View Full Version : Hate Charts

06-29-2008, 08:44 PM
Why is it that the patterns I most want to knit, are the ones with charts. I HATE Charts. And I pass on the sweater because of them, because they scare the daylights out of me. am I the only one who feels this way?

06-29-2008, 08:47 PM
No you're not. I don't know if they so much scare me as annoy me. I like the written word and I like to read the directions. I understand how to read a chart, but I always end up writing out the instructions row by row. I hear that your get used to charts though- some people prefer them!

06-29-2008, 09:05 PM
I prefer charts. It takes me a bit longer to get through the first couple of rows until I get used to all the symbols but after that I just have to glance at them as I go through the row and my hands just know what to do. Don't be scared of them! Try a couple of easy ones and see if you can at least get used to them. You may not end up ever liking them, but at least then patterns with charts wouldn't be out of the question. And then there's the option knitgal gave; just convert them to written instructions. Maybe in doing that something will click. Give charts a chance! ;)

06-29-2008, 09:07 PM
It's funny, I sometimes rewrite charts using symbols that make more sense to me than the ones they use. There are some charts that still flip me out and I just move on from them.

However, it was written instructions that were wrong on a pattern that had both a chart and written out that converted me. I kept knitting this lace pattern and it kept coming out with extra stitches. I am a rather distracted knitter so this didn't surprise me that much really. I finally sat down and turned off all distractions and went through the rows that kept messing me up. (umm... they were pretty much right from the very beginning)... finally i looked at the chart and found that two whole columns of stitches were missing. Have been using charts ever since. :shrug:

06-29-2008, 09:17 PM
I don't hate them, but I dislike when a pattern only has charts. I can read them, but can't follow them to knit from. I'm used to reading text patterns which go left to right and can't retrain my brain to translate the symbols and go right to left. Unless I really really want to make a pattern, I just skip it instead of writing it out.

06-29-2008, 09:41 PM
I don't like them much either-but I have managed to use some very simple ones (that also had written instructions) a couple of times.

They confuse me because the symbols change for wrong side rows. I understand why they do, but it gets me every time! Once I get used to a pattern, I get to where I can read my knitting and then the charts make sense. I just wish it would happen before I have to frog the piece several times! :teehee:

06-30-2008, 01:05 AM
There is a sweater that I want to make, and I knew it had charts, but I guess I assumed that it also had written instructions. I bought the yarn before I realized there was charts only. Now I've been trying to find another sweater pattern for that yarn. I don't like to constanly have to look at a pattern. I prefer simple patterns that repeat, so I can remember them, and mindlessly knit while I'm watching TV. With a chart....Am I just lazy? I don't like to think so, but maybe laziness is keeping me back.

06-30-2008, 03:21 AM
If you really like the sweater pattern you can always use the chart
and make your own written instructions. You would learn chart
reading as you write out the directions without the trouble of
trying to knit and learn to read the chart at the same time.
Win-win hehe

Libbie--an avid fan of charts! :)

06-30-2008, 07:23 AM
What really helped me was to use post-it notes to block off which line I'm on. Also those little sticky flags with an arrow to show which direction I'm reading the line from for right and wrong sides. Now, when I knit a pattern with only written instructions, I really wish there were charts too!

06-30-2008, 11:40 AM
I love charts. You don't have to worry about decifier the instructions. If you're supposed to purl a stitch it says that. If you need to knit a stitch then it's says to knit it.

I wouldn't use a chart if it's a difficult pattern, like using a cable or if there are more than one color of yarn things like that. Now that would be difficult to use a chart.

06-30-2008, 11:45 AM
I actually like to knit from charts with the colors. I find it to be a little easier than written directions for color

06-30-2008, 11:49 AM
Having taken up lace knitting this year, I ran into the charts problem. I never had a problem with the few fair isle charts I've done, because they were color blocks; seemed self-explanatory to my brain.

But I began to have problems when I commenced a Print of the Wave stole. See, years ago I used to cross stitch quite a lot - and the symbols I see in most knitting patterns are also used in cross stitch.
So my brain does a double take, and then does one of these: :noway:

I'm slowly working my way into reading patterns, but if I'm honest I am much, much more comfortable with lace patterns that are written out longhand. When reading charts I tend to make many, many more mistakes, and I get frustrated with myself.

A friend said that learning to read knitting charts was a bit like trying to sight read music for the first time. Maybe the mastery of both involves the same area of the brain?

06-30-2008, 12:57 PM
I haven't knitted from one yet. They used to scare me, but then I translated one into rows (k3, *p1, k2* 12 times, blah blah). That was pretty easy! Definitely worth the time for me, because my brain doesn't look at a chart and see knitting, it just sees random shapes and nothingness.

06-30-2008, 01:01 PM
Imy brain doesn't look at a chart and see knitting, it just sees random shapes and nothingness.

Yes! That's the exact same feeling I get, and it scares me away from the project.

06-30-2008, 01:16 PM
I started knitting again about 2-3 yrs ago after not knitting hardly ever for 20+ years. I had never seen a chart before - I don't remember them from the 70's/80's when I was knitting before.

It did take me a while to get used to them. Now it depends on the pattern; sometimes I'm happier with it written out in words, sometimes the chart is easier.

06-30-2008, 01:33 PM
Yeah, they didn't have charts in the 60s and 70s, when I did most of my knitting before. I'm used to reading the text from left to right and understanding what I'm supposed to do with the next st, that my brain doesn't `translate' reading a chart from right to left. Besides, the text tells you k5, yo, skp, yo, k5 etc and you don't have to count the boxs to find out how many you knit.

06-30-2008, 01:37 PM
A while back Dollyce wrote that it helps to write out the instructions, so I'm doing that now on a sweater. I actually bought an Elizabeth Zimmerman knitting journal to use. It's pages are lined, and it has a lot of knitting hints in it.

Charts are just fine for a quick reference, but I'd rather read instructions.

06-30-2008, 05:59 PM
I don't mind charts but I just paid $8.00 for a pattern and the first block of the pattern had just faded out of existence. If the pattern wasn't also written out I would have been lost. You would think that for that kind of money they would have been more careful.

06-30-2008, 07:33 PM
Yes, they scare me, but I really want to master them. So many items I want to make are on charts.

07-02-2008, 01:28 PM
I've just started a baby blanket that uses a chart. I'm actually finding it not as difficult as I thought it would be. I started out life as a cross stitcher though. I think maybe that is helping me a little. It is hard to train the brain to go right to left though. Since we have been reading text from left to right since we first started to read, the brain definitely has to rethink its processes.

07-02-2008, 03:01 PM
My husband told me that the only way to get over this chart fear is to just plunge in and do it. I guess he's right. Maybe I can start with a scarf or a sock pattern, then work my way up to sweaters.

07-02-2008, 03:16 PM
I decided that i must learn how to read charts, so i plunged in and knitted a sweater with lots of cables. I find it much easier to read charts for cables. It only looks scary! After you get used to it, you really just need a glance or you already can memorize the pattern. I even bought a stitchionary that only has charts. I say - plunge in:thumbsup: