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AnnaT
10-17-2007, 06:52 AM
I ordered Elsebeth Lavold's 'Viking Patterns for Knitting' and was completely delighted to receive it today. What beautiful patterns! Such an interesting book!

But

all the cable patterns are given in chart form! :shock: Guess I'll be learning to read a chart now.

zkimom
10-17-2007, 07:07 AM
Charts aren't that hard, really. It just takes a little bit to get used to using them.

I never liked using charts but I recently made a shawl using one and now I'm making lace socks and it's not so bad.

Just start knitting and you'll get the hang of it. :thumbsup:

HollyP
10-17-2007, 07:08 AM
You could always translate it out line by line. I hate reading charts too! I have up to this point avoided them. But maybe if I got a book like that I would force myself to learn how to properly read and knit from charts. Good luck! I am sure you can get plenty of help around here!!
Maybe we should have a chart reading KAL.

KnittingNat
10-17-2007, 07:23 AM
I just finished knitting a sweater from a chart (also cables) and it's not so bad, you just need to figure out how each stitch is marked and also i would advise to photocopy the chart, so you can mark on it with a pen or pencil the rows you've already done, because at some point you just go cross-eyed :eyes:! HTH

Silver
10-17-2007, 07:33 AM
There's two types of knitters, those who were forced to use a chart and now love charted patterns, and those who were forced to use a chart and still don't like charted patterns.

I'm the former.

Good luck, hope you're a former too. ;)


Um.. well, I guess there's also the knitters who have yet to be forced to use a chart, but you know... lol

dakatzmeow
10-17-2007, 08:00 AM
i agree with silver on this one. i feared charts mightily, until i found a pattern i knew i simply MUST knit and it had a chart. it's kind of nice to have all those wordy instructions in easy picture format. ;)

Wahlee
10-17-2007, 11:29 AM
Don't fear the chart! I was worried the first time I had to follow one, too (for a lace shawl), but they're dead easy-- as long as you have the key. I made a copy of a chart once (to enlarge it), and forgot to copy the key. Oops.

The hardest thing about them, really, is realizing that they represent the right side of the fabric, so on wrong-side rows the symbols will mean "do the opposite of what you saw on the right-side row," and that you read wrong-side rows from left to right instead of right to left.

Limey
10-17-2007, 03:13 PM
I'm so directionally-challenged I can't find my way out of a one-way street.:??:oo:

I think the last time I attempted a chart, I gave it up as a bad job and turned it into a crossword puzzle.:eyes::zombie:

jeanius80
10-17-2007, 03:25 PM
i keep wanting to learn charts, but my brain wants to read it top to bottom, left to right..... :sigh:

do you think with something simple, like pomatomus socks, that it would make a difference if i did that? what if i did that and knit them toe up? would that make them look 'right' ? ;)

rissa
10-17-2007, 03:45 PM
You can sooo do this! Charts can be intimidating. A couple suggestions:

1) Use a post it note to place directly under the row you are currently working on, thus covering up the parts of the chart you have already done. You'll know exactly where you are.

2) Before diving into it, mark arrows on each line showing the direction you are suppose to go on. Most charts start out right to left, then 2nd line is left to right, 3rd line right to left and so on.

Hope this helps a little, any other suggestions? :thumbsup:

Doublereeder2
10-17-2007, 04:06 PM
Give the charts a try! I found them very scary in the beginning too, but now am much more comfortable with them.

I second the suggestion to put a sticky note either below or above the line you are knitting. I also color code the different stitches with different color highlighters. The colors help really me see the pattern and keep track of where I am.

Lisa_H-Town
10-17-2007, 04:30 PM
I have only started a project w/ a chart... haven't completed one, but found the right to left reading fairly easy to adapt to, because that's same direction we knit... now, some of the other things about it.................. But I truly think it was that particular pattern.

knitgal
10-17-2007, 04:32 PM
I'm not a big fan of charts, but I haven't had that much exposure to them either. I am knitting the reversible cable scarf from Cables Untangled and I just wrote out the chart, but it's a very easy pattern, so I've memorized it. I did have to put little arrows to remind me how to read it though. Good luck and have fun!

AnnaT
10-18-2007, 12:35 AM
I just finished knitting a sweater from a chart (also cables) and it's not so bad, you just need to figure out how each stitch is marked and also i would advise to photocopy the chart, so you can mark on it with a pen or pencil the rows you've already done, because at some point you just go cross-eyed :eyes:! HTH

I like this blog: Redshirt Knitting Blog (http://redshirtknitting.com/). The author talks about enlarging the cable chart and color-coding the right and left cables. It should still be on the front page. I think I'll try to do that too.

The hardest thing about them, really, is realizing that they represent the right side of the fabric, so on wrong-side rows the symbols will mean "do the opposite of what you saw on the right-side row," and that you read wrong-side rows from left to right instead of right to left.

