# Why can't I read patterns? help?

I can’t quite figure out how to follow stitch patterns and make them work with the specified number of stitches (5th grade algebra flashback -(cringe) I can’t show the work…). For example, if the pattern says to work in multiples of six stitches and the first row is k1, yo, k2tog, k3… huh? After I k1, yo, and k2tog I only have two stitches left, not 3. I’m running into this problem with just about every stitch pattern that uses decreases - the patterns seem to show ssk, k2tog, etc. as one stitch rather than two, and I can’t figure out how to follow the patterns using the right number of stitches. Am I just a moron? What am I missing? TIA, oti

It’s not your decreases but the way you do the YOs. After you k1, yo and k2tog you should have 3 sts left because you only used 3 sts, not 4. The yo is just a wrap around the needle not wrap and k1. Knit the first st, bring the yarn to the front and to the back then k2tog.

I like to write it out on paper. It helps me see the rhythm & cement it in my head.
For example, say this is your repeat;
k1, yo, k2tog, k3

So- start & end
k1=1 stitch 1 1
yo=adds 1 stitch 0 1
k2tog=2st becomes 1 2 1
k3= 3 stitches 3 3

My total both times is the 6 stitches. Which is what you want. Unless the pattern is using the decreases to shape the garment, like a triangular shawl for example.

An other thing to do is use markers between repeats. So place a scrap piece of yarn before you start the 6 stitch repeat. When you complete it, count to see if you have 6 stitches & add a marker. Or count by saying-1st, add 1, decrease 1, 3st. Whatever works for you. If you have 6 stitches, you are good to continue. Just keep reusing the scraps yarn bits. After an inch or so, you can usually see the pattern developing which makes it easier.

Yes, that is exactly what I’ve been doing and it never occurred to me that the yos might be the problem, but you’re absolutely right. Thank you so much! I’m going to go find a video to show me how to do a yo correctly. This has been driving me nuts - you just quickly and succinctly saved my sanity. Thanks, oti:muah:

A yarn over is just the act of wrapping. Eventhough it doesn’t really do anything until you knit the next stitch, that next stitch is not part of the yo.

otisanne, one of my first questions here (about 5 years ago ) was about seed stitch. For the life of me I could not get from a knit to a purl to a knit without having extra stitches. KnittingHelp is the place to be for all your questions !