Daunted by directions

Didn’t find this topic listed - apologies if it was - but I’m a brand new knitter and the real issue I’m having is reading pattern instructions. It seems like learning another language, and I’m not sure I’m up for that!

Learning the stitches don’t faze me nearly as much as reading those cryptic directions with all their asterisks, apostrophes and abbrevs!

Between Amy’s videos, SnB 1, and the LYS, I feel
be okay learning the beginner stitches, and with the help of these forums I can learn even more…

…but I’m rather intimidated by “instruction code.” I’d really appreciate any tips on learning
to read it. TYIA

This is a good reference to decipher the “codes”:

If you’re wanting to do a specific pattern, why don’t you post a link and we’ll explain as you go. I don’t feel like I really learn it until I try to do it.

The “Abbreviations Explained” tab above can help with specific ‘translations’, and we can help explain the rest.

Thank you for your reply! I’ve printed out the abbreviations and will put it in a page protector – and cherish it. Probably should view corresponding Amy videos while reviewing it.

I’ve seen this list of abbrevs. before – in SnB 1 – but it scares me. It’s all I can do to keep stitches from falling off or doing the purl instead of knit or knit instead of purl.

Perhaps I should just concentrate on the real real basics for a long long time!

Which brings up another dumb question. Say I figure out what stitch to use (from reading directions) and how to do it. How in the world do I remember where I am in the pattern? Put markers on the needle? (I’m thinking those square thingies on bread bags)…
Mark the pattern? Put Post its on the pattern? Memory?

I’m also wondering – and haven’t seen this posted on any forums – how long it will take me
to get comfortable with cast on, knit, purl, and bind off, before I’m ready for more interesting patterns and techniques… Or will I go bonkers from boredom first???



The comfort issue varies from person to person – personally I knitted through a whole skein of yarn, then learned to purl and worked on getting comfortable with stockinette stitch for a week or so, then I started working with patterns. I started with a very simple hat pattern, then moved on to a very simple sweater pattern…before long I was feeling comfortable with patterns in general. I think the secret is to not bite off more than you can chew in the beginning, so you don’t get discouraged. :thumbsup:

I was like Julie…i knit the knit stitch for a long time & just ripped everything out, then did a couple of simple garter stitch (just using the knit stitch) scarves. Then I did the same thing with the purl stitch. And eased myself into combining sts. Now others, just jump in with both feel & start with sweaters, etc…it’s all in what YOU are comfortable doing, there is no wrong or right way…just have fun and remember, it’s only a couple of sticks and some string :wink: And, there’s always someone around to give u a hand :thumbsup:

Don’t put pressure on yourself. Learning to knit is a process, like anything else. You crawled before you walked, didn’t you?

You can keep track of where you are in a pattern in different ways. I like post-it notes to block off what I’ve done in a written pattern or to keep track on a chart. You can make a copy of the pattern and cross off what you’ve done. You can make a cheat sheet and write the row numbers and mark those off as you’ve done them. Whatever works for you.

There are actual little plastic ring stitch markers that you can buy to put on your needle to help you keep track of things; some are fancy, too. You can also just tie a loop of different colored yarn and keep that on your needle. If you do use a marker to keep track of your stitches, you just keep in on the needle and move it from needle to needle as you get to it. It’s kind of like a bookmark.

This is a great thread. I’m one of those that takes each step and tries to master it before jumping into a pattern. When you come into a forum like this with so many people at so many levels it can be intimidating. At first I thought I was the only one who was hesitant to try something difficult, now I see I’ve got good company. Once you get the hang of it though you will do fine and everyone here is soooo helpful when you need it!