Tips and tricks

Search successfullyEnter knitspeak successfullyTag your patternsUse the Description fieldExplore more tips

Search successfully

On each of the pages for browsing on this site – through all the patterns, through all the collections, or through the patterns of a particular collection – a “Search options” box lets narrow your view and find particular patterns or collections. Most of the search options are self-explanatory, but a couple deserve special mention.

When searching by tags:

  • Enter a portion of a tag to see a drop-down list of suggestions; see this news article for examples.
  • Select “any,” “all,” or “none” to indicate whether any tag must match, all tags must match, or no tags may match; see this news article for examples.

When searching by knitspeak snippets:

  • Enter a snippet of literal knitspeak into one of the text entry boxes – for example, “k1 tbl.”
  • Separate snippets within an entry box with a “|” character to indicate that any of those snippets must match – for example, “w&t | turn.”
  • Put a “^” character at the start of an entry box to indicate that its snippet must not match – for example, “^Round.”

See this news article for more examples.

Enter knitspeak successfully

If you’ve tried to create a stitch map, you may have run into some hiccups when entering the knitspeak for the stitch pattern. Here are some tips for keeping those hiccups to a minimum:

  • Read the knitspeak guide. It explains the particular dialect of knitspeak that’s accepted here at – for example, how to specify a row’s repeated portion.

  • Review examples of proper knitspeak. Visit the detail page for any stitch pattern in the collection. Find the “Written instructions” link under the stitch map. Click that link, and you’ll see the knitspeak for that stitch pattern.

    written instructions linkwritten instructions

  • Use the convenience buttons. On the Contribute page, buttons above the “Written instructions” text entry box make it easy to enter “boilerplate” knitspeak. Buttons below the box make it easy to enter the abbreviation for any symbol.

  • Start small. Enter a relatively simple stitch pattern on your first attempt. Gradually enter larger and more complex patterns as you become familiar with our dialect of knitspeak.

  • Use baby steps when entering a “problem” stitch pattern. Enter the instructions for rows 1 and 2, then verify those rows:
    • Click the “Check the knitspeak” button to see if the knitspeak is valid. Fix any problems, then add in rows 3 and 4.
    • Or click the “Go for it!” button to see if the knitspeak is valid, and see a portion of the stitch pattern. Then click “Edit” for a chance to add in rows 3 and 4.
    Continue adding in rows bit by bit, fixing any typos as you go.

Tag your patterns

When you contribute a pattern, give it descriptive tags. Then you’ll be able to search for similar patterns on the Browse page by selecting one or more tags. Examples of good tags include “edging,” “wavy,” and “Estonian.” Not-so-good tags are those that echo the name of a pattern, since the Browse page already lets you search by pattern name.

Use the Description field

A stitch pattern’s Description field is your chance to enter special notes. Say where you found the stitch pattern or its inspiration. Explain unusual stitch maneuvers. Suggest uses for the stitch pattern.

Within a stitch pattern’s description, feel free to use Markdown syntax to create formatted text. If you have JavaScript enabled in your browser, a toolbar of convenience buttons makes this easy. For example, select some text and click the button to make the text bold, or click the button to insert a hyperlink. Click the button to see a preview of your formatted description.

Even if you don’t see a toolbar of convenience buttons, you can use Markdown syntax like the following:

  • Use **two asterisks** to make text bold.
  • Use _a single underscore_ to italicize.
  • Create hyperlinks by surrounding link text with brackets and following the link text with a URL in parenthesis – for example, [stitch maps]( creates the hyperlink stitch maps.

See the Markdown documentation for more options.

Explore more tips

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A fresh take on charts

Stitch maps are a new form of knitting chart that use traditional symbols in a novel way: without a grid.

The symbols within a stitch map clearly show what stitches to work. And – not being confined within grid squares – they also show which stitches of the previous row should be worked.

The end result? Charts with unparalleled fluidity, authenticity, and beauty.