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When Alice Beltran told us her idea for knitting patterns that use the form of comic strips, we nearly lost our minds. There’s something so tidy, and irresistible, about seeing pattern instructions rather than relying on old-school text patterns. For beginning knitters—and every knitter—we are proud to introduce Knitstrips. With drawings by Juliana “Coloring Book for Knitters” Horner, there’s much to take in here. We hope you’ll share this free pattern with all your knitter friends, whether Betty or Veronica. (Free download here!)

Visual learners, this one’s for you. 

Ann and Kay


About The Author

Alice Beltran lives in Long Beach, California with her family, who she loves covering in handknits. She has taught beginning knitting and rarely knits things that don’t require significant design input because she likes making it up. She grew up on Archie comic books. Later on, Len Deighton’s Action Cook Book showed her that comics could be instructive.

Alice recently opened a new shop of  beautiful hand-crafted jewelry for handknits, CostumeJewelryHabit. Michelin rating: Worth a Detour.

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  • Love!

    • I love the tips you have added, such as where the tail is fir the right side. This is very clever:)

  • Just….wow!

  • This is very cool! Rhetorical question/current pet peave, why do patterns say to break the yarn instead of cut the yarn? For one thing, if you are using an acrylic yarn (gasp), it’s not gonna break. And it’s not going to create an end that is easily threaded into a needle. That is all.
    But I do like this illustrated pattern!!

    • In this case, I wanted you to feel empowered to carry on in the face of no scissors. 🙂 xoA

    • If the original pattern called for a wool – breaks easily – that might be the reason the pattern calls for ‘breaking’ the yarn. If you are using acrylic you already know you must cut the yarn.

      As far as threading the broken end (or even a cut end since there are several fiber ends to flatten)of the yarn onto a needle, this is the way you do it: fold the yarn a few inches from the end. squeeze the fold between your thumb and fore finger, part your thumb and forefinger a tiny bit and you will see a tiny flat piece of yarn not a bunch of ends. Place the eye of your needle against the little flat piece and it will thread easily.

  • The love this knitstrip too–but I wasn’t able to print it out so it would print onto one page.

    • Hi Joan–try the download link in the introduction, above the Knitstrip. Be sure to click “Fit to Page” before you print. x0x0

  • Great idea! LOVE it.

  • I love the comic strip idea! My 15 year old daughter will love the comic and making the mitts. Is there a way just to print the comic strip?

    • Yes, Kathy! See the download link above. Let us know how your daughter’s mitts come along!


    • The very response i had!

  • Brilliant idea!!

  • Love this!!! Hope to see more

  • ok for beginners but I like the tried and true written instructions.. if I were just learning this type would be excellent!!

  • Fabulous! And particularly great for kids learning to knit. Well done!

  • Fabulous!!!

  • Such a great idea!

  • I vote for more knitstrips for more complicated patterns. I’m so visual it helps me immensely. (As do videos but I rarely have the patience for them.) Wonderful idea!

    • yes this format is SUPER! I so dislike the abbreviated form of so many instructions. Why? The more explanation the better.

  • Great idea and fun quick knit for all of us, could do the same with a patterned stitch.
    Rather than cast off on a RS row and have both the cast on and off tails at the same end, cast off from the edge where the cast on tail is dangling (having left enough at the beginning to seam) so that you end up with tails at both ends to seam. Two fewer ends to darn.

    • Short and sweet pattern! Agree on the tails.

  • Cute!

  • Thank you;-D

  • Lovely illustrations! Thanks for surfacing deep memories of all my 60’s Betty and Veronica comic books!

  • Thank you! This looks like fun.

  • Totally cool!

  • What a creative way to present a pattern! I see this as very useful for new knitters, especially children and teens. Look forward to seeing more!

  • Brilliant!!!

  • Fabulous idea! Love it and thanks for the pattern.

  • Love this – passed it on to my future DIL on FB, who wants to learn to knit.

  • This is so fabulous!

  • I love how short and sweet this is, so perfect for newbie knitters. I might suggest that when you share this with your favorite newbie knitter, you specify the type of cast on; a long tail cast on will put your tail at the other end of the work.

  • I taught knitting to kids all summer and this would’ve been perfect for them. They had a hard time visualizing the instructions. Amazing!!! Thanks!

  • Excellent! I taught a friend to knit last year but it didn’t take. The perfect project and presentation to try again! Thank you.

  • I am a granny about 48 years.inever new knitting could be so much fun or therapeutic for a person with clinical depression until my therapist got me hooked onto knitting
    I find that with my type of illness it has lot of benefit .because it has made me forget alot of my problem s .It gives me a sense of achievement although I am not very good at it.but I I try my best to give my best shot at it and it has kept my mind of my previous problems .

    • that’s wonderful!

  • I love the idea but ease of reading would for me be a priority and I could see this as difficult to see for some people. That being said, this might encourage young knitters, especially if it is funny and fun.

  • Hey there Alice,
    This is brilliant. Hope you caught “Archie Meets the Ramones”—written by my (drum roll, please) son-in-law.

    • Thank you! And WOW. I’m ordering a copy, it looks fantastic! 🙂 xoA

  • So clever and useful!

  • Sweet! If you are sharing it with a newbie knitter, it might be nice to share what kind of cast on will leave the tail on the left when looking at the RS. Long tail will not!

    • An excellent point–I’ll include that next time. Thanks! xoA

      • You’re welcome, and thank YOU for a very friendly pattern to share!

  • In the directions you state to use size 5 needles. Do you mean US#5 or 5.0mm? This is a great visual way to share a pattern. Thank you!

    • US 5; I’ll make that more clear next time. Thanks! 🙂 xoA

      • Thank you. Having the metric needle size included will make it so much more easily accessible to the rest of the world.

  • Fabulous!!

  • Brilliant…and a great idea for cookbooks as well! My favorite cookbook may have 2-3 pages of text in paragraph form…all for one classic cake (nothing over the top)…please just condense it to one page with bullets for each step! Love this for knitting as I sometime can’t visualize what the pattern is telling me to do. Comic strip patterns would certainly eliminate a lot of the guesswork and frustration of frogging and re-knitting! Three cheers for Alice!

  • Thank you all, so much, for the lovely welcome to this amazing forum! xoxoA

  • I’m done with the first mitt and am entering it in my Ravelry projects page. Any idea when you will post the pattern in Ravelry? I’d like you all to get the credit!

    • Ok–it’s in there. Thanks Patti, I hope to see your mitts 😀

    • Patti, that’s fantastic! I’ll get right on it, thank you! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what yarn you used…

  • If you do the comic strip
    As a coloring book you can choose the color of your own

  • Not Savvy Enough To Figure Out why pattern won’t print. Need one of the 8 grandkids here for computer guidance. Cute pattern perfect for Christmas gifts. Help!

    • Hello Ms. Peterson, I’m AliceO on Ravelry if you want to exchange messages there? I’d like to try to help–are you getting an error message?

  • I just saw this on Fringe Association and have to join the chorus—what a great idea!!

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