An understanding of knitterese

To make it through the instructions in this book and in any knitting pattern you pick up, you need to know what we call "knitterese" — a language full of abbreviations, asterisks, parentheses, and strange ways of spelling out (or rather not spelling out) instructions. To the untrained eye, these abbreviations look like gibberish: inc, k1, ssk, RH, WS, psso, and ml. Believe me, everyone who has knitted from a pattern has spent more time than they want to remember staring in earnest at the page, hoping that the sheer intensity of the gaze will unlock the meaning of the odd "instructions."

Some patterns may convey instructions in chart form, like the one in Figure 1-1, which shows a chart for a Guernsey knit-purl pattern (you can find this pattern in Appendix A). Before you drop this book and clutch your eyes, keep in mind that charts like this typically simplify what otherwise would be fairly complicated written instructions.

Figure 1-1:

Chart for a Guernsey knit-purl pattern.

| | Knit on the right side, Purl on the wrong side [—| Purl on the right side, Knit on the wrong side

Chapter 3 tells you everything you need to know about deciphering either written or charted instructions. Soon you'll be breezing your way through patterns, relishing the pleasure of understanding.

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