Working from charts

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 Working from Charts Pt.1

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Part 1 : The basics

Learning to work from charts is a great skill to take your knitting to the next level, many of the more complex patterns (and increasingly patterns in books and magazines) are available charted only, for a variety of reasons.

First off is that it allows the user to have a visual representation of the item they are creating and it’s therefore easier to spot mistakes as you knit.

Another reason is space, and that is why magazines, where page space is at a premium, use charts for almost anything.

To some this may sound like a scary new invention, but most colorwork traditionally has been charted, many cabled designs as well; and all the old German lace patterns are charts only.
When you start out having knit from long strings of syntax, charts might seem daunting, but with a little practice working from a chart which is a visual representation of your work, will become second nature and you’ll ask yourself, why you didn’t make the switch earlier.
No different from when you started to learn to read patterns and had to learn that k2tog meant ‘knit 2 stitches together as if they are one stitch’, or yo meant ‘yarn over’ you will soon form the mental link between a symbol that slants to the right and a k2tog or a O and a yarn over! Or a block of yellow with having to knit that stitch in yellow.
So let’s get started with some of the basics. One thing you want to determine when looking at a chart is what type of chart is it? Color work, cable, or lace? Or a bit of everything?[/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style=”margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; “][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_image type=”none” src=”http://owlcatdesigns.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/color-chart.png” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/x_column][x_column bg_color=”” type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_text class=”left-text “]The colorwork charts are super easy, each block is a stitch, and you work the stitch in the color shown, so we won’t go into too much detail on those at this point.
In this example you would have 4 stitches, and row 1 is worked knit 2 in brown, and then knit 2 in white.

[/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_image type=”none” src=”” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/x_column][x_column bg_color=”” type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_text class=”left-text “][/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_text]What we will look at first in our series of tutorials here are simple lace charts. Keep in mind, some of the basic formulas apply to all charted knitting patterns.
The first thing you always want to do is determine if the chart shows RS only, or if it has both RS and WS rows on it.

Often the accompanying text will clue you in on this.
Another indicator is to look for the row (or round) numbers:
If they are on the right side only, your chart is only showing you right side rows.
If they are on both sides, alternating like int he bottom example, the chart shows you both RS and WS rows.
(Note: Large charts sometimes have numbers on both sides to make it easier to read, but they would be on the same row)
[/x_text][/x_column][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_image type=”none” src=”http://owlcatdesigns.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/chart-combined.png” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style=”margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; “][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_text class=”left-text “]The RS only or both sides is very important for how you read the chart!
Since charts are a visual representation of your knitting as seen from the right side, they are read in the direction you knit,
i.e. from right to left on RS rows, and left to right on WS rows.
The first few charts we will look at, are going to only represent the RS of your work, all WS rows in our example are worked across in stockinette stitch (i.e. purled across on the WS)
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Our first chart shows some rows of yo and k2tog combinations.

First we determine what rows the chart shows:
The row numbers are on the RS only, and notice how there are only odd numbers of rows? That is another good clue that your chart is skipping every other row, namely the wrong side rows!

And there normally is a key to let you know what stitches are used in the chart: For this first chart you would need to know only 3 symbols to be able to read the chart successfully:

  • the white box is a knit stitch,
  • the O is a yarn over
  • and the / is a k2tog.

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Visual representation

First I want you to have a good look at your stitches, I am sure you already know that knitted stitches look a little like a V and purled stitches form a bump. But see in the examples below how some of the stitches slant to one side or the other?[/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style=”margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; “][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_image type=”none” src=”http://owlcatdesigns.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/IMG_0012.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/x_column][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_image type=”none” src=”http://owlcatdesigns.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/purl.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style=”margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; “][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_image type=”none” src=”http://owlcatdesigns.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/IMG_0008.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/x_column][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_image type=”none” src=”http://owlcatdesigns.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/IMG_0014.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/x_column][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_image type=”none” src=”http://owlcatdesigns.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/IMG_0011-1.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style=”margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; “][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_text class=”center-text “]Click here for Part 2 of our Chart tutorial series[/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section]

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