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.  

 

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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.

 

 

 

How to Become a Crochet Designer

How to Become a Crochet Designer

You enjoy creating new designs instead of relying on other people’s patterns. Your friends want to make the items you’re designing. How do you become a crochet designer?

There’s a lot to learn, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Here are my ten best tips for becoming a crochet designer.

This post contains affiliate links.

Tip #1 Crochet, crochet, crochet

Crochet, crochet, crochet

Crochet a lot. Crochet many different types of things: hats, scarfs, afghans, pillows, amigurumi, shawls and sweaters. Crochet items where gauge matters so that you understand how important gauge is. Crochet sweaters for women, for men, and for children so that you understand ease and fit.

Pay attention to the techniques you use and try to understand the “why” behind what you are doing. You may learn that you don’t enjoy crocheting a specific type of project or with a certain type of yarn. Or you may find new favorites!

The more you crochet and the more varied your projects are, the faster you will learn the designer skills.


Tip #2 Learn from Others

Learn from Others

Study what other crochet designers have done, and see what techniques they use.

As you learn new techniques, make sure you’re learning from reputable sources. Blog posts and videos made years ago may have a lot of views. This makes them show up at the top of a list when you do a search. And they may be at the top of the list because they are useful and answer your questions.

Yet not every post or video you’ll see will be accurate. It may be that things have changed recently and new terminology has come into fashion. There may be more than one “right” way of doing something. The information given may not cover the whole story.

Take time to look at many sources for information. Learning from books, blogs, and videos will increase your knowledge. Books like Design Your Own Crochet Projects by Sara Delaney can speed you on your way.

Take classes to up your skill level. Many in-person classes are on hold right now, but they are an excellent way to build your skills. Bloggers and teachers who teach at national shows such as the CGOA’s Chain Link or Stitches events are a good place to start.

You can see all my available classes here.

And of course, there are thousands of YouTube videos to choose from. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for lots of crochet instruction.


Tip #3 Swatch, swatch, swatch

Swatch, Swatch, Swatch

swatch of crocheted fabric

Swatching is the process of making a small sample of fabric using the yarn, hook, and stitch pattern(s) you’ll use in a project.

Most people think of swatching as a chore they have to do to match a pattern gauge. But swatching is much more than that! It’s a crucial tool for designers.

Swatching allows you to try out ideas before you commit to making an entire project. If you have a problem with the yarn or hook, or don’t like the stitch pattern, it’s better to find that out early on. Why wait until the middle of the project to find out you don’t like it?

Swatching allows you to get a feel for the fabric you are making. You can decide if that fabric behaves the way you want it to for your project. Play with combinations of hook, yarn and stitch pattern to get the exact fabric you want.

Crocheting is forgiving of experimentation, and that’s what swatching is all about. And yes, a good swatch also gives you important information about gauge.

Watch How to Measure Gauge in Single Crochet.


Tip #4 Make Friends with Stitch Dictionaries

Make Friends with Stitch Dictionaries

While we are on the topic of experimenting, grab a stitch dictionary or three and try out different stitch patterns. Add stitch patterns to your design toolbox!

Try out a variety of patterns, hooks, yarns, and projects. This kind of play (it’s called swatching!) allows your creative juices to start flowing.

Here are some great places to start with stitch dictionaries:


Tip #5 Understand the Math

Understand the Math

Designing for crochet is all about math. You are going to be using arithmetic in all your crochet designs, whether you realize it or not.

Knowing how gauge factors into everything is a start, but there is a lot more to know. You will save huge amounts of time, and lots of trial and error, if you take the time to learn the math behind the crochet.

Understanding the math ensures that your projects will turn out to be the size and proportions you intend. Don’t be scared! We are talking 4th-grade level calculations, and calculators are allowed! Learn more in my Math for Crocheters class.


Tip #6 Prepare a Professional Pattern

Prepare a Professional Pattern

Have you ever felt discouraged trying to read a crochet pattern? An incomplete or poorly written pattern can make you throw your hook in the air with frustration!

