Shaping Staying in Pattern – Fear No More!

If seeing the words, “Shaping Staying in Pattern” in a knitting pattern makes you want to:
a) cry
b) throw up in your mouth a little
c) wad the pattern up on the floor and stamp on it right before you ceremoniously light it on fire

I’ve built a class just for you. It’s called “Shape Up!”

Shaping Staying in Pattern

This class came straight from all of you. By far, the most pattern questions I receive have to do with how to shape a neck, armhole, waist shaping etc, while still STAYING in the stitch pattern!

We’ll start nice and easy, with an exploration on increase and decrease placement, as well as types, in patterns with knits and purls, but then it’s time to kick it up a notch. . .

We’re going to get hands on and work swatches as we bust some shaping myths like the old “eliminate the cable when you don’t have enough stitches to complete it” – boo, which side do you think looks better, the left or the right??

Cable Swatch

When things really get tricky is shaping in lace. Here, it goes beyond visuals, but we have to deal with stitch count and pattern stacking. In lace you have increases and decreases that make up the pattern. When you also have increases and decreases that shape your pattern you have to deal with the stitch count.

When lace keeps the same number of stitches at the start and end of the row, that means every YO is balanced by a decrease. This has to be factored into your shaping.

We are going to work three different lace swatches with three different shaping methods. We are going to use a chart as a tool, your eyes and visual cues, as well as the stupidest verbal tricks you’ll ever come across.

Mesh Lace swatch

Just to end with something a bit fun, we’ll deal with the joys of patterns that involve double increases and decreases.

Double YO lace


Master shaping in pattern and the world is your oyster.

Do you have a class that you’d like to see next season? Leave me a comment.

A slide show of a few patterns that “shape, staying in pattern”


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  • Cheryl Ruiz July 9, 2015   Reply →

    I hope this class comes to Stitches West!! Or maybe becomes a Craftsy Class??

  • Newyorkspinner August 26, 2015   Reply →

    Will this class come to Vogue Knitting Live, or anywhere else in New York . . . or Craftsy???

    • Nelda February 9, 2016   Reply →

      TYVM you’ve solved all my prbemols

  • Andrea Miller August 26, 2015   Reply →

    I vote for this class to be recorded on any “acquirable” platform – Craftsy, Annie’s, Interweave, anything else – for I do not live nearby to any of the teaching venues but I do avidly knit and have had to stumble through some of this technique all on my own. And I KNOW what justice you would do to it, Patty, I will snap it up if it becomes available anywhere on line. (You could always come to Tucson, AZ, but even if so, this is the kind of content I would return to over and over again if I could.)

  • Eve December 27, 2015   Reply →

    Hello Patty,
    I just saw your segment on Knitting Daily. I was wondering about the name of the pattern in the 4th picture from above (the one with the mustard color and the double yarn over and double decreases). Where can I find it?

  • Pingback: Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2016 & TNNA January 23, 2016   Reply →

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