Good pattern instructions

We’ve all been there: what exactly DO those instructions mean? A little carelessness in language goes a long way to making life difficult for the knitter.

Take my latest problem. I’m knitting Liesl and it is, despite the absence of schematics, a well written pattern. BUT….

It is knitted from the top down, a cardigan in one piece. There comes a point, after finishing the yoke, where the sleeves have to be separated from the body to be picked up later.

The row reads like this for the size and version I’m doing:

sk1, k29, sl 36 into scrap yarn, co 12, k55, sl 36 onto scrap yarn, co 12, knit to the end.

Now, after you cast on 12 in the middle of the row – well, at least the way I cast on, you are at the start of those stitches, so the instruction k55 means the 12 just cast on and the next 43. But no, that is not what is meant. You are supposed to knit the 12 you have cast on and THEN the next 55.

It was only an hour of knitting later, that I saw the error of my interpretation. There followed much gnashing of teeth and wailing.

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