I can't do the decrease math!

I started learning to knit a few years ago, just before a bad accident that partially crippled my right hand. Thankfully, I’m back to it and I’ve gotten many of the simpler pieces, including a pretty shawl done.

But now I’m trying to knit a sleeveless summer shell. There are only 4 ongoing rows to get started (and 2 and 4 are the same) so even w/yos, ssk and some other abbreviations I’m fine.

But now has come the armhole…and I’m confused. I know what it means to inc or dec and this part is dec, but how do maintain the pattern?

Here’s Row 1 (RS): K2, p1, k1, *k1, k2tog, yo, ssk, k1, p1, k1, p1; rep from *to last 11 its then k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ask, k2, p1, k2.

What happens once the 1st 4 sts are gone? I have the asterisked sections (10 sts each) separated with markers, but what happens when I get into the first marked group, that k2tog?

I have a friend who’s been knitting 50 years and she showed me the first couple of rows, but now that I’m in row 3 (almost the same as 1) I don’t understand what happens when I start “invading” the sections. (She’s not available for a while.)

Should I change the markers? Remove them to try and eliminate confusion?

BTW, I’ve seen many formulas here and elsewhere…but I’m sorry, I’m darned if I understand them! The creative side of brain is doing well, but the math side…never really there. :slight_smile:

Welcome to KnittingHelp!
Is this the exact quote of Row 1? In the repeat there’s already a decrease, a k2tog and ssk with only one yarn over.

If there is a missing yarn over here to balance toe decrease, then you would have a pairs of increases (yarn overs) and decreases (either a k2tog or ssk). When you decrease for the pattern keep these pairs in mind. If you disrupt one of the pair, you interrupt both.

This means that after the first 3 sts have been decreased, you would remove the first marker and knit the 4th stitch together with the first k1 of the first repeat. On the next decrease, do not work the “k2tog, yo”. Consider it as k2 only. That will mean that you use the first knit stitch as part of the decrease, knit the next stitch, skip the yarn over and go directly to the next stitch.

Can you tell us the name of the pattern you’re working?

You I understand as I’ve gotten older I have to sometimes build myself a visual to see what I am supposed to do which is why I like charts now more than ever.

It is apparent that you are decreasing in pattern and that the decrease for the arm hole can throw your pattern off.

I’d take some contrasting yarn and pin it with clippy markers to a lower section of your knitting which has the pattern
which would be what you are now making and with the contrasting yarn, pin the curve and then you can see how the decreases must happen to maintain the pattern. Obviously the pattern must be over certain stitches or you’ll be thrown off. It is either this or to do yourself a chart, so if the pattern has a chart you can print out, you can draw the decreases in so you have a visual to how to be successful at the arm hole.

If you are a sewer and have worked with patterns you pin out, something you can somewhat see through, you can mark it up or use a clear sheet protector and draw what is happening. Whatever makes sense to you will help solve the problem.

When I have a problem I will make a swatch of my pattern and practice what I am attempting to do so I don’t make a mess of my yarn. Hopefully some of this will be helpful to you.

Best wishes to your success.