Crocheters are more likely to trust you and want to make your patterns if they are easy to read and understand. Publishers and editors love designers who can compose well-written patterns.

Save yourself time and effort by coming up with a designing system. Develop your idea, make the project, and write the pattern in one integrated, seamless workflow.

Crochet Pattern Writing Workshop graphic

In my online course Crochet Pattern Writing Workshop, you’ll start to create this type of workflow. You’ll develop a style guide so your patterns are consistently formatted. You’ll learn to write clear instructions. Improve the overall quality of your patterns for a more professional presentation.



Tip #7 Use a Tech Editor

Use a Tech Editor

A technical editor, or tech editor, checks your pattern between when you design it and when you publish it. They ensure that all of your math checks out and that you haven’t left out crucial instructions. A tech editor is a crucial step in presenting accurate, well-written patterns.

For more about tech editors, read Working with a Technical Editor.

Want to hire me as your tech editor? I’d love to help you become a better crochet designer!


Tip #8: Style Your Photos

Style Your Photos

Easy Little Baskets photograph
Easy Little Baskets

Think about how you’ll be taking photos. Don’t just take a picture of your project on the kitchen table with mess in the background. Use natural light whenever possible, and the best camera you have available. (Maybe you need to borrow a family member’s phone!)

Putting other items in the picture with the project to style it makes the photo more interesting and memorable, and encourages people to click on your pattern.

For more on this topic, read Show and Tell: Photographing Handmade Textiles.



Tip #9 Publish Online

Publish Online

Anybody can be a published designer when you publish online!

Put patterns up on your blog or on pattern sites such as Ravelry, Etsy, or AllFreeCrochet.

Many crocheters expect patterns to come as downloadable and printable PDFs, not as pamphlets from their local stores. Make sure that those who find your patterns are able to find you and any other patterns you may have. Include your email address or website on each pattern.


Tip #10 Promote Your Patterns

Promote Your Patterns on Social Media

megaphone graphic

Let your friends and family know about your pattern, and encourage them to share it. Your cousin who doesn’t crochet may have a best friend who is looking for their next pattern.

Use those beautifully-styled photos you took! Broadcast your news on all the channels you can think of: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter. Consider making a promotional video for YouTube or other video platforms. Tell the world about your awesome design!

For more information on promoting your patterns, read my interview with Marie Segares, AKA Underground Crafter, and author of Design It, Promote It, Sell It.

More Resources

There’s so much to learn about becoming a crochet designer! Check out Knit & Crochet Design Resources for some helpful links.

Do you have questions about crochet design? Ask them in the comments below.

Knitting Pattern: Absaroka Poncho

Knit Absaroka Poncho by Edie Eckman

Fall in love with this season-spanning wrap and the yarn it’s made of. The Absaroka Poncho, a knit poncho pattern, is easy enough for advanced beginning knitters. Better yet, when you’re ready to wear it, it can be styled several ways: worn over the shoulder as an asymmetric wrap, draped over the back neck to show off the striking colorwork, or left as a rectangular shawl to be worn over the shoulders.

The Construction

Absaroka Poncho cast-on edge
Knit two rectangular panels from the bottom up, and graft them together at the center. Sew the sides together, or use clasps or screw-in leather closures to create the poncho style.

And don’t stress over the need to graft the pieces together; there’s a video tutorial on How to Graft Knit Garter Stitch, as well as written instructions. Continue reading “Knitting Pattern: Absaroka Poncho”

Books Worth a Look

Most of us begin the new year by looking forward, but I’m starting 2018 by taking a look at two knitting and two crochet books from 2017 which I never got around to reviewing. If by some chance you missed hearing about these, now’s your chance to find a new recommended title. These are keepers.

Stackpole Books, Interweave, and Fallingblox Designs provided copies of these books for my review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. This page may contain affiliate links, which help support me but don’t cost you anything extra.

