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Archive for December 8th, 2015

Continue In Pattern

The direction to “continue in pattern” is causing confusion among some knitters. I think it is one of the more clear directions in the knitting lingo, but maybe I am just weird.

Some knitters believe that unless the pattern continues completely unbroken as it is written (for example no decreases or increases) only then can a designer use the phrase “continue in pattern”. If increases or decreases are made, they argue that “continue in pattern” is no longer applicable because the knitting  no longer follows the pattern as originally set down.

For example, if the item is knit in moss stitch, when it comes time to decrease for the armholes the direction to “continue in pattern” does not apply because once you decrease (or increase) the stitch pattern cannot continue simply as written. The knitter, they say, must then “read the knitting” in order to maintain the moss stitch pattern and make changes accordingly. These knitters believe the designer must write out each row where decreases or increases occur because the addition or subtraction of a stitch “alters” the pattern. Ergo, there is no pattern to “continue.”

I know that a portion of knitters want hand-holding through out a pattern. I also know that patterns today give way more instruction to a knitter than patterns of yesteryear. I have an old pattern from the late 1800s that starts with Row 1 and never gives the amount to cast on. It then gives Row 2, and there it pretty much ends. In between is a whole lot of shaping that is never addressed.

If every row with an increase or decrease in it needs to be written out some patterns would be the size of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. To “continue in pattern” means just that. Keep the continuity while working the increases or decreases into the already existing pattern. Yes, it means you have to “read” the knitting. You need to be familiar with the pattern stitches enough to recognize what they are and when they occur. While an increase or decrease may change the first stitch following it from a knit to a purl or purl to a knit in moss stitch, it does not change the overall pattern that must be maintained across a row. In this sense “continue in pattern” is a valid phrase accurately describing what is taking place.

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