This notation consists of parenthesis, brackets, asterisk and numeric values to indicate what is repeated and how many times.
So here goes.
Repeat a Single Stitch for an Entire RowKnit a row of knits: K*
In this example I am using the asterisk to indicate the pattern repeats to the end of the row.
Repeat a Stitch a Specific Number of TimesKnit 4 knit stitches: K4
This one is seen in many patterns.
Repeat a Pattern to the End of a RowKnit a row of 1x1 rib: (K1, P1)* Knit a row of 2x2 rib: (K2 P2)* Knit a row of alternating rib: (K2, P2, K1, P1)*
You may use comma's or spaces to separate individual stitches. Its up to you. I typically use commas so that stitches such as K2tog tbl are clear.
Repeat a Pattern a Specific Number of TimesKnit 4 repeats of 2x2 rib: (K2, P2)4
In this example we want to repeat a 2x2 rib 4 times. The end result is 16 stitches. In standard written notation we have: "knit *K2 P2*; repeat from * to * 4 times". We are starting to see the savings provided by this notation.
Repeat a Pattern within a BorderStockinette within a Garter an YO Border: Row 1: K3, YO, K*, YO, K3; Row 2: K3, YO, P*, YO, K3. In this example we start with 4 border stitches, repeat a single stitch until we get to the last 4 stitches where we can perform the border.
Repeat a Ribbed Pattern within a Garter Border: K3, YO, (K1, P1)*, YO, K3
This example is only slightly more complex than the last. In this case we have 3 border stitches followed by a YO. We then repeat K1, P1 until 3 stitches remain and then finish off the border with a YO, K3. If we were to write this out in standard written directions we would say: "k3, YO *K1, P1*, repeat form * to * until 3 stitches remain, YO, K3"
Now lets get a bit more complicated. We can nest parenthesis and brackets to create smaller repeats within larger repeats.
Nesting Brackets and Parenthesis[(K1, P1)3, PM, (K1, P1)4, PM]*: This example is ** *K1, P1*, repeat from * to * 3 times, PM, ***K1, P1***, repeat from *** to *** 4 times, then repeat from ** to ** to end of row. Ouch!! Writing this sort of repeat out can get very complicated. In this case I use both parenthesis and square brackets for clarity. Mixing parenthesis and brackets is really up to you.
Hopefully this technique will be useful to some of you. I am including this notation in all of my patterns.