What Does “Work Even” Mean?

What Does "Work Even" Mean?

Knitting and crochet patterns often say work even. What does “work even” mean? What about work even in pattern, or continue in pattern?

What Does "Work Even" Mean?

Learn what work even means and why it’s such a useful term to know.  

 

<BRstyle=”clear:both”>

This post contains affiliate links, which may pay me a small income if you buy something. They don’t cost you anything extra.

Work Even Defined

In a knitting or crochet pattern, work even simply means “keep doing whatever you’ve been doing without increasing or decreasing”.

If you’ve been increasing, for example on a top-down hat, stop increasing and continue working on a constant number of stitches.

In this example of a crocheted top-down hat, the first five rounds have been increase rounds, but in Round 6, you stop increasing and start “working even” on 40 half double crochet stitches.

Rnd 5: Ch 1, hdc in same st and in next 2 sts, 2 hdc in next st, [hdc in next 3 sts, 2 hdc in next st] around, join with slip st to top of first hdc—40 hdc.
Rnd 6: Work even.

crocheted circle with increase rounds followed by a non-increase round

An alternative wording to this Round 6 might be:

Rnd 6: Ch 1, hdc in each hdc around, join with slip st to top of first hdc—40 hdc.

If you’ve been decreasing, stop decreasing and continue working on a constant number of stitches. Here’s a knitting example:

Rows 1, 3 and 5 (RS): K1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1—2 sts decreased.
Rows 2, 4 and 6: Purl.
Rows 7-10: Work even.

knitted swatch with a decrease section followed by a non-decreased section

An alternative wording here might be:

Rows 7 and 9: Knit.
Rows 8 and 10: Purl.

OR

Continue working in stockinette stitch without increasing.

Work in Pattern

Whether you’ve been increasing or decreasing, when you begin to work even, continue working in whatever pattern you were doing during the shaping.

    • If you were knitting stockinette stitch, continue knitting stockinette stitch.
    • If you were working double crochet, continue working double crochet.
    • If you were doing a fancy stitch pattern, continue doing that same stitch pattern, adjusting the edge stitches as necessary to maintain the pattern without interruption.

Sometimes patterns will say work even in pattern or continue in pattern. These mean the same thing. If the instructions don’t specify “in pattern”, but simply say “work even”, the “in pattern” is assumed.

Continue in (established) pattern is also used without meaning “work even”. In that case, it means that you should maintain the stitch pattern as established while the shaping takes place.

For example, after describing how to do a decrease, the instructions for the the Right Front armhole shaping on a crocheted sweater might say:

Continuing in pattern, decrease 1 st at armhole edge every row 2 (2, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3, 4) times – 34 (35, 38, 40, 41, 42, 42, 44) sts remain.
Work even until Right Front measures 3½ (4, 4¼, 4¾, 5, 5½, 6, 6½)” [9 (10, 11, 12, 12.5, 14, 15, 16.5) cm] from bottom of armhole, ending with a WS row.

Right Front sweater schematic with straight and decrease sections

After defining the particular stitch pattern used in a sweater, instructions for a sleeve might say:

Cast on 35 (36, 37) sts. Work even in pattern for 2″ [5 cm], ending with a RS row.
Next row (Inc Rnd, RS): K1, m1, work in pattern to 3 sts, m1, k1—2 sts increased.
Continue in pattern for 15 (13, 11) rows.

Repeat these 16 (14, 12) rows 3 (4, 5) more times—43 (46, 49) sts.
Work even until sleeve measures 7.25 (7.75, 8.5)” [18.5 (19.6, 21.5) cm].
Bind off.

sleeve schematic with straight and increase sections

Combined With Shaping

While the examples above show work even used after a shaping section, it can also be used to indicate how often to work shaping.

A crochet pattern might say:

Next Row (Decrease Row:) Ch 1, sc in first st, sc2tog, sc in each st to last 2 sts, sc2tog, sc in last st, turn—2 sts decreased.
Work even 3 rows.
Repeat these 4 rows 5 times.

A knitting pattern might say:

Next Rnd (Increase Rnd:) K1, yo, knit to last st, yo, k1—2 sts increased..
Work even 3 rnds.
Repeat these 4 rnds 5 times.