Hmm. I'll have to think about that one!! :chair:


I have only started a project w/ a chart... haven't completed one, but found the right to left reading fairly easy to adapt to, because that's same direction we knit... now, some of the other things about it.................. But I truly think it was that particular pattern.

That's a good point, that it's in the same direction we knit. What is your project, may I ask? (I'm nosy about everyone else's knitting)


I'm not a big fan of charts, but I haven't had that much exposure to them either. I am knitting the reversible cable scarf from Cables Untangled and I just wrote out the chart, but it's a very easy pattern, so I've memorized it. I did have to put little arrows to remind me how to read it though. Good luck and have fun!

I studied the book some last night, and the easier ones could certainly be written out. But some of these charts take up a whole page. Thanks for the good luck wish, and I think I will have fun and be able to do it. I was thinking about designing a scarf with runic letters down the middle and an interesting cable down each side. I already bought 1200 yards of a light worsted wool yarn in a yellow-gold color, (it was on sale at 1 Euro a ball!!) and I might use that. It's kind of a sunflower yellow. I'd like to see your hat when you're finished!

AnnaT
10-18-2007, 12:45 AM
I'm so directionally-challenged I can't find my way out of a one-way street.:??:oo:

I think the last time I attempted a chart, I gave it up as a bad job and turned it into a crossword puzzle.:eyes::zombie:



Limey!! I didn't give you a thanks for this post because it didn't help me! :mrgreen: You should move here! The one-way streets in my town are all...voluntary. :-P

gargoylelib
10-18-2007, 02:55 AM
I love this book! It is the book I learned to read charts
from and I love charts now! I am currently using one of
the charts making some wristwarmers for my mom. I
started off by using the simplest chart in the book...towards
the front there is a very basic figure 8 knot. I just made a
type of swatch piece of that to get the feel of chart reading
without being overwhelmed. It only took that one and I
realized it was actually easier than I originally thought. It
also helps you to realize that the charts actually look like
the cable pattern you are knitting. The dot squares represent
the reverse stockinette background and the blank squares
and diagonal lines are the cable and cable crosses.
Also the rune charts are dead easy. I made a pillow for a
Harry Potter swap, picture is here (http://picasaweb.google.com/libbie.suntioinen/Knits/photo#5112224400058518066), and I can say from
experience that you will figure out the charts from the
rune patterns fairly easily as they are not overly complex
like some of the woven knots. And remember, it's your
book so not like you will get in trouble if you write in
it! Making extra notes helps!! :)
Libbie

AnnaT
10-18-2007, 03:23 AM
I love this book! It is the book I learned to read charts
from and I love charts now! I am currently using one of
the charts making some wristwarmers for my mom. I
started off by using the simplest chart in the book...towards
the front there is a very basic figure 8 knot. I just made a
type of swatch piece of that to get the feel of chart reading
without being overwhelmed. It only took that one and I
realized it was actually easier than I originally thought. It
also helps you to realize that the charts actually look like
the cable pattern you are knitting. The dot squares represent
the reverse stockinette background and the blank squares
and diagonal lines are the cable and cable crosses.
Also the rune charts are dead easy. I made a pillow for a
Harry Potter swap, picture is here (http://picasaweb.google.com/libbie.suntioinen/Knits/photo#5112224400058518066), and I can say from
experience that you will figure out the charts from the
rune patterns fairly easily as they are not overly complex
like some of the woven knots. And remember, it's your
book so not like you will get in trouble if you write in
it! Making extra notes helps!! :)
Libbie


Your pillow is beautiful! How big is one runic square? The runes seem bigger knitted up than I imagined they would from the pictures in the book. I have some more Christmas knitting to do, one more scarf and hopefully a bath set for my mother, and my husband wants a scarf now (even though I know he'll never wear it--he just wants me to make him something :teehee:) but when I finish and I decide what I'm going to design from the book I'll post it here and we can discuss it. I'd like to see your wristwarmers, too.

I'm definitely feeling much less devastated with all this encouragement!!!

Silver
10-18-2007, 12:31 PM
The single most helpful thing that got my brain wrapped around charts in the beginning was to understand that the chart is essentially a picture of the knitted fabric on the right side.

You generally knit from right to left, bottom to top. So reading the chart is just like looking at the finished knitted pattern.

I firmly believe that once you "get" charts, it's very difficult to go back to written patterns because they seem so messy and time consuming to read. Once you understand charts, you can find your spot with just a glance and immediately see what you do next.

I :heart: charts.

gargoylelib
10-18-2007, 01:14 PM
Your pillow is beautiful! How big is one runic square? The runes seem bigger knitted up than I imagined they would from the pictures in the book. I have some more Christmas knitting to do, one more scarf and hopefully a bath set for my mother, and my husband wants a scarf now (even though I know he'll never wear it--he just wants me to make him something :teehee:) but when I finish and I decide what I'm going to design from the book I'll post it here and we can discuss it. I'd like to see your wristwarmers, too.

