{PATTERN WRITING} Indicating stitch count changes

2017-09-01_newsletter

My September designer newsletter went out this morning, and in it I included some helpful information on how to handle stitch count changes when writing a pattern. In case you aren’t signed up yet (sign up here so you don’t miss anything else!), here’s what I wrote:


Indicating Stitch Count Changes

Most patterns have increases and decreases that change the stitch count and it’s helpful to provide knitters with stitch count information so that they can verify that they haven’t made a mistake.

Depending on the type of instruction, whenever the stitch count changes, I recommend that designers list either:

a) the new stitch count,
b) the number of stitches increased/decreased, or;
c) a combination of the two.

So, which one should be used when?

When an instruction is worked only once, include the new stitch count . The new stitch count is by far the most useful piece of information to give the knitter. And when the instruction is worked just once, there’s no reason not to provide the new stitch count. For example:

Cast on 10 stitches.
Row 1 (RS): K1, m1, k until 1 stitch remains, m1, k1. (12 stitches)
Row 2 (WS): P to end.
Row 3: K to end.

When an instruction is repeated later in the pattern, include the number of stitches increased or decreased. When you want to repeat the same increase or decrease instruction more than once, the new stitch count total is only accurate the first time the instruction is worked. For this reason, including the number of stitches increased or decreased becomes more useful (and correct). For example:

Cast on 10 stitches.
Row 1 (RS): K1, m1, k until 1 stitch remains, m1, k1. (2 stitches increased)
Row 2 and all WS rows: P to end.
Row 3: Repeat Row 1.

When an instruction is repeated a fixed number of times, include both. If an instruction (or group of instructions) containing an increase or decrease is repeated a fixed number of times before moving on, you can include the number of stitches increased or decreased in the line-by-line instructions, and then list the new total stitch count at the end. For example:

Cast on 10 stitches.
Row 1 (RS): K1, m1, k until 1 stitch remains, m1, k1. (2 stitches increased)
Row 2 and all WS rows: P to end.
Repeat Rows 1 – 2 three times more. (8 stitches increased in total; 18 stitches)

Having clear, consistent rules for how to indicate stitch count changes not only makes things easier for the knitter, but it makes pattern writing quicker because you don’t have to stop and think about how to phrase things; you just follow the rules you’ve set!


Oh, and I also included my tech editing availability for September. At blog post publication time, I have the following spaces available:

September 4th – 10th: 2 spaces remaining!
September 11th – 17th: 4 spaces
September 18th – 24th: 7 spaces
September 25th – October 1st: 8 spaces

Get in touch if you’d like to reserve a spot!

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