Work Evenly

Sticklers for grammar (and I am one) might be tempted to write “work evenly”. After all, work is a verb, and evenly is the adverb that would  modify work. Resist that temptation!

Work even is the industry term, or term of art, that we use to mean “keep going without changing stitch count”, while work evenly would mean “keep your stitches the same size”.

Work evenly would always be assumed, don’t you think?

work even definition

Why Do Instructions Use It?

So why do instructions use the term work even, rather than spelling out row-by-row instructions?

The term is a kind of pattern shorthand, in the same way that there are shorthand terms in recipes. The examples above are simple ones, but there are times in more complex patterns where spelling out every row or round would be cumbersome.

If your recipe says “beat eggs”, you understand that means to lightly mix the eggs and eggs yolks together. Unless you are a brand-new cook, you wouldn’t expect the recipe to say “lightly mix eggs and egg yolks together”. If all recipes spelled out instructions that much they would be too long!

In the same way, it can be shorter for pattern designers to write work even than to spell out each row or round.

And now that you know what work even means, you’ll be able to tackle those pattern instructions with confidence!

Want to learn more about knitting and crochet terminology? Check out Knit: Basics & Beyond and Crochet: Basics & Beyond.

 

 

 

River Heights Shawl Crochet Pattern

River Heights Shawl closeup of one end

Crochet the River Heights Shawl to wear now and all summer long! Warm weather calls for a lightweight wrap that will keep the chill off in the air conditioning or on cooler evenings. In this generously sized yet feather-weight shawl, the stitch pattern grows, creating gentle sawtooth edgings on two of the three sides.

River Heights Shawl-wingspan

This post contains affiliate links.

The Yarn

I used Red Heart It’s a Wrap, a fingering weight 50% cotton/50% acrylic yarn. It comes in a single 1100 yd /1006 m cake and you’ll need most of the skein. The color pictured is Comedy, but there are more subtle colorways to choose from, if that’s more your style.

Please note, however, that there is a difference in weight and in length between It’s a Wrap and It’s a Wrap Rainbow. You can use It’s a Wrap Rainbow, but you’ll need to use a larger hook and fewer repeats of the stitch pattern. Your gauge and finished size will be different.

Although the pattern is designed for a color-changing yarn, you can substitute any of a similar fingering-weight yarn for a custom look. Make it with multiple colors, or in a single color. This design can handle it!

The Pattern

River Heights Shawl crochet pattern first page

Intermediate and advanced crocheters will enjoy making this carefree wrap. Beginning crocheters willing to stretch their skills will be happy to see how it takes them to the next level.

It uses only the most basic of crochet stitches: chain, single crochet and double crochet.

Both text and charted instructions guide you on your way. American crochet terminology is used throughout.

Photographer Kellie Nuss did a great job of demonstrating the drape of this shawl and the many ways you can wear it. I can’t wait to wear my River Heights Shawl now that the weather is warm. How about you?

River Heights Shawl closeup of one end
CTA Buy the Pattern

For more crocheted shawls, see the Three Pines Shawl and the Eulerian Triangles Shawl.

Sunset Hill Hat Crochet Pattern

Sunset Hill HatThis post contains affiliate links.

Mini-skeins of yarn in beautiful colors are so hard to resist. Make the most of those gradient mini-skeins with this crocheted hat sized for adult women. Lightweight, soft and warm, the slouchy style is kind to your hair. No hat hair here!

About the Yarn

Cloudborn Fibers Merino Superwash Sock Twist Mini SetUse your favorite mini-skeins, or draw from stash. It’s a perfect stash-buster for those leftover sock yarns. As a bonus, you’ll have a hat to match your socks!

The sample used Cloudborn Fibers Merino Superwash Sock Twist Mini Set in the Blue Jay Colorway. I really love the Amaranthine colorway shown here.

About the Construction

closeup of Sunset Hill Hat fabricDespite its complex look, the fabric is deceptively simple to crochet. There are only two stitch patterns, and you can carry the yarns up the wrong side to minimize weaving in ends. Work the band back and forth in crocheted seed stitch, then overlap the ends. Pick up stitches from the band and work in rounds to the top of the crown.

