Do you read Knitting or Crochet?

Do you read knitting or crochet?

What I mean is, can you read patterns happily, and look at your work to spot the mistakes and then put them right? If you aren’t sure about your SSK and K2Tog, and the difference then this is for you, read on… and you will get the idea of how to read your knitting or crochet over the next few weeks!

Most knitting patterns use the same abbreviations for combinations of stitches so that’s a good place to start. (Crochet can be UK or USA abbreviations, I’ll come to them later!) If you can make knit stitches and purl stitches, then you can do pretty much anything, with practice and patience. Abbreviations in knitting patterns are used to describe a combination of stitches and the way to work them to create an effect; whether it be to make a hole in a lace pattern; cross stitches over, like cables or reduce or increase stitches to shape the work. This link is a great place to start and describes the stitches and has video links if you are a visual learner. If you learn better by description, and trial and error, then this link may be a help.  If you can, have a look at the photo on the pattern and try to figure out where the stitch is, and how it looks. This can often give you a clue as to whether your stitch is the same. In this way, with practice and good eyesight, you can begin to “read” the knitting itself and see any mistakes. Some stitch abbreviations do the same thing, but in different directions. For example, ssk and K2tog both decrease by one stitch, but ssk slants to the right of the work,  (often used on a left edge) and k2tog slants to the left of the work, (often used on the right edge).

Can you read knitting or crochet?
Can you read knitting or crochet?

So the arrows pointing to the left of the photo are ssk and the arrows pointing to the right of the photo are K2tog. The arrows pointing down are a ccb, a central decrease from 3 to 1 stitch.

Crochet is different! patterns in UK terms and USA terms are both available in the UK, and of course the Internet is global, so if you buy a pattern from the Internet, (Ravelry or LoveCrochet for example) double check which terms are used throughout the pattern and “read” that language of stitches accordingly! Here is a useful link which gives terms  both sides of “the pond”! So what do the terms mean? Like knitting its a way of describing what the yarn and hook need to do to create that shape and size of stitch. Here are some helpful tips using the UK crochet terms. (‘Cos that’s my native crochet language!) There are LOTS of video clips on Youtube and I found these really helpful when I was learning to crochet a few years ago.

Some patterns, both knit and crochet include a chart of the stitches, and in next week’s blog I’ll describe how to read them. I’ll also talk about Aran patterns, cables and lace stitches.

Have a look at these previous blogs for more…

Choosing a Pattern to knit or crochet

Mysteries of Yarn and other stories…

What Shall I make next? Purely Gorgeous Colours

Bye for now, see you next week!



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