Mosaic & Lace Knits Barbara Benson

Mosaic & Lace Knits

by Barbara Benson

I’m a huge fan of mosaic knitting. I love color, I love pattern, and I love how slip stitches can make simple knitting into something spectacular. I’m a fan of simple lace, as well. But when I heard about Mosaic & Lace Knits, I thought, “Huh? Can you even do that?” The answer is a resounding YES! Using her innovative techniques, designer Barbara Benson shows us how to meld slip-stitch knitting and simple lace techniques into fascinating accessories.

I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the projects up close, and they are truly eye-catching. I also met Barbara in person last summer, and I think I may have squeed just a little bit over her work.

Who It’s For: Intermediate knitters up for a challenge. Experienced lace knitters and mosaic knitters looking for their next project will be sure to find something here to fascinate.

If you want to try out basic mosaic knitting first, check out my Mosaic Knitting class on Creativebug.

 

Double or Nothing Alasdair Post-Quinn

Double Or Nothing

by Alasdair Post-Quinn

Let’s just get this out of the way: Alasdair Post-Quinn intimidates me a little bit. Not because he’s the least bit scary or mean—he’s a gentle, soft-spoken unassuming guy— but because his mad skills when it comes to double-knitting just blow me away.

In this self-published sequel to his first book, Extreme Double Knitting, Alasdair takes us where no one has gone before, presenting in-depth double-knitting techniques along with colorful patterns that are truly stunning. He provides many step-by-step technique photos, and nice large charts to help you on your way. Running throughout the text are sidebars of Alasdair’s “Craftstory”; his life story (to date) is so interesting and so different from mine that I read it all the way through, flipping from page to page, before I started the knitting portion of the book.

Double or Nothing Waterford CrossingI have seen some of the 14 jaw-droppingly lovely projects in person and all I can say is, if you are a knitter looking for a challenge, Double or Nothing is well worth your time.

Who It’s For: Experienced knitters. As the book’s subtitle says, this is “Reversible Knitting for the Adventurous”.

If you aren’t yet ready for “adventurous” double knitting, check out my Double-Knitting Workshop on Creativebug.

Top-Down Crochet Sweaters

Top-Down Crochet Sweaters

by Dora Ohrenstein

How did I miss bringing this one to your attention when it came out? <head smack>

Dora gives us 14 fashionable and flattering patterns that any crocheter would be proud to wear. Many crocheters shy away from making sweaters, but with top-down sweaters, there’s no need to be afraid. You can simply try on the sweater as you work and make adjustments for fit along the way. You’ll learn about choosing yarn and stitch patterns, what makes a wearable fabric, and how to adjust the patterns for a perfect fit.

Who it’s For: Intermediate and advanced crocheters who want to make attractive, fashionable garments.

Dora also wrote The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop: Essential Techniques for Becoming a More Versatile, Adventurous Crocheter. If that one’s not on your bookshelf, it should be.


Step into Crochet Rohn Strong

Step Into Crochet

by Rohn Strong

Step Into Crochet is the book that everyone has been asking me about, when they ask me to recommend a crocheted sock book. Rohn provides clear and complete information on crocheting socks that fit, the basics of sock construction, and variations on heels, toes and cuffs. Knitters have had this information readily available for years, but until now we’ve been lacking a resource specific to crocheted socks. The eighteen sock patterns can be modified to fit your foot and ankle, and there are plenty of options for colorwork and texture to keep things interesting.

Who It’s For: Beyond-beginner crocheters who want comfortable socks that fit.

 

Sara Delaney Talks DIY Crochet Design + Giveaway

Design Your Own Crochet Projects Sara Delaney

Storey Publishing provided a copy of Design Your Own Crochet Projects for my review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. This page may contain affiliate links, which help support me, but don’t cost you anything extra.

If you’ve been following the blog tour for Design Your Own Crochet Projects, you’ve already heard from others about how Sara Delaney has made crochet design accessible. How she walks you through the process of using gauge swatches and plug-in templates, How she makes it easy to create your own crocheted accessories. How she provides a small stitch dictionary (cheering here!) to get you started.