About the Pattern

Thesample of first page Sunset Hill Hat Sunset Hill Hat crochet pattern includes both text and crochet stitch diagrams. An independent tech editor has checked it for errors, and an enthusiastic team of crocheters have already tested the pattern.

You’ll find explanations of special techniques, and video links to help you learn techniques that may be new to you.

Be sure to share photos of your completed #SunsetHillHat on your favorite social media channels! We want to see what you’ve made!

CTA Buy the Pattern


Front Post & Back Post Double Crochet

Path of hook for front post dc

FPdc and BPdc symbolsWhen a pattern calls for working a front post double crochet or a back post double crochet, what do you do? Working around the post of the stitch can be quite easy, but you have to bend your brain a bit at first to understand the concept. Read the instructions below for how to work front and back post double crochet, then scroll down for a video tutorial.

This post contains affiliate links.

Identify the Posts

Post of stitch circledBefore you can work a post stitch, you need to know what a “post” is. A post is the vertical part of a stitch. Double crochet is a tall-ish stitch, which makes the double crochet post easy to recognize.

For both front post and back post double crochet, use a chain-2 turning chain at the beginning of a row and a half double crochet in the last stitch of the row.

Front Post Double Crochet

Path of hook for front post dcTo work a front post double crochet (FPdc or fpdc), yarn over, insert the hook from front to back to front around the post of the stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, then (yarn over and pull through 2 loops) twice.

FPdc is simply a double crochet worked by inserting your hook around the post from front to back to front, rather than into the top two loops of a stitch as you normally would.

A front post stitch sits up in front of the fabric, creating a raised stitch that “pops” toward you.

Back Post Double Crochet

Path of hook for back post dcTo work a back post double crochet (BPdc or bpdc), yarn over, insert the hook from back to front to back around the post of the stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, then (yarn over and pull through 2 loops) twice.

BPdc is simply a double crochet worked by inserting your hook around the post from back to front to back, rather than into the top two loops of a stitch as you normally would.

A back post stitch recedes behind the fabric, creating a stitch that hides behind the others, away from you. Keep this in mind, because when you turn the work, that back post double crochet that was hiding on the first row is now sitting up in front of the fabric and appears as a front post stitch.

Double Crochet Rib

Double Crochet RibTo make double crochet rib, work one front post double crochet and one back post double crochet, alternating across the row. On the following row, work front post double crochet around the front post stitches and back post double crochet around the back post stitches. After a few rows, you’ll see a vertically-textured pattern appear.

Check out the video to see these stitches in action.

Crochet Answer Book 2nd edition
The Crochet Answer Book

For answers to all your crochet questions, read The Crochet Answer Book. For more online resources, check out Crochet: Basics & Beyond.


Crochet Pattern: Tower Stitch Granny Square

Tower Stitch Granny SquareHere’s a new take on the classic granny square. Use it wherever you would use a regular granny square.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

The pattern is written for four colors (A, B, C & D), but use as many colors as you like. I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice for this square. It’s a great way to use up small amounts of yarn!

If you’ve never crocheted a Tower Stitch before, check out this blog post or watch the video.

Tower Stitch Granny Square

Tower Stitch Granny Square chart

Abbreviations & Special Stitches

Ch: chain

Dc: double crochet

Edc (extended double crochet): Yarn over, insert hook into next stitch, yarn over hook and pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through 1 loop on hook, (yarn over, pull through 2 loops) 2 times.

Partial Tower St: Complete 1 edc, dc into base of edc as follows:  yarn over, insert hook under both strands at base of edc, yarn over and pull up a loop, (yarn over and pull through 2 loops) 2 times.

Rep: repeat

Rnd(s): round(s)

St(s): stitch(es)

Tower St: Complete 1 edc,  2 dcs in base of previous edc as follows:  *yarn over, insert hook under both strands at base of edc, yarn over hook and pull up a loop, (yarn over and pull through 2 loops) 2 times; rep from * once more.

