Knitting is a simple, satisfying, stitch-by-stitch pursuit. However, to follow a knitting pattern, a beginner must first learn a number of knitting-pattern conventions. These include abbreviations, charts, multi-size text instructions, sizing, and schematic diagrams. We hope this tutorial series helps to clarify your uncertainties!
In this tutorial, we explain How to Read a Knitting Pattern in four parts:
- Understanding the Sizing and Materials Section of a Knitting Pattern
- What supplies do I need? How much yarn and what sort? What needle sizes, lengths, and types? And what additional notions and tools do I need to complete the project?
- What size will I make? How do I interpret sizes, suggested fit, and schematic diagrams?
- Understanding Knitting-Pattern Abbreviations and Charts
- What do these abbreviated terms mean?
- What are knitting charts for?
- Reading Multi-Size Knitting-Pattern Instructions
- What do all these brackets mean?
- Which instructions do I follow for my chosen size?
- Making Sense of Knitting-Pattern Finishing Instructions
- What is blocking, and how do I weave in ends?
Note: While each designer or publisher writes knitting patterns slightly differently, we tend to share common conventions. We describe our own Tin Can Knits pattern-writing conventions in these tutorials, but once you understand these conventions, the variations that other designers use will be easier to learn and understand.
Practice with a free pattern today!
Put your new learning to the test and get started with one of our free knitting patterns from The Simple Collection, a learn-to-knit series designed to help knitters make the next stitch and learn the next skill. And be sure to share this post with newer knitters you know who are still a little bit unclear about knitting-pattern conventions.
Are there any elements of pattern reading that you still find unclear? Comment on this post or contact us directly, so we can improve this teaching tool.
~ Emily and Alexa