I'm definitely feeling much less devastated with all this encouragement!!!

I am not sure how big exactly each rune knitted up to but
I used worsted weight yarn and size 5 mm or 5.5 mm
(can't remember exactly) and the total width of the front
of the pillow was just over 40 cm. Anyway, a finer yarn
on smaller needles would of course yield a smaller rune. :)

Definitely just jump in and give it a try....you know you
have plenty of people here on KH to offer support!
Libbie ;)

cspooks
10-19-2007, 02:27 PM
I've had this book for years, and I still haven't made anything out of it. I have no idea why - the cables are really stunning! She does explain how to read the charts. Go for it! Which one are you thinking of doing?

knitncook
10-19-2007, 02:39 PM
They really aren't that difficult. I LOVE her patterns, but her charts and directions leave something to be desired. If you check out my blog (url in my sig) I actually discuss my frustration in trying to figure out her instructions. She does discuss the directions in the front of her book, but if you rely just on the chart and the key (it's in the back of the book) you can get by. What I do is to write out one complete repeat and then knit it. After that I generally just refer to the pattern I've already done if I'm working a section that doesn't have any increases and decreases.

The patterns are very nice, though!

MrsDavis3
10-19-2007, 02:44 PM
I absolutely have to enlarge charts. Then I fold up the row I just did, and knit the row at the bottom of my paper.

sinistral_needler
10-19-2007, 04:07 PM
I don't like charts either. I am trying to make my mom a sweater from a Classic Elite booklet and it has a chart for the cabling. :hair: The directions also say, knit until your piece measures X number of inches long. Not how many rows. Even though your guage is supposed to be correct. I don't like such vague-ness. :whoosh:

LadyB
10-19-2007, 11:23 PM
I was intimidated by charts until I used one. Now I like them as much as, if not more than, written patterns.

I don't like charts either. I am trying to make my mom a sweater from a Classic Elite booklet and it has a chart for the cabling. :hair: The directions also say, knit until your piece measures X number of inches long. Not how many rows. Even though your guage is supposed to be correct. I don't like such vague-ness. :whoosh:

I actually prefer the "knit until your piece measures X" instructions because it's hard to make a mistake. After all, 13" is 13" all the time.;)

AnnaT
10-20-2007, 12:49 AM
I've had this book for years, and I still haven't made anything out of it. I have no idea why - the cables are really stunning! She does explain how to read the charts. Go for it! Which one are you thinking of doing?


Aren't they stunning? I like the double overhand knots on page 70 and 71. I was thinking of making a scarf--something easy that I could practice on.

AnnaT
10-20-2007, 12:55 AM
They really aren't that difficult. I LOVE her patterns, but her charts and directions leave something to be desired. If you check out my blog (url in my sig) I actually discuss my frustration in trying to figure out her instructions. She does discuss the directions in the front of her book, but if you rely just on the chart and the key (it's in the back of the book) you can get by. What I do is to write out one complete repeat and then knit it. After that I generally just refer to the pattern I've already done if I'm working a section that doesn't have any increases and decreases.

The patterns are very nice, though!

I bookmarked your blog to read later! Thank you for the reference!

I am a little worried about her paired increases and decreases. I mean, I just learned to do SSK last week. :oo: I think that once I try it, it won't be that hard. But I am not allowing myself to try anything until I finish my Christmas knitting!!!

gargoylelib
10-20-2007, 01:58 AM
They really aren't that difficult. I LOVE her patterns, but her charts and directions leave something to be desired. If you check out my blog (url in my sig) I actually discuss my frustration in trying to figure out her instructions. She does discuss the directions in the front of her book, but if you rely just on the chart and the key (it's in the back of the book) you can get by. What I do is to write out one complete repeat and then knit it. After that I generally just refer to the pattern I've already done if I'm working a section that doesn't have any increases and decreases.

The patterns are very nice, though!
Just read your comments on your blog about the book patterns and
I am just the opposite. The instructions were clear and
understandable and posed no problem! Isn't it funny how different
people "get" different things? :) I guess that is why we need
forums like this so we can discuss....hehe I actually have to
make notes on cable patterns that say something like C4B or
C4F to say right cross or left cross because that is what makes
more sense to me. Funny! :)
Libbie ;)

Cia
10-20-2007, 03:38 AM
There's two types of knitters, those who were forced to use a chart and now love charted patterns, and those who were forced to use a chart and still don't like charted patterns.

I'm the former.

Good luck, hope you're a former too. ;)


Um.. well, I guess there's also the knitters who have yet to be forced to use a chart, but you know... lol

Don't forget that there's the strange ones that think charts look like math and had a 'love at first sight' experience with charts (people like me for example :teehee:)