Yet Another Pattern Question

So, I think this pattern is just not written all that well. Knitters who have years of experience on me were having trouble deciphering the first part of the pattern. I even had one sit with me, read the instructions out loud to me, watch me as I do it, and go, “What the he–?” when we reached the end and the stitch count was wrong. Looking back on that first part — now that I understand it — I can think about ten ways it could have been written more clearly. So this is where I’m coming from.

Now on the piece of the pattern that is currently trying my patience. This is for the earflap of a hat. The pattern is written:

Cont to work back and forth in garter st as follows:
[B]Inc row 1 (RS)[/B] Sl1, (k1,yok1) in next st, purl—5 sts. Knit next row.

Got that.

Inc row 2 (RS[/B]) Sl1, k1, m1, [I]k to last 2 sts[/I], end M1, k1, p1 – 7 sts. Knit next row. Rep last 2 rows 4 times more, then inc row 2 once, end with RS row --17 sts. Place sts on holder.

The italicized part is where I’m having trouble. I have 5 sts on my needles to start with. So, I:

stitch 1 — slip
stitch 2 — knit
stitch 3 – knit one, make one (+1)
stitch 4 --???
stitch 5—???

There are only two stitches left! How do I “Knit to the last two stitches” if there are only two stitches? Am I supposed to return the stitch 3 stiches to the left needle, then knit those two, and then return to the rest of the pattern?

For those playing at home, this is number 9 in [I]60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 Mittens in Cascade 220[/I]

Thanks again.

This row is meant to be repeated (I bet that’s what it says next) so don’t worry about the ‘knit to last 2 sts part’ for this row since that’s what you’ve got left, that’s just how they worded it to be repeated. Just m1, knit and purl and you’re done. Then go on to the next row.

Inc row 2 (RS) Sl1, k1, m1, k to last 2 sts, end M1, k1, p1 – 7 sts.
These instructions work over 5 stitches and produce 7 just like the pattern says they do.

The problem you may be having is that you are using the wrong increase. It calls for a M1 which is an increase that makes a stitch between stitches and doesn’t eat into the stitch count at all. You can use the inc where you lift the strand of yarn running between the left and right needles and knitting it so that it twists. This is found in the free videos on this site under “increases”. There are two different ones that slant left or right. Look for M1R (also called M1B) and M1L (also called M1F) Or you can use a simple backward loop over the right hand needle, this is the first increase on the increase page.

When you use a M1 between stitches you have:
st 1: slip
st 2: knit
M1 between stitches
st 3: knit (after this st you still have 2 left, so you k to last 2)
M1 between stitches
st 4: knit
st 5: purl
Now you have 7. :thumbsup:

That may be the case with the increase instructions, but the last pattern I did that involved the same row being increased multiple times was just so much clearer. That pattern was written something like:

Row 1 instructions, end with k1, p1
Repeat row four times, knitting to last two stitches, end w k1 p1

So effectively, they wrote the multiple increase row with the knit to last 2 stitches indicated separately, which AVOIDED THIS CONFUSION!!!

Also, given the problems in reading the earlier part of this pattern, I’m really not sure that M1 is referring to increasing between the stitches. Previously, there were increase rows where the writer intended for the stitches to be increased in [I]one stitch[/I], but no one read it that way because it wasn’t clear. So based on that, I really am not positive she is using M1 the way you guys are reading it. I’m sure how you’re reading it is right normally, but this writer seems…not to be using abbreviations correctly…

Yes, some writers use m1 to mean increase, but is there a guide to stitches for the pattern that explains which she means? If you do m1, the row comes out correctly though, not if you use kfb. But it was written so future rows could say ‘repeat R 2’ when there were more sts involved where the ‘knit to last 2 sts’ could be 3 or 5 sts. The fact this doesn’t have extra sts to knit can be ignored and just do the last 2 sts.

I’ve seen many patterns written similarly, where they say ‘repeat from *’ and there’s not enough sts to repeat the first time you do the row.


As far as I can tell, this is the only pattern by her in the book, too. The instructions at the front do say M1 means Make one knit stitch, but she really seems to be freewheeling against that.

(And my grandmother who’s been knitting for more than 60 years is confused by this pattern writing too, so I really don’t think it’s just me.)

Well, the sts for R 2 work out by using a m1, not kfb for the increases. That’s another way to check which one is meant.

And actually R 2 does make sense - Sl1, k1, m1, [I]k to last 2 sts[/I], end M1, k1, p1 – 7 sts. - after you use 2 sts and inc, there’s 3 sts left so you knit to the last 2 (k1) then k and p.

I was taught when you made a stitch it went on the right needle, not the left, still leaving only two stitches on the left needle. Meaning, make a stitch, then knit and purl based on what you’re saying. Are you saying, make, then knit the made stitch, then knit, then purl?

No, the new st always goes on the R needle unless you’re casting on or the pattern says differently. So you slip the 1st st, knit the 2nd, inc by picking up the yarn strand between the st you just did and the next one (or you can do a backward loop). Then you k1, make another st and have the 2 sts left. You’re still thinking of kfb for the increase, which sorta works out, but it puts the inc [I]after[/I] the 3rd st instead of [I]before[/I] it, and then you don’t have another st for the 2nd increase. Using the m1 puts the incs in the center of the piece with 2 sts on either side of them and the k1 in the middle.


There are two increases the first time that row is done???

GRRRR! I HATE THIS WRITER! That is NOT how anyone else has been reading this. That is so freaking confusing and unclear. If the lady who teaches knitting for a living can’t make hide nor tail of this…GRRRRR!!!

Yes there’s 2 incs, that’s how you get from 5 to 7 sts.
“Inc row 2 (RS) Sl1, k1, [B]m1[/B], k to last 2 sts, end [B]M1,[/B] k1, p1 – 7 sts.”

And it’s why kfb doesn’t work, you have to use incs that are between stitches instead of using a stitch. Perhaps the knitting teacher isn’t familiar with these? It’s not a fault of the pattern writer, it’s really a pretty common way to write a pattern, and is only confusing if you haven’t run across it before.

I doubt it. She’s been knitting for 20+ years so if something is “common,” I’m sure she’s come across it before. And again, my grandmother’s who been knitting for [B]60 years[/B] was having trouble deciphering this — surely she would have come across something written that way.

That said, M1 stitch that way leaves a huge hole in the pattern. That’s probably me, but what’s up with the hole?

Older patterns didn’t use m1 much, at least the ones I used 30 and 40 years ago. I think it’s only become more common in the last 10 years, so if you learned knitting before then, you didn’t see it much. It’s on the Increases page here though.

M1 does not leave a big hole - lift up the strand between stitch and knit it through the back loop to twist it. If there’s a small hole even when you twist the stitch, you may knit tight and that’s why it pulls open, so you can try the backward loop m1, loosely. After you knit a few rows the hole isn’t as noticeable.

So I knitted the earflap with the increases and there’s still one huge gaping hole in the middle, between the first increase that leaves 5 stitches and the second that leaves 7.

Then there’s a bunch of smaller holes throughout on the sides and in between rows. I don’t get it. Believe me when I say it’s not loose.

I’m thinking of throwing this book in the trash and lighting it on fire at this point.

You can wash and dry the ear flaps (put them on a stitch holder) at this point to see if that fills in the holes. Often it does.

How without binding them off? I need them to start the actual hat part (hat is knitted from the earflaps up) and they need to put on the circulars after co 9 stitches.

Put the sts on a holder, or piece of scrap yarn.