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Inishturk Sweater Knit-Along: Visual Patterns – Charts

February 4th, 2010

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I can remember over 20 years ago when I was in college (and working part-time in a yarn shop!) that some knitting stitch patterns were starting to written in chart form.  I had always knitted cable and lace patterns with instructions that wrote out what to do row by row.  I was used to doing that, but once I learned how to read charts, I found them to actually be much easier to follow.  Quite a few of you have asked for charts for the stitch patterns in the Inishturk sweater pattern since they were not included.  I knew I would like them, too.  So, this week we have charts for the 3 larger cable patterns.

I’ve decided to include a little tutorial about how to read charts for those of you who have never tried them.  So, below is a chart for Cable C:

This chart is a visual of the written instructions for Cable C.  You can see that row numbers 1 and 3 are on the right of the chart and rows 2 and 4 are on the left.  So, for row 1 (the RS) you will work the chart from right to left.  Then, row 2 (WS) is read from left to right.  (For those of you who are working this sweater in the round, you will read every row of the chart from right to left, because you are going in a circle!)

Alright, each square is a stitch and depending whether you are on the right side or wrong side of your piece, will determine how you read the symbols that go with the chart.  The symbols for these charts are can be found here [PDF; must have Adobe Reader (free at adobe.com) to open].

The stitches that are empty are worked as knit stitches on the right side and as purl stitches on the wrong side.  The purl stitches that are indicated by a” - “on the right side are knit on the wrong side.  So, now all you need to match up is the symbols to the cables on the charts.  There are a lot of different variations of 2, 3, and 4 stitch cables in this pattern, so just match them carefully to each other to see which stitches are knit, purled and whether you hold that cable needle to the front or the back.

OK, so here is the chart for Panel A (As always, you can click outlined images, like the ones below, to enlarge):

And…ta-da, the chart for Panel B (Again, click the image to enlarge):

So, for those of you who have been wanting these charts – enjoy!  I always find it always helps to enlarge those charts as you are working them.  For those of you who have never done a chart, give it a try and you may find you like these visual instructions!

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  • Denise from Portland, OR

    Thank you so much for this wonderful explaination of how to make and use charts. It is soooooooo appreciated. Next time I do a cable or a lace project, I will give it a try!

  • Ruby

    Thanks for the charts.

  • Ashlee

    Thank you for the charts! I admit that if I tried to use this before I got to know the project I might have gotten lost…lol. But since I’m 7 times into the set I know the smaller patterns. And compared to my set up, this is going to be way easier. This looks easier to keep track. I might use this from now on!

  • http://www.countryacres.blogspot.com Barbara from Nova Scotia

    Thanks so much for the charts. I was about to give up on this sweater. You saved it from certain UFO status.

  • http://yarnbecomewhatyouare.wordpress.com BWYA

    Very nice of you to make and share the charts. Just finished my 10th round of the pattern, so I’ll probably keep going with my own way, but I am going to put these in a folder for next time. :)

  • Donna

    Thanks for the charts and the lesson on how to read them. I’ve never used them because I didn’t know how to read them. I’m going to definitely give it a try.

  • Kathy Brodie

    Is the third chart acctually the B panel? and not the C cable?

    Heather says: “Hi, Kathy – You are right there is no Panel C – that is Panel B!”

  • Ashlee

    Kathy-I didn’t even look at the names but I notice 2 of them are wrong…at least I think they are.

    Heather-(I hate trying to correct when you seem to be way more in control than I am…lol.) The second chart says Cable A but Cable A is one of the easy ones…did you mean to write Panel A? And the third one says Panel C but there isn’t a Panel C. Is it Panel B?

    Heather says: “Thank you, Kathy – Yes, you are right and we will change that!”

  • Judy in Texas

    Wow, I have way too many vision problems to follow those charts. I have used them on small projects but can’t keep my rows lined up. I was confused to see 6 rows applied to Cