View Full Version : I don't understand stitch pattern charts.
01-28-2011, 12:10 PM
That's all. I just don't get it. I guess I just do better with the written instructions.
01-28-2011, 12:18 PM
I prefer written too - I could understand the symbols, but couldn't follow them in my knitting, and for a long time would avoid a charted pattern. Then I found a few I really really liked, so I translated them into text. Soon it got a little easier to understand the charts. You could try that, though there's quite a few that are given both ways.
01-28-2011, 02:11 PM
That's too bad. I try to chart every pattern I can. Have you read any books that explains how charts work? My favorite is Barbara Walker's Charted Knitting Designs. I think I saw it at Amazon books for less than $20. I agree that some charts are so confusing and hard to read. Those I usually convert to BW"s symbols. The reason I like her system is that her charts of cables look just like the finished product. There are vertical lines below and above the cable so you know where the crossed stitches are coming from and where they are going.
Jan in CA
01-28-2011, 02:15 PM
I'm much slower when I use them, too. I have to keep referring to the symbol guide. :zombie: I prefer written, too. I do have this page bookmarked so maybe it'll help some.
01-28-2011, 04:58 PM
Thank you, I'll look that over.
01-29-2011, 02:39 PM
It is MUCH MUCH easier to read your charts if you color-code the symbols! You will memorize the symbols and their meaning after just a few repeats. I do this color-coding on ALL of my charts...which I prefer hands down over word-for-word instructions!
See below...I color-coded the copy of a recent chart, and also color-coded the symbol KEY, too, and taped the KEY symbols on the sides of the chart. Also, i added some shorthand terms, more meaningful to me, about what the symbol is telling me to do.
Chart knitting goes much quicker than line-by-line, word-for-word knitting. Not that we are in a RACE to finish. That's not the point. But it is quicker.
Also PREPARATION is also a key component to finishing a project sooner than later. By preparing your chart, and preparing your notes, ahead of time...before casting on one stitch...you will have much less time spent with frogging, and tinking, and running around trying to figure out what went wrong. :??
People ask me "how do you get so much done?"...and part of my answer is PREPARATION. Know exactly what you're going to do, and when you're going to do it BEFORE casting on. Solve all mysteries before casting on.
There have been times when I've TANKED a project before casting on due to what I discovered about the pattern. There are just too many pattern/design choices out there to chose from. I don't need a poorly written pattern, full of errors, and mysterious directions. I just tank it and find another design, or work out a PLAN B for the design if I have my heart set on it.
My advice: if a pattern offers a chart, learn to use it.
IMHO, a designer that doesn't produce a chart when she should (or could) is not on her "A Game".
01-29-2011, 02:55 PM
Here isa small partof another chart KEY that I color-coded...and of course, color-coded the chart symbols to match! I would have GONE STARK RAVING MAD if I'd tried to knit from this chart in black-and-white. And also, this sweater would have been IMPOSSIBLE to knit in a line-by-line, word-for-word format. The pattern would have been 50 pages long!
Here's just a small part of the chart:
I wrote the numbers 4, 5, 6 in the symbols myself so that I could easily glance at the chart symbol
and know exactly how many stitches were involved in the cable. This is all about advance preparation. The knitting sailed along, no glitches.
01-29-2011, 09:37 PM
It is MUCH MUCH easier to read your charts if you color-code the symbols!
For some people. Your picture and chart confuse my brain!
01-29-2011, 10:45 PM
For some people. Your picture and chart confuse my brain!
It's still much easier to work the chart IN COLOR than the original black-n-white.
Coloring the symbols makes them stand out.
BTW: the partial KEY and partial CHART that I posted was, by far, the most challenging, crazy, complex charted design I've EVER worked or ever seen. If it weren't for the color-coding I did, I would have gone NUTS. I've never seen so many different symbols in a KEY before.
Maybe my color-coded chart still looks confusing to you because you're not a chart knitter in the first place. If you ever change your mind, or if you ever get your back up against the wall and are forced to either knit by the chart or call it quits, use the color coding to color your chart symbols. I'd be happy to help you on it. With all the help you give people every single day, you deserve some pay back! :wink:
01-29-2011, 11:54 PM
It's the colors that interfere with my interpretation is what I mean. I do knit from charts now, though I still prefer written most of the time. But having the colors would confuse me, I'm able to read the symbols fine.
I've always understood the symbols, I just had a hard time doing my knitting by reading the charts. I was used to reading a pattern from L to R, so it was switching to the R to L reading that messed me up. After translating a few charts to words I got better at it and can use charts now. But I don't like them as much for some knitting as other patterns.
01-30-2011, 10:05 AM
Charts cause a HUGE problem for us left-handed knitters...I don't think many designers appreciate this when they do not also offer written instructions.
If I'm following written instructions, that's fine, my finished item just turns out a mirror image of what a right hander would do. Its more complicated when following charts as I need to work out whether the cables and increases/decreases will go the right way and re-write these before I start.
....don't even get me started on what happens when part of the pattern is written instructions and then refers to a chart!!!!