Understanding Knitting Stitch Pattern Repeats

September 25, 2007 at 10:10 am 2 comments

Knitting Stitch Pattern repeats can be confusing to understand.  I’ve been getting lots of emails about understanding how to do these repeats when the stitch count seems to be off. 

Here is a specific example that will help!

Here are the first few rows of the Diamond Lace Stitch Pattern as it appears in the SweaterBabe.com pattern instructions for #70 Lush and Lacy Cardigan pattern: 

Diamond Lace
Worked over a multiple of 10 sts + 1.
Row 1 (WS and all other WS Rows): Purl.
Row 2: K2, *k2tog, [k1, yo] 2 times, k1, skp, k3; rep from *, ending last rep with k2.

For the BACK, you are asked to work this Diamond Lace over the 21 stitches for the BACK Lace Panel. 

BUT, it seems like you need 22 stitches to get through the repeats on Row 2.

Here is why the 21 stitches is correct… it’s the “ending last rep with k2” part. 

What does this last part mean???

Over your 21 sts, do this:
Row 2: K2, *k2tog, [k1, yo] 2 times, k1, skp, k3; rep from *, ending last rep with k2.

Written out for the exact 21 sts, you are doing this:
Row 2: K2, k2tog, [k1, yo] 2 times, k1, skp, k3; k2tog, [k1, yo] 2 times, k1, skp, k2.

The italicized part in is the “last rep” of the part led by the *, so instead of ending it with the “k3;” you are “ending last rep with k2.”

OR, written out even more (removing the brackets and “2 times” wording and just writing it out):

Row 2: K2, k2tog, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, skp, k3;k2tog, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, skp, k2.

This gives you the 21 sts.

Hope this clears it up! 

I realize that the “ending last rep with k2” is new to those that have not seen this before.  It is used a lot in knitting and crochet instructions if just the last rep of the pattern is only different. 

These are the conventions that prevent written, published patterns from being really, really long.  Now that you have seen this, hopefully it will make sense the next time you encounter it!



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

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. elaine  |  October 11, 2007 at 5:58 am

    I am knitting a ponch–using cable and checked pattern.
    checked pattern reads (worked over a multiple of 10 sts + 2).
    What does that mean? Thank you for your help.

  • 2. Rose Salazar  |  October 15, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    I think I’ve been wrapping the yarn on my needles backwards for knit and purl stitches!!! I already made a scarf and a stroller blanket which look fine, so does it matter?

    I’m about to make another scarf and I want to be sure. I may have a bad habit to break!

    Thank you, Rose

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