We’ve all been there. That moment of confusion when we’re not sure how to proceed with our knitting pattern, or that sinking feeling when we realize we may have messed up. But, knitting is all about enjoying the process, so no need to stress! If you’ve reached an ambiguous crossroads in your pattern, or think there’s an issue with your knitting, take a deep breath, let yourself smile, and follow these tips to clear up your uncertainty and get back on track:
1) When you get stuck in a knitting pattern, it’s important to take the time to find out exactly where your knitting is in relation to the pattern. Read your pattern carefully, word-for-word and line-for-line, to make sure you’ve followed the instructions. Then, find out what row you’re on in your knitting, and compare it to the row you’re on in your pattern. If your pattern and knitting don’t match, you can adjust to get synced up.
2) If you’re still unsure, take a peek at the designer’s picture of the pattern. What point of the picture is your knitting at? Does that section of the picture look like where you are in your knitting? If it doesn’t, you may have a hiccup in your knitting, and if you can pinpoint your problem, you might consider ripping out to the point where the problem began. If this is the case, don’t get discouraged. Mistakes happen to everyone, and now you get to spend a bit more time on your relaxing knitting project, and you’ll finish with the best possible garment!
3) Still not sure how to proceed? Do an online search and find out whether other people have been having trouble with the same pattern. If so, you might be able to get clarification from someone who has worked through your issue, or there might be errata (pattern corrections) posted on a site that sells your pattern, or on Ravelry.
4) If you can’t find any support or pattern corrections, it’s probably time to find some help. After staring at our pattern and knitting for so long, it can be super difficult to pick out the issue we’re having, or figure out how to move forward. Sometimes it just takes a fresh set of eyes to spot the fix. A friend or family member who’s an experienced knitter would be a great resource to start with. If they aren’t sure, it’s time to get in touch with the designer.
5) Although designers are often busy, they created their pattern because they want people to knit it and love it, not for people to get stuck! So, designers certainly have a stake in helping you find a resolution. Most of the time, you’ll be able to find the pattern designer’s email address on the pattern, from wherever you bought the pattern, or through the designer’s blog or website. When writing your email, make sure to be as clear as possible about where you are in the pattern, and what you’re struggling with.
Some designers will respond quickly, whereas others might take some time to get back to you. Don’t worry about your knitting for this particular pattern while you’re waiting for a response. In the meantime, knit something easy for entertainment, or find another fun crafting project to tide you over.
I hope these steps are helpful! If you have your own tips for helping frustrated knitters work through perplexing patterns, please feel free to leave a comment.