What “Work Even” Means And How To Do It

"I want to make a hat from the book Boutique Knits. The pattern says to work stitches as they appear. What does that mean?"

Designers instruct you to "work even" or "work stitches as they appear" when they want you to knit all the knit stitches and purl all the purl stitches along a certain row.

In order to do this, you have to know which are the knit stitches and which are the purl stitches.

Here's a video showing exactly how to recognize knit and purl stitches. I also show you how to see when you guessed wrong, and how to fix it.

What “Work Even” Means And How To Do It

Keep Learning:

If you liked this tutorial about how to "work even", post in the comments!

By Liat Gat - Founder
Liat Gat is the founder and video knitting expert at KnitFreedom.com. She gets great joy out of supporting and encouraging students through instructive videos and blog posts.

Videos from this post:

Recognizing a Knit and Purl Stitch
Free Video
Recognizing a Knit and Purl Stitch
Recognizing a Knit and Purl Stitch

Related Course: Fearless Knitter

Fearless Knitter Cover It's Time to Break Out of Beginner Knitting

Knit-and-purl is fine, but greater things await you! Luckily, it is well within your abilities to improve rapidly and start knitting complicated projects.

Learn to cast on, purl, rib, choose yarn, fix mistakes, read your work, read patterns, increase, decrease, slip stitches, and more in this fundamental course for beginning knitters.

10 thoughts on “What “Work Even” Means And How To Do It”

  1. madeleine dickerson

    Thanks for the video. My additional question is… what if you have several
    yarn overs? On the “work as same ” rows, what do you do about the yarn overs?
    Are they knit, purl, or ???? thanks.

    1. Hi Madeleine, good question! On the wrong side of lace rows, you would usually purl across, including purling the yarnovers. Working even is a little different – knitting the knits and purling the purls. I would assume if you’re on the right side of a lace project and it says to work even, you would knit the yarnovers. That would be my guess :)

  2. I came across a pattern where there are increases on row 1. Row 2 is a p2 k1 across to last 2 sts. Instructions for rows 3 and 4 read “work even in pat.” What the heck does that mean? Would it have been clearer to instruct the knitter to (row 3: repeat row 1; row 4: repeat row 2)? Can you offer some insight?

    1. Hi there, thanks for your comment! Working in pattern is exactly what I show here in this video.

      Once you know how to recognize the knit and purl stitches and work in pattern, it is actually simpler and clearer for the knitter following the pattern to read “Work even in pattern” than it is to repeat the rows themselves. I promise.

  3. please answer this question; Working in pattern is when examplek
    3 p1 is pattern. when the inst.say work in pattern for 3 rows ; is that the pattern? its a mittern and im learning to read instrutions. Thanks and as usual your answers and videos always, help.. you know you taught me Magic Loop and i knitted hats and scarfs for my grands this last christmas.
    oh yes the Work Even Video is very clear!! Thank You so much you are the

    1. Hi Gloria, I’m so happy you like my videos and that they are super-clear. I didn’t know that you used my Magic Loop tutorial to make Christmas gifts for your family- that is so great! Did the Work Even video clear up your question, or are you still confused? Let me know – I am here to help. :)

        1. Hi Tonda,
          It’s great to hear from you! Thank you so much for your comment. I love that you are here asking about me. I am here/back! I’ve been working so hard on KnitFreedom, although I’ve been slow to make any grand announcement.
          I did recently publish a new blog post (for the first time in a year and a half!), you can read it here: New Customer Accounts Are Ready!
          You can always get ahold of me by commenting on the blog, emailing me at [email protected], visiting our Facebook page at facebook.com/knitfreedom. I’m here for you! I’ll also start sending out regular emails soon.
          Big hugs and thank you for being such a loyal reader!

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