Knitting Techniques: A little bit about charts

By Megan Goodacre

Knitting Techniques: A little bit about charts

 

The Lundell Pullover is getting very close. I've been wearing it quite a bit, and love how simple it is.

I wanted to talk a little about knitting charts. I frequently get messages from knitters who don't knit from charts, either from preference or they haven't learned yet. But the hard truth is that many patterns provide charts for a stitch pattern and no written equivalent. And the main reason to knit from a chart is that it is a visual, stitch-by-stitch, representation of what you are making.

Personally, I like both. I like the written version when I'm watching television, and have my "visual" brain dedicated to the problems of the rich in Downton Abbey. "Gasp! Mary's virtue has been called into question! Hmm, I really like that dress," while my "linear" brain goes off on its own and obediently tells my fingers, "okay, k2tog, yarn over, then do it again. Knit 5, no, I said 5, not 4. This really would be easier if you turned off the television."

But charts cannot be beat. And here's another hard truth, the simple knit-purl combinations in Lundell are going to be charted and only charted. Geometric knit/purl combinations make much more sense charted; written, you can't visualize things, and it's very easy to get lost. But Don't Panic (and always know where your towel is, that's for you, fellow nerds). The Lundell stitch pattern is simple and geometric, and really makes more sense in a chart. AND, charts are easier for working in the round than back and forth.

Here's a sample chart and how to read it. It has a stitch multiple of 4. The white squares mean knit, the black dots mean purl. This sample is worked in the round.

Sample Knitting ChartRound 1: Read the chart from right to left for all rounds. *Purl 3 stitches, knit 1; repeat from * to the end of round

Round 2: Repeat Round 1.

Round 3: *Knit 1, purl 1, knit 2; repeat from * to the end of round. But that's an awkward way to express it. A better way might be: Knit 1, *purl 1, knit 3; repeat from *, ending last repeat knit 2 instead of knit 3.

Round 4: Repeat Round 3.

Round 5: Knit all stitches.

See? Not too bad right? And it's quite fine to "translate" charts for yourself, writing down each round. And I'm here to help.