Knitting pattern

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A knitting pattern is a set of written instructions on how to construct items using knitting.


There are two basic forms of knitting patterns:

  • Text patterns which use numerals and words (and usually abbreviations), and
  • Chart patterns which use symbols in a chart.

Some patterns include the entire instructions in both forms, as some knitters prefer one or the other.

Some patterns mix the forms to take advantage of the best of each. For example, a pattern's start and end may be described in text and a repeated design as a chart.

Each knitting pattern typically provides its own abbreviations and symbol keys or refers to a standard. There is no single authoritative source for knitting symbology and Knitting abbreviations, so multiple standards exist.[1][2][3]

Both forms use the convention of sequential row numbers; a row counter is often used to keep track of progress through the pattern.

Text patterns[edit]

Text pattern details can vary from a general description to detailed stitch-by-stitch instruction. Knitting abbreviations are used for brevity.

Text patterns typically provide sequential instructions to be followed and may also include helpful advice.

Chart patterns[edit]

Chart patterns use a matrix of blocks filled with letters and symbols to describe the knitted stitches, typically with one stitch per block.

Chart patterns provide visual feedback on the relative position of stitches. They may be color-coded for multi-color knitting.

List of typical chart symbols[edit]

  • : (blank) knit stitch (K) on right side; purl on wrong side
  • -: purl (P) on right side; knit on wrong side
  • o: yarn over (YO)
  • \: slip, slip, knit (ssk) on right side; slip, slip, purl (ssp) on wrong side
  • /: knit 2 together (k2tog) on right side; purl 2 together (p2tog) on wrong side


Cables can be denoted by diagonal lines across multiple blocks to indicate number of stitches and direction of cable.

Other symbols unique to a particular pattern may be used.


Knitting pattern - Paragon Girls Cardigan Leaflet no 49

Knitting patterns can be sold as a means of income. Knitting pattern collections are sold in books[6] and magazines,[7] but web sites such as Ravelry allow sale of individual knitting patterns.

The earliest known pattern book containing a knitting pattern was published in 1524.[8] The earliest published English knitting pattern appeared in Natura Exenterata: or Nature Unbowelled, which was printed in London in 1655 [9] Jane Gaugain was an early influential author of knitting pattern books in the early 1800s.

Yarn companies give away knitting patterns to promote use of their yarn.[10][11][12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Knitty Standard Book of British Birds". Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Knitting and Crochet Abbreviations". Lion Brand Yarns. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Standards and Guidelines for Crochet and Knitting". Craft Yarn Council. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  4. ^ "How to Read Knitted Lace Charts". For Dummies. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Reading Charts". Vogue Knitting. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Amazon Cool Knitting Books list". Amazon. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Amazon Best Selling Knitting Magazines list". Amazon. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  8. ^ Paludan, Charlotte; De Hemmer Egeberg, Lone; Grandjean, Adam; Gaber Abrahamsen, Martha; Covell, Patricia (1991). 98 mønsterbøger til broderi, knipling og strikning. Copenhague: Danske kunstindustrimuseum. ISBN 978-87-87075-76-3.
  9. ^ Rutt, Richard. A History of Hand Knitting. Batsford Ltd. 1987. ISBN 9780934026352.
  10. ^ "Red Heart Yarn Free Patterns". Yarnspirations. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  11. ^ "DROPS Yarn Free Patterns". Garn Studio. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Plymouth Yarn Free Patterns". Plymouth Yarn. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Lion Brand Yarns Free Patterns". Lion Brand Yarns. Retrieved 10 June 2015.