Tip of the week: Working with charts
Nov 16, 2021
There will always be some people who don't enjoy working from charts because of how their brains process instructions but for everyone else they are a useful tool for knitting a pattern or for checking it if you prefer using the written instructions. So it is worth understanding how they work.
A chart is basically a picture of your knitting using coloured blocks or symbols.
Colourwork charts are the simplest version of charts, in terms of seeing the picture. Each square represents a stitch and they are arranged in rows. On right side rows you read the chart from right to left. If you think of all your stitches being on the left needle, you will work along them from right to left. Wrong side rows are read from left to right - you are knitting back the other directions. If you are working in the round all your rows are right side rows, so you always read the chart from right to left on every round.
Lace charts are the ones people usually find harder to get their heads round, but they are still a picture. The symbols are designed to match the stitches they represent. For example, a yarnover is represented by a circle which matches an eyelet. A k2tog decrease slopes to the right and in a chart it is shown by a line leaning the same direction.
The picture below is of the pattern created by the lace chart above. You can hopefully see the same lines of eyelets and the sloped lines of the decreases.
The red box on the chart is the one thing that makes the knitting look different from the chart. The box represents the repeat of the pattern whereas you will see all the repeats in your work. But the chart should at the very least help you to see what shapes your lace should be making.
Why not try working with this chart and pattern - A Bench in the Clearing - or some of my other shawl or accessory patterns, to practice working with charts. There's 15% off all my patterns on Payhip until 24 November with the code SHAWL1511.