Hint for knitting a repeated pattern

Here’s a silly little hint for working with a pattern repeat, such as in lace knitting. I used this tool when I was knitting my Little Leaf Shawlette.

Make a copy of your instructions onto cardstock. Or you can glue your copy onto cardstock. Cut it just outside the edges of the printing. I like to use my paper-cutter, but scissors will also work.

Measure how tall just one line of print is. Mine was 1/4″ tall. Measure how wide your paper is. Mine was 3″ wide.

Now you are going to make a moveable sleeve to fit over your directions. You can make these in any size or shape for different sized pattern directions.

 Using a contrasting color cardstock that is an inch or so wider than your directions (I used a file folder), draw 2 lines that are your measurement apart (for me I did them 1/4″ apart). Then make a mark on the lines that is the length of your paper width measurement (mine was 3″). Center it as best you can by eye on your paper.

Then using a box cutter knife or exacto blade with a straight edge, cut on both the lines, going just beyond the marks you made. Make sure to protect your table with some cardboard underneath first. You don’t want the sleeve to fit to tightly that it won’t slide, or too sloppy and big so that the sleeve doesn’t stay in place, so cut slowly to your measurements.

Now insert your directions in the slots as shown. Move your window opening up or down to the line you are working on.

Also, if your directions are 2 lines long, make the window opening big enough to see two lines at a time. If some of your directions are 2 lines long, and some are one line long, just remember to follow the instructions that pertain to the top-most line.

When I finish knitting for the day I hold my place with a paper clip so that it won’t get moved accidentally.

This little home-made tool is helpful in conjunction with a row counter, as sometimes the directions send you back to repeat the stitches on a former row.

Happy knitting ~ Karen


85 thoughts on “Hint for knitting a repeated pattern

  1. Thanks for the tip. What a beautiful blog! Just told my hooking companions about it last night. I look forward to reading and re-reading your posts. Keeps me sane! : ) I sneak a peek during lunch at work to remind myself that the world beyond my cubicle is indeed lovely.


  2. Great tip! To enhance it, you could highlight (either with a highlighter pen or in your word processor) every other line of instructions. This would be especially helpful with directions that are a couple of lines long. That way you would have another visual aid to help keep the pattern.


  3. Absolutely brilliant . I have been cursing my memory in my present project and have frogged an annoying amount of times Thank you Digiknit


    • my experience with post its has been disappointing, since once you move them a couple times they fall off and leave me stranded! got to watch them as they have a mind of their own! thanks for stopping by and commenting!


  4. What a fine idea – thanks so much! I usually go the extra-strength Post-it route, but at first they are so sticky it takes two hands to move them, then they work perfectly for five moves, then they are not sticky enough to stay on anymore. I will be trying this idea soon!


  5. I print/scan my patterns and use your idea using cardboard wide enough to fit on a letter size page. Have done that about 40 years now. Using a narrower paper seems a great idea too but I have a wide open area where I knit.. I keep my place with a clothes pin on each side


  6. I could KISS you for posting this brilliant yet simple tool! It works soo much better than my bobby pin sliding up and down a piece of paper, it always seems to disappear in my knitting bag. Thank you, thank you!


  7. Thank you so much for this idea! My husband cut my cardboard out yesterday and I’m ready to use it for a crocheted afghan that has six rows of repeats. Great idea!


  8. Very creative problem solver you are. Your tool sounds effective and efficient to make. Also will travel easily. Wonder if the counter could somehow be attached to the strip?


  9. FABULOUS idea! Reminds me of my dad, he can find a way to make most anything more efficient and just with things around the house. Kudos and thanks for sharing it!


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  11. I have an old metal typing stand, originally designed to hold handwritten or shorthand copy upright for typing. It has a plastic bar about 2″ wide with a magnet on one end that lines across the copy, holding it upright and marking the place. The plastic piece has a marked off section similar to the slot cut in the cardboard above. I use it for keeping track of the row I am working on just about any pattern. It can also be used with additional magnets to mark my place on a cross stitch pattern. I am so glad I held onto it when I shut down my home office. It’s a wonderful tool that has been repurposed.


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  13. This is one clever idea. I have been using a magnet board with a long magnet which means moving the magnet for every row. This would work beautifully while working on knitting my patterned cowel. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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  16. This is awesome! I had to use this idea to help my son with his form of dyslexia and never thought to use for my patterns! Thanks for sharing!


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