43 am 7 comments

Hi SweaterBabe,

I just started knitting, and am trying to make an afghan.  It’s really confusing. 

The first instruction is :  Rows 1-9 :  P1 (K1, P1) across. 

What does this mean???? 

I also wanted to know; I found a very short and easy looking scarf pattern.  Is it possible to extend the scarf into a blanket?

Thanks, Arianna

Dear Arianna,

I believe the instruction: P1 (K1, P1) across means P1, *k1, p1; repeat from * to end.

This is basically a 1×1 stitch rib.  So, purl the 1st st, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, etc. to the end. 

The person who wrote the pattern used more of a shorthand.  The “across” means to repeat what is in the parentheses over and over until you are done with the row.

As for your second question… it depends.   Without seeing how complicated the pattern is for the scarf, I can try to generalize.

If your scarf instructions call for a pattern to be worked over, say 20 stitches, then you may just be able to use a multiple of 20 (like 80, 100, or 120, etc.) and just repeat the scarf instructions over and over (like 4 times, 5 times, or 6 times, etc.) to complete the row.

So, if your scarf pattern is for a scarf that will be, say 5″ in width, then if you want a baby blanket that is about 30″ wide, multiply the number of stitches that your scarf pattern asks you to cast on by 6 to get the number of stitches for your baby blanket.

That is one way to do it.

Sometimes, a pattern may also have a separate section of the instructions that gives you the stitch pattern.  In these cases, the stitch pattern may say that it can be done over a “multiple of 10 stitches plus 2,” for instance.  Then, you may just use this part of the pattern to plan out a blanket…

Hope that all makes sense!  Comment with further questions on this post…


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

Understanding Crochet Instructions Yarn Substitution and Measuring Gauge – Part I

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Betsy  |  August 28, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    I am making a drop stiitch blanket, it says to drop yarn from previous row, and then yarnforward, I don’t understand what to do.


  • 2. Loretta  |  August 28, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Making a knitted hat..for the band knt for approx. 20 inches. Bind off.
    Pick up stitchers and knit 77.
    I don’t know how to pick up stitches after I’ve binded off.

  • 3. Linda  |  August 29, 2007 at 8:22 am

    I am knitting in the round with 4 needles 2 stitches per needle it tell me to join them before I start the first round, how do I do this?

  • 4. Katherine aka SweaterBabe  |  August 29, 2007 at 11:52 am

    Hi Betsy, I believe your drop stitch pattern is asking you to drop the “yarn forward” from the previous row. So, just let the next stitch (which was created by a yarn forward on the last row) FALL OFF your left-hand needle. This will create the “drop stitch” hole that will give you the pretty stitch patterning. Then, yarn forward, i.e. bring your yarn between your needle tips to the front of your work, and continue knitting. Should be a lovely blanket!

  • 5. Katherine aka SweaterBabe  |  August 29, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Hi Linda,

    When knitting in the round, the joining of the first round is a little tricky. Just be sure that you aren’t twisting the cast-on stitches, i.e. that they are all sitting upright and your row is not twisted. The, you will use your empty double pointed needle to work the FIRST cast-on stitch… Sorry I don’t have time to provide photos, so here is a great tutorial with great photos at Knitter’s Review on the topic. Hope that clears it up!

  • 6. Debbie  |  September 6, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    My pattern tells me on my sweater back to BO at each side every other row 3,2,11 sts. How do I do that & still be able to continue knitting the rest of my stitches?

  • 7. JoAnn  |  September 19, 2007 at 5:39 am

    What to do when a pattern gives you the instructions for the right front of a sweater and then tells you to “Work same as Right front only reverse shaping” What exactly is reverse shaping,
    If I am increasing or decreasing at the beginning of a row, do I then do the incresing or decreasing at the end of the row for the left front side of the sweater?

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