Design Your Own Crochet Projects worksheetThose things are all great and important, but did you hear about the Online Crochet Project Calculator? Read the book to learn about the design process, and move on over to the calculator, and let it do the math for you. You must check this out!

image (c)JSipe

If you have been designing by the seat of your pants (i.e., try this, rip it out, try something else, rip it out, try another thing, now it’s kind of OK), Design Your Own Crochet Projects is the book you need. It has templates for socks, scarves, cowls, hats, mittens and gloves.

Design Your Own Crochet Projects Sara Delaney back coverI was lucky enough to see an early draft of the book, and was honored to be invited to write a back-cover blurb! I’m excited to see a good crochet design resource hit the market. I’m just sorry I didn’t think of writing it! Sara got to it first, and I’m happy for her.

 

Edie Eckman, Sara Delaney and Judith Durant

In October, I spent a couple of days at the Merritt Bookstore booth at the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck. And guess who was standing next to me all weekend? Designer/Author Sara Delaney! We didn’t have a lot of time to chat, but we did find a few minutes in a semi-quiet corner, where she could explain what makes Design Your Own Crochet Projects awesome. Watch the video for Sara’s low-down on stepping into crochet design.

Want to win a copy for yourself? Leave a comment below telling which part of crochet design you find the most challenging. One comment per person. A winner will be selected at random from the comments on November 20, 2017. U.S. and Canada residents only.

For other crochet design resources, check out this page.

Continue reading “Sara Delaney Talks DIY Crochet Design + Giveaway”

New Design: Three Pines Shawl

This post may contain affiliate links, which provide me with a small income but don’t cost you anything extra.

Three Pines SHawl Crochet

My newest crochet design, the Three Pines Shawl, made its debut at the Shelridge Yarns booth at Rhinebeck. It was a big hit with crocheters looking for an interesting wearable project using beautiful yarn.

Three Pines Shawl Crochet

 

This rectangular crocheted shawl wraps you in jacquard-look coziness. Contrasting colors in a simple four-row repeat make up the eye-catching reversible all-over fabric. The subtly ruffled edging complements the main fabric while adding movement and texture.

The Yarn

Shelridge Yarn Gradients

The shawl is designed for gradient colors of dk-weight yarn set off by a single contrasting color. I used Shelridge Yarns Classic DK, one of my all-time favorites because of the many beautiful colors available. (It’s what I used for all the samples for Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs.

The shThree Pines Shawl Crochet closeupawl has been made up in two different colorways, a green/purple and a grey/red. You can also see it in a coral colorway from test crocheter huntm on Ravelry. You can buy a kit for the yarn AND the pattern from Shelridge Yarn here.

It would also work with a color-changing yarn with long repeats paired with a contrasting solid.

The Pattern

Three Pines Shawl Crochet closeupYou may be surprised by instructions that tell you not to turn at the end of some rows, but never fear! These instructions minimize the number of ends you’ll need to weave in. I’m looking out for you! Once you get the hang of the stitch pattern it’s easily memorized.

As with almost all my crochet patterns, I provide both text and charts to make the instructions as clear as possible. The pattern has been professionally tech edited and tested by seven different crocheters, so any bugs should be gone.

Won’t you make one and share a photo on Facebook or Instagram? #threepinesshawl


Three Pines: The Name

Three Pines Shawl crochet photo shoot

A few people have already asked if I’m a Louise Penny fan, because of the name of the shawl. Yes, I’ll admit that I “discovered” Inspector Armand Gamache as I was finishing the first shawl, and I was inspired to name it after the fictional Canadian village. Plus, I was using Canadian yarn, so it seemed right. If you are a fan of mysteries and haven’t yet discovered Louise Penny, check out her books below.

And just for fun, here’s a totally unglam picture of me taking a picture of the shawl, on a pine-wooded hill in Virginia.