When Interpreting Patterns Goes Wrong

The scarf I’m knitting is very pretty, I just haven’t had much luck on it.  I’ve started three times and ripped back each time.  I always ended up with these extra stitches that I didn’t know what to do with !

So there I go along, knitting rows 1-4 and row 5-8 says to repeat rows 3-4.  So I take it literally and re-knit rows 3-4 and end up with too many stitches.  Ripppppppppppp, Rippppp, Ripppppppppppppppp.  So I try again.  This time I had an errant stitch that I didn’t know what to do with.  It was a yo gone wrong.  Instead of trying to fix something on row three, I rippedddddddddddddddddd.  Third try and too many stitches!  I read and reread the pattern and decided to finally call it a night.

Today at work I took a break for a few minutes and just pulled up the pattern.  I figured I was having an issue due to the pattern pieces being on two pages, so you have to literally have both pages in front of you at all times.  One page has the lace chart to follow with the rows written out for it.  The following pages are the pattern instructions and they refer back to the lace pattern.  I was going to copy/paste the two together.  The lace pattern is an eight row repeatable pattern.  It never changes.  The second page will give you instructions (i.e. Row 3: Work Lace Pattern to marker, sm, k1, p1, k1, p1).  Then row five will tell you to repeat row three.  So off I go to work row three of the lace pattern and end up with two stitches extra before the marker.  Then it hit me, zomg I need to knit row five of the lace pattern and then only repeat row three’s instructions after the marker!

Well, there’s a life lesson for ya.  The instructions are clear but my interpretation was wrong.  It happens in knitting often.  The problem in this pattern was the tech editor cleaned it up and organized it so it wasn’t so repetitive.  I totally get that and I’m sure I will very much appreciate it once I memorize the eight rows of lace.  I don’t need all that extra fluff bogging down the pattern once I know what I’m doing.  They should have at least allowed the setup section to be written out literally or added a note that stated, “When asked to repeat a row, please knit the current row’s lace pattern, not the row being repeated”.  Or something along those lines.  I’m not the only one who misinterpreted but I’ve also been out of the knitting loop for a six months so who knows.

So that is my project tonight, to finally get started on this lovely scarf.  Pictures of my progress are forthcoming!  I even reviewed how to do w&t short rows.  It has been a while and needed the brush up.  If anyone is interested, you can view the Craftsy class here.   It is 100% free and shows the best videos on exactly what is being done.  I’m now a pro at picking up my wraps on the knit and purl side of the work with them showing.  You may need to register on Craftsy to access it.

I think I’ll check out the other free classes they have, this could be fun!


  1. I just did the same. I was knitting socks for the first time, and having no knowledge of sock-knitting, of course I read everything literally or just misinterpreted the pattern. I ended up with a pouch heel, so I had to rip the heel entirely. It was frustrating, but it was also a learning experience.Your scarf is coming along very nicely and I’m sure that when you are finished, you will have a very lovely accessory. Keep up the good work!


    • Thank you for the kind words, Kate. I’m looking forwarding to finishing this scarf so I can finish off my socks — oh the dreaded stranded beasts they are lol.


  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this. It really saved me. I bought a kit with this pattern and kept getting stuck on row 5. I was pretty depressed until I read your posting. A small act of kindness can ripple out into the universe. Now I can move on and even attempt the short rows with confidence.
    a smile to you,


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