View Full Version : Charts--ick!

Lisa R.
06-06-2008, 09:06 AM
Okay, I've avoided charts up to now, even though I've read several tutorials on how to read them. I figured that one day it would be something good to learn, and that I'd enjoy them as much as other people do.

I just finished my first charted project. It was a little frustrating to get started, but flowed okay once I did figure it out. But now, I'm doing a cable chart with four different cable patterns...oh my!!! It takes me forever, because the symbols are so much the same to my mind, and i have to stop, read the legend to figure out which one I'm doing, then find my place on the chart again...oh my! this is just not fun at all.

I'm off to write out the pattern so I can make it flow better!!! I can't take 7 more repeats of this!!!

06-06-2008, 09:14 AM
Some people love charts- but I am with you. I have only worked one charted pattern and it was easy, but I still wrote the whole thing out first. I just cannot get my head around it.
Just write it out and get on with it. Don't feel bad about not liking charts.

06-06-2008, 09:40 AM
Have you tried color coding? I've heard, but haven't tried it yet, that it makes reading charts easier. I've been knitting for 10ish years and have avoided charts up until now. I guess I better get over my fear of charts soon as I just ordered the Great American Aran Afghan pattern

06-07-2008, 09:43 AM
It's funny, I read charts all the time for cross-stitch and thought I would LOVE charts for knitting, but I just can't seem to wrap my brain around them.

06-07-2008, 12:25 PM
I can understand charts, but I can't follow along while I'm knitting. I think it's because I've knit for years and years from text patterns which go left to right, that my brain can't switch over to reading right to left.

Lisa R.
06-09-2008, 11:34 PM
I can understand charts, but I can't follow along while I'm knitting. I think it's because I've knit for years and years from text patterns which go left to right, that my brain can't switch over to reading right to left.

Well, I'm glad I'm in such illustrious company! :)

I finished my "cheating" pattern! It was SO much easier after typing it out in regular K2, P1, C4B style!!

06-10-2008, 09:22 AM
It might also help you to make a photocopy of the chart, but magnified. That helps me when I get lost in a chart that is too small. Just a thought ....

06-10-2008, 09:26 AM
I was going to suggest highlighting the different stitches different colors. I've never actually done this because I can usually figure out, after the first couple of pattern repeats, which stitch is supposed to come next, but it might help.

Anyhow, it looks like you did what you wanted to do, but maybe for next time...

06-11-2008, 11:12 AM
I too am a cross stitcher & dont think anything of those charts but I'm not a fan of the Knitting charts! if it were up to me to write it, I'd write it like the pattern goes - not going by the right/wrong side....
I personally would just write out the pattern but I do like the ideas of color coding - but then you still have to look back at a legend to see what each color stands for....
Its funny how different things work for different people! keeps it interesting!

06-12-2008, 10:31 AM
I'm so relieved to see that others don't like knitting charts either--I thought I was the only one! I think it's the fact that you have to stop and look at each individual box to see what comes next, and it doesn't make things faster or easier for me, it only slows things up. I've only tried looking at a couple of cable charts and I'm totally confused. When I look at crochet charts, it makes much more sense to me and the charts actually help me through text portions of patterns that may be unclear, but I think that's because with crochet patterns, each stitch is represented by a little drawing rather than like knitting, the little box with stuff inside of it. Even when I look at knitting charts, I'm not seeing the pattern in it, but when I look at crochet charts, I can see the pattern from the chart. It's very weird. I wish I could get my head around knitting charts too; I think life would be easier for me. :verysad:

06-12-2008, 11:27 AM
I like charts just fine for color work: they do help you visualize what the knitting is supposed to look like.

Cable charts are not bad either; they're pictorial and once you get the concept of how many stitches to cross for each cable turn, I find them easy.

It's the lace charts that drive me nuts, and not least because different pattern writers use different symbols for ssks, k2togs, skpsso and so forth. (Symbols for knit and yarnover are pretty consistent.) Glancing back and forth from the work to the chart to the symbol key is slow and frustrating and leads to mistakes. I have to keep things under strict control if it's going to work at all. Which means enlarging the chart, keeping it on a magnetic board in front of me, keeping track of repeats and rows with a million markers, throwing in lifelines everywhere.

After a couple of repeats, however, I usually begin to see the logic of the pattern and can continue by reading the knitting instead of checking every stitch on the chart. That's when it becomes fun. Some complex patterns, however, are impossible to internalize, at least for me, and I usually give up in disgust after the third frog.

I wonder whether visually oriented people do better with charts and verbally directed people are more comfortable with written-out instructions.