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Having Problems Reading Knitting Patterns? Check Out Our Guide For Beginners!
Reading knitting patterns requires you to be familiar with some of the lingo that is used in the knitting world. While this may seem like a daunting thing when you are a beginner, knitting patterns are surprisingly straightforward. Still, if you are experiencing problems reading your knitting pattern, be sure to read on.
What Do The Abbreviations 'K' And 'P' Stand For On A Knitting Pattern?
'K' and 'P' are two letters you will find on almost all knitting patterns. Each letter refers to a specific knitting stitch, more specifically the knit stitch and the purl stitch.
The difference between the knit stitch and the purl stitch is quite straightforward as well. For a knit stitch, the bump of the stitch will lay on the back. Purl stitches on the other hand have the horizontal bump in front. Once you start knitting, you will easily recognise the difference. But for now, this is the only thing you need to know.
What Other Abbreviations Are Important For Reading Knitting Patterns?
There are more abbreviations that can be used on knitting patterns. Below, we have listed the most important ones for beginners.
CO - This abbreviation stands for cast-on, which refers to the beginning of your knitting project. So, when you start your knitting piece, you will cast-on the first stitch.
BO - Bind off is the opposite of cast-on. It is basically how you end your knitting project.
Inc - When you encounter this abbreviation on a pattern, it means you should add the number of stitches indicated on the pattern.
Dec - This abbreviation means you should need to decrease the number of stitches you have. Like the previously mentioned technique, you must decrease the number of stitches as indicated on the pattern.
Rep - When you see 'rep' on a pattern, it basically means you should repeat the previous step the amount of times mentioned on the pattern.
How Do I Cast On?
To start your cast on stitch, grab your ball of yarn and your knitting needles. Then, create a loop around your index and middle finger twice. Pull the first loop you have made over the second. Then, tug the end bit of the yarn to create a knot at the base of the loop. Add it to the knitting needle and pull on the end of the yarn again to secure the knot.
When the initial knot is in place, grab the needle in your right hand and grab the yarn with your left hand. Wrap the yarn over your left hand in a front to back motion. Then, stick the needle through the loop and tighten by pulling the tail of the yarn. Repeat this process until you have the right amount of stitches for your project.
How Do I Stitch?
The stitching process is straightforward. Once you have finished with your cast-on, move the knitting needle with the stitches to your left hand. Then, take the right needle and push the tip of the needle through the stitch. Please note, this should be done below the needle. Also keep a close eye on the tail or your yarn, so it does not get tangled in your work as you go along.
Once the needle is sticking through the stitch, grab the tail of the yarn and pull it over the right needle (from the front to the back). Make sure there is a light tension around the loop. Then, pull the yarn through the cast-on and let the old stitch on the left fall off.
For beginners, it is not uncommon to let a stitch fall. Therefore, it is important to pay special attention to the old stitches and your new stitches as you go along. The loss of new stitches can cause holes in your project and are difficult to correct for beginners.
Some knitting needles are easier to work with than others for beginners. Metal needles tend to be the easiest, this because the stitches slide off a little easier.
When you stitch for the first time, make sure you do not make your stitches too tight. When you go along, it can become more difficult to push the needle through the old stitch. So, if you want to avoid this, keep your stitches loosely on your knitting needles.