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Following Parentheses in Written Instructions

One standard way to write out repeats within a row or round of knitting is by using parentheses. For instance:

Row 1: K2, (yo, k2tog, k4) three times, yo, k2tog, k2.

Written out fully the way you would knit it, this row would read as follows:

Row 1: K2, yo, k2tog, k4, yo, k2tog, k4, yo, k2tog, k4, yo, k2tog, k2.

Whenever it says to do something X times, it means work whatever stitches are in the parentheses right before the “X times” that many times before you continue with the rest of the row. The parentheses tell you which part to repeat.

Sometimes, there will be a repeat nested inside of another repeat. In this case, square brackets [ ] may be used for the larger repeat. You still follow the “repeat whatever comes right before” rule described above. If it’s a parenthesis just before “X times,” then repeat what’s inside the parentheses. If it’s a square bracket, repeat what’s inside the square brackets, also working the nested repeat inside parentheses the appropriate number of times. For instance:

Row 1: K6, [(yo, k2tog) two times, k4] two times, k2.

Here you’d be working the square bracket repeat two times, working the parenthesis repeat two times each time you worked the square bracket repeat. Written out fully, it would look like this:

Row 1: K6, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k4, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k4, k2.

It may seem complicated at first, but once you get used to it, it’s a great way to reduce the length of written instructions!