Suggestions for general book on reading patterns?

I am a beginner at knitting, and have had a lot of trouble reading various patterns. I searched the Internet and also this forum for suggestions and directions on reading patterns, but couldn’t find anything that seemed to cover this topic!

I just want a book that will include information about reading patterns. Not just definitions for the abbreviations, but stuff that would, for example, explain what “cont in established patt” means. Does it mean to repeat the rows I just knitted? Or do I proceed up the rows on the pattern chart even though row 1 was the only row on the pattern chart that was referenced in the above lines? And what about “at the same time”? How can something happen at the SAME TIME as something else?!?

Help stop me from going crazy…any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Don’t know of any books, but you can always come here and ask.

I’ll go first…
`Cont in established pattern’ means you work the next however many rows/sts in the pattern you’ve been doing, whether it’s ribbing, stockinette, or a chart.

`At the same time’ is usually done when you’re doing neck shaping on a sweater. You may be doing decs for the armhole on the same rows you also do decs at the neck edge. One edge is the beginning of the row, the other edge at the end of the row. So yes, you can absolutely do both at the same time.

I’ll give you a bonus that stumps a lot of people…
`Work even’ shows up after you’ve done some increasing or decreasing. It means to knit in whatever pattern you’re doing without any incs/decs - keep the stitch number the same (even) amount.

I’m not cheez, but I’ll thank you also. I do understand her frustrations, as t’s taken me a bit to learn all this stuff. The great thing is that the folks here at KH are so kind, and so quick to answer.

Thank you for asking this question (and thanks for answering)!!! I wish patterns would just explain what they mean, exactly, all the time. LOL.

I’ve been wondering about the “at the same time” thing for a while now! :smiley:

You might want to check out the new Knitting Patterns for Dummies by Kristi Porter.

I looked at the table of contents and it has a chapter called “Break the Code: Reading Patterns.”

You can get it on Amazon but I linked to the Dummies site cause they have a pdf of the index, table of contents and the first chapter so you can get an idea of what’s in the book.

Hope this helps!

Two books I have read cover to cover are [U]Stitch and Bitch[/U] by Debbie Stoller and [U]Knitting Rules![/U] By Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee (the Yarn Harlot). Stitch and Bitch is what inspired me to knit all along and I read the Yarn Harlot’s book a couple of weeks ago and found it amazing. She has very clear directions and musings on knitting. It’s not a pattern book, but rather it has “recipes” for things, like hats, socks, etc. It really helped me understand a lot of the intricacies of knitting.

Thank you for your quick reply! I hope it is okay to continue asking about the pattern directions, since you started answering here, but if one of the mods want me to move it, please let me know.

With the “cont in established pattern,” I am confused because I’m not exactly sure what the pattern is!

Here’s the text (I simplified the non-relevant stuff just to make it easier): (This is for a baby sweater)

[I]Row 1: k1, p1, k1, place marker, work Row 1 of Bottom Rib chart until 13 stitches remain, work the first 7 sts of Bottom rib chart again, pm, k1, p1

Row 2: p1, k1, sl m, work in patt to next m, k1, p1, k1

Cont in established patt for 4 more rows.[/I]

Row 1: I understand this, and the Bottom Rib chart, which has 7 rows depicted, is on the next page, so I understand that also.

Row 2: p1, k1, then I get to the marker and just move it over, and then…I continue doing p1, k1 to the next marker??

Row 3: Does this mean I do Row 1, Row 2, Row 1, Row 2 again? With Row 1 using still row 1 of the Bottom rib chart? Or does this mean I use Row 3, 4, 5, 6 of the Bottom Rib chart?

Many thanks.

By the way, I know magazine pattern writers want to save space, but an extra paragraph mark here or there wouldn’t kill them!

Thank you to everyone else who replied. I will check out the books at the library, and maybe some day, when I can read through and understand this entire pattern, I’ll be able to actually start knitting this baby sweater.

Of course, by then the recipient baby will be entering elementary school. ha!

Row 2: p1, k1, then I get to the marker and just move it over, and then…I continue doing p1, k1 to the next marker??

I think it means to follow the chart pattern for Row 2. The p1, k1 are the edging stitches.

For the subsequent rows, I would say to continue with the chart pattern.