Practicing different gauges in a single swatch

In this section, I show you a good way to practice getting your gauge on target. This gauge practice won't really create any sort of useful or decorative object, but you can either keep the swatch as a reminder or rip it out and reuse the yarn when you're done. If you don't like those two options, make two or three of these swatches into a weird scarf. Or collect them from all your friends and make them into an artful quilt. Whatever you come up with, the process of making this swatch will be...

Appendix

If you find yourself stuck at some point, look to the appendix, featuring basic knitting skills. The appendix can refresh your memory on knitting basics, such as casting on, knitting, purling, binding off, and more. Remember too that the index can point you to pages where skills are described in greater depth. See those little pictures in the margins of this book Those pictures are icons, and they indicate the following information When you see this icon, know that it's pointing out something...

Markers and holders

Knitters use a variety of tools to mark particular spots in their knitting and to hold live stitches. Live stitches are stitches that you aren't working with at the moment, but that you'll do more with later. Shoulder stitches that will later be bound off with the three-needle bind-off or the stitches for half the neckline after you've divided the left and right neck are common examples of stitches that you may want to put on a holder. Check out these marking and holding tools, which are shown...

Staying Simple with Seed Stitch

Linen Stitch

Seed stitch, shown in Figure 5-4, is both beautiful and simple. It has a regular texture of little bumps that look a bit like seeds albeit highly organized ones . Like garter stitch which I describe earlier in this chapter , seed stitch lies flat and looks the same on both sides, so it's great for edgings and is a beautiful choice for scarves or blankets. Seed stitch makes a wonderful background for cables see Chapter 6 or other more intricate patterns, but you also can use it on its own for...

Following a repeating pattern

Many knitting patterns have a stitch pattern that's repeated. So, in addition to directions like Cast on 24 stitches or Work until your piece measures 12 inches, you may have directions that repeat over a set number of stitches in a row using asterisks to show you what to repeat and over a set number of rows the pattern will tell you which rows to repeat, such as Repeat Rows 1-6 until the piece measures 12 inches. . To use such directions, work Row 1 as described, repeating whatever comes...

The sizing conventions in this book

The patterns in this book are based on sizing standards set up by the Craft Yarn Council of America to help minimize the confusion of pattern sizing. I use the same size standards throughout this book, so a large size, for instance, is always designed to fit someone with a 40- to 42-inch chest circumference. This book features patterns sized for everyone from XS to 3X. Not every pattern has every size, but knitters of all body types will find patterns to suit them. And while it's always smart...

Authors Acknowledgments

Creating a book is inevitably the work of many hands, and I am truly grateful to those who helped bring Knitting Patterns For Dummies into being. I am struck, in writing these acknowledgments, by how lucky I am to be doing a job that I love and to be surrounded by others who clearly love what they do. I am grateful to my husband, Leo Bleicher, and my daughters, Zoe and Ella, for their support and encouragement. Thanks to the helpful folks at Wiley Lindsay Lefevere for getting the project...

Reading charts and symbolcraft

While many patterns are written out in what is, more or less, English, another approach to conveying the necessary information for all or part of a pattern is to represent it as a chart where each box is equal to one stitch. With this approach, you can map out an entire sweater graphically and not have to use any words at all. For complex color patterns you may show the whole sweater in a chart, but more often only significant parts of a pattern are mapped out on the chart. In this case, the...