Ask Patty: Increasing and Decreasing in Pattern

November 14, 2018

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  • That was very encouraging thank you.

  • Once again, awesome information. Saved!

  • My cousin, Kelly, knits amazingly beautiful sweaters and hats and you name it! I crochet everything under the sun. We were both taught by the same grandmother who was an incredible person, teacher and role model. Kelly has four brothers and sisters. I came from a highly abusive home. Grandma and Grandpa pretty much raised me and at age 14, I moved in with them. They were wonderful people, funny, busy, salt of the earth. Kelly and I were their oldest grandchildren. Kelly tried so hard to teach me to knit, but learning to cast on became my greatest triumph! I tried so hard to teach Kell how to crochet, but mastering the first row of single crochet became her triumph! And to this day, we oooh and aaaah over each other’s work. I guess the point of this ramble is that it’s wonderful that there are knitters and crocheters who can sit together over tea and laugh and work and help other people with problems. Kell became a deaf educator and I became a nurse. You strike me as someone we would love to have tea with. Thank you for the lovely way in which you correct, encourage and inspire.

    • Thanks so much! I’d love to have tea :).

  • Fascinating! I am not that far progressed in my knitting skills, but I will get there. I am saving this this valuable information for the time that happens. The knitted sample comparisons are a treasure. Thank you!

  • I LOVED this!! Thank you so much for explaining all of this.

  • Love this, very helpful. Thank you

  • Amazing! I have encountered the decrease in cables issue on a few occasions and I haven’t yet cracked the code. This is such helpful intel for my next go-round.

  • I love the 10/10 idea. A good way to get through stalled projects. And who knows, after 10 rows of that stalled project, one might want to keep going!

  • This is good advice. My own personal “fear and loathing” knitting instruction regarding increases/decreases is: “Repeat for other side, reversing all shaping.” I tend to walk away from patterns that say this, but writing out the reverse shaping instructions would be one way to deal with a pattern that otherwise looks do-able.

    • Love -love this gal, she is amazing ❤️

  • First, I loved Kathleen’s comment. Second, thanks Patty, this is the Hard Stuff. You have helped me make a dent in my understanding of it.

  • Dear Patty: thank you so much for this wonderful article! The tip “first stitch into the needle ends up on top” is forever going to be scribbled on my knitting notes from here out. The hints on increasing and decreasing in pattern inspired me to try decreasing in mosaic herringbone on my latest knitted beanie (achieved with a mix of mosaic and working with both strands) and I’m so thrilled with the results!

    • I’m so excited! Glad I could help. I love doing “shaping swatches” to practice. It’s really helped me see over the years.

  • Hi Patty. Thanks for the increase/decrease tips and love the suggestion for a 10/10 night. I am a process knitter with double digit ongoing projects, loving the thrill of a new cast-on. My take is that it’s good for my brain to go back and forth between various projects. Not sure if that’s accurate, but works for me. Best of all, I’m ok with that.

  • Patty, Thanks for another wonderful article. I have a comment about the unfinished KAL projects. I used to teach sewing. Often I would see my students longing to start something, and hear comments of “I can’t start that. I haven’t finished my last project.”. I always encouraged them to start anyway. When there are a variety of projects midstream, and there is time today to work on something, having options in various stages increases the chances that something will actually make some progress. It might be from something started long ago. Something gets done, there is joy in the process, the other somethings wait for next time! It’s like food in the pantry. If it’s there waiting for us, there’s a stronger likelihood we’ll cook dinner tonight! (Same applies to yarn stashes…we need to be prepared for inspirational moments!)

  • Hi
    Currently struggling trying to maintain pattern whilst decreasing the Buckler Jumper on page 42 of Rowan Moordale designs. Can you help please?

    Fed up unpicking over and over trying to get it right.
    Kind Regards
    Val Atkins

    • The textured pattern in this design can be treated like ribbing as per Patty’s description above. If you are really stuck, knit up a quick swatch on different yarn and practise before doing anything on your project.

      • The advantage of the swatch is you can practise on say 20 stitches instead of the whole front or back of your jumper.

  • This looks a good site glad I have found it.