 Instructions

With A, ch 4, join with slip st to form a ring OR begin with an adjustable ring/Magic Ring..

Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as dc), 11 dc in ring, join with sl st to top of ch-3—12 dc. Fasten off.

Rnd 2: Join B in any space between 2 dcs, ch 3, Tower st in same space, *sk 2 dc, 2 Tower sts in space between next 2 dc; rep from * 2 more times, sk 3 dc, partial Tower st in beginning space, join with sl st to top of ch-3. Fasten off.

Rnd 3: Join C in corner space between 2 Tower sts, ch 3, Tower st in same space, *Tower st in space between next 2 Tower sts, 2 Tower sts in space between next 2 Tower sts; rep from * 2 more times, Tower st in space between next 2 Tower sts, partial Tower st in beginning space, join with slip st to top of ch-3. Fasten off.

Rnd 4: Join A in corner space between 2 Tower sts, ch 3, Tower st in same space, *(Tower st in space between next 2 Tower sts) 2 times, 2 Tower sts in space between next 2 Tower sts; rep from * around, ending last rep partial Tower st in beginning space, join with slip st to top of ch-3. Fasten off.

Rnd 5: Join B in corner space between 2 Tower sts, ch 3, Tower st in same sp, *(Tower st in space between next 2 Tower sts) 3 times, 2 Tower sts in space between next 2 Tower sts; rep from * around, ending last rep partial Tower st in beginning space, join with slip st to top of ch-3. Fasten off.

Weave in ends.

What Will You Do Next?

To learn some almost-painless ways to join these squares to make a blanket or other item,  read Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs.

Or work along with me in the Baby Blanket Crochet Along.

There are SO many things you can do with a granny square, and SO many ways to put them together!

Crochet Answer Book 2nd edition
The Crochet Answer Book

For answers to all your crochet questions, read The Crochet Answer Book. For more online resources, check out Crochet: Basics & Beyond.

 

How to Crochet Tower Stitches

First complete Tower Stitch

Tower Stitch Granny Square Tower Stitches are combination of extended double crochet stitches and regular double crochet stitches. Together, they present as a nicely pointed triangle of stitches, as you can see on this Tower Stitch Granny Square. I’ll show you how to crochet tower stitches on a swatch and give you a couple of ideas of how to use them.

I’m using American crochet terminology throughout. Follow the step-by-step instructions here, or scroll on down to the video.

This post contains affiliate links.

Tower Stitch Swatch Stitch Diagram

How to Crochet Tower Stitches

Single crochet rowBegin with a row of single crochet stitches with a multiple of 3 stitches + 2.

Location of first stitchStep 1. Chain 3 (counts as dc), skip 1 stitch, work an extended dc into the next stitch.

Extended double crochet, pulling through 1 loopExtended dc (Edc) : Yarn over, insert hook into stitch indicated, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through one loop (this creates a chain at the base of the stitch), [yarn over and pull through 2 loops] two times. 
Extended double crochet with arrow showing location of hook

Step 2. Double crochet into chain at base of extended double crochet, as follows:

Inserting hook into chain at base of EdcYarn over, insert hook straight through the chain from front to back (you’ll be inserting the hook under two loops), yarn over and pull up a loop, [yarn over and pull through 2 loops] two times.

First complete Tower StitchStep 3. Double crochet into same chain at the base of the extended double crochet.

Continue to follow the chart or watch the video to complete your swatch.

Designing with Tower Stitches

Tower Stitches can be used in crochet blankets, scarves, and even granny squares—just about anywhere!

Chemo Caps & Wraps cover imageYou can see Tower Stitches used in the Summer Sorbet Cap and Wrap on the cover of Chemo Caps & Wraps.

Mod Retro Afghan from "Unexpected Afghans"
(c)Joe Hancock

I used the Tower Stitch in my Mod Retro Afghan which appears in Unexpected Afghans: Innovative Crochet Designs with Traditional Techniques.

Now that you know how to crochet them, where will you use Tower Stitches?

Want to learn more interesting stitches? Take my in-person class “(You Want Me to) Put My Hook WHERE?”

Check out my Workshop Schedule for where I’ll be teaching next.