Can you crack the code?
Discovered in a vintage machine knitting book, this technique is a good example of how things have changed for machine knitters.

Once-upon-a-time it was common to use a variety of abbreviations for knitting instructions. Unfortunately, there was very little standardization and the terms could be quite cryptic.

Here are the original instructions, along with the translations.

Can you crack the code? Challenge yourself to "read" the original and try to decipher what the author had in mind.

When you get stuck with abbreviations when reading vintage books, use the Knit it Now Glossary for help


  1. Cast-on for a basic hem with W.Y. Knit several rows. C.O.L. Thread up carriage with cast-on cord. Knit one row. C.O.R.
  2. Thread up carriage with contrast yarn.
  3. Knit 11 rows M.T.-2. Con. Y. C.O.L.
  4. Take out Con.Y. and thread up M.Y. Knit 1 row M.T.-1. C.O.R. Place a basic simple lace card
    in the pattern card feeder.
  5. With M.Y. knit 12 rows M.T. -1 in the lace pattern.
  6. Turn up the hem


  1. Cast on with waste yarn
  2. Knit several rows
  3. Carriage on the left
  4. Thread up the carriage with ravel cord
  5. Knit 1 row
  6. Carriage on the right
  7. Thread up the carriage with contrast yarn
  8. MAIN TENSION MINUS 2 Knit 11 rows
  9. Carriage on the left
  1. Thread up main yarn
  2. MAIN TENSION MINUS 1. Knit 1 row right
  3. Carriage on the right
  4. basic simple lace card
  5. With main yarn, MAIN TENSION MINUS 1, knit 12 rows in lace
  6. Hang the hem by re-hanging the first row of main yarn
  7. Knit 1 row at a LOOSE TENSION (10+)
  8. At MAIN TENSION, continue knitting garment
NOTE: Lace knits wider than stockinette. Consider casting on fewer stitches for the hem (approx 10%), then INCREASE before continuing your garment piece
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Kristy M
 Feb 12, 2023
Con.Y.= Contrast yarn M.Y= main yarn