Inconsistencies in knitting patterns

Last month I decided to switch things up by publishing my monthly blog post as an Instagram post. I thought maybe the content I had prepared would be well suited to images, so I figured I’d give it a go. People seemed to like it — in fact it’s probably my most-liked Instagram post ever, so I wanted to publish it in a written format too since people found it so useful.

So in this post I’m going to point out some common inconsistencies I see designers use in knitting patterns. To make your pattern look professional, I think it’s important that you are consistent in how you write things out. My philosophy as a tech editor is that I usually don’t mind how you write something as long as it’s consistent throughout the pattern.

Here are some inconsistencies to be mindful of. The problem areas are underlined.

Capitalization 

R1: K3, p to 3 sts from end of row, k3. 

R3: k3, p to 3 sts from end of row, K3. 

If you capitalize the first instruction in a row, you should do the same for every row. Likewise, if “k” is lowercase it should always be lowercase. 

Abbreviating vs spelling out

R1: K3, p to 3 stitches from end of row, k3. 

R3: K3, purl to 3 sts from end of row, k3.

If you use “k” as an abbreviation for “knit” always use “k” throughout the pattern. Don’t switch back and forth! If it’s in your abbreviation section, why not abbreviate it? The most common misuse I tend to see is switching back and forth between sts/stitches.

Spelling out numbers

R1: K3, p to three sts from end of row, k3. 

R3: K3, p to 3 sts from end of row, k3.

Another inconsistency is switching between writing numbers and spelling out the number. I typically advise clients to just write the number because when you’re glancing at the pattern while knitting, it’s quicker for your eyes to find a number than to have to read words. 

Punctuation 

R1: K3, p to 3 sts from end of row, k3. 

R3: K3, p to 3 sts from end of row, k3;

R1: K3, *p. Rep from * to 3 sts from end of row, k3. 

R3: K3, *p; Rep from * to 3 sts from end of row, k3. 

Keep your punctuation consistent. If you use periods to end your rows, do it always. If you use semi-colons, always use them. 

Listing multiple rows

R1&3: K3, p to 3 sts from end of row, k3. 

R5,6: K3, p to 3 sts from end of row, k3;

R9-11: K3, p to 3 sts from end of row, k3;

Make sure the punctuation you use to denote multiple rows is also consistent! 

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These are just a few of the common inconsistencies I spot over and over in patterns. I recommend you take a look at your patterns and see if you can spot things that are written out different ways in different spots. 



Information about my tech editing services is available here.

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