Your waist decreasing begins after you have reached 3.75 or 4 ” from the bottom of the sweater (the bottom being the edge resulting from your turned hem, not the provisional cast on edge). The pattern tells you to K2tog and SSK around the dart markers, which should be a distinct color to prevent you from putting decreases where they shouldn’t be. The decrease row is then repeated every 8th row, (while continuing to work the first and last five stitches in garter and slipping the side seam stitch as before.) This means that you work the decrease row and then 7 more rows, decreasing again on row 8. If you aren’t using a row counter, you can count the rows by counting the “V” above the last decrease, the decrease being the slanted stitches.
Even if you have a row counter, it is helpful to double check by counting the rows on your knitting, since we can be known to lose track while watching Weeds on Showtime. The decrease row is repeated “three times more” which means that you will work it a total of four times. Then the fabric is worked evenly until the piece measures 8.75-9.25 inches, depending on your size. By “work even” she means that you will continue to slip the stitch for the side seams and work the first and last five stitches in garter. Basically, you are working the fabric as you have been doing all along, but without decreases. Then you begin the increases. Notice that the increase rows are 10 rows apart while the decrease rows were 8 rows apart. This means that the top half of the sweater will increase more gradually. If this isn’t your body shape, you may want to make adjustments by working more regular stockinette stitch in the middle and then increasing for the chest more frequently than every 10th row.
Ok, back to the increases. Connie has you “M1,” which is described in the glossary as “make one.” With no further explanation, you are left to your own decision making on which make one you will do. I recommend slanting the opposite direction of the decrease below. I worked to the first marker, worked a “make on left” and then worked to the second marker, slipped the marker and worked a “make one right.” This way, the fabric increases out in the direction opposite of how it decreased in. Make sense? If you need a quick tutorial on the different stitches, see KnittingHelp. Next we will switch to smaller needles and start the patterned section…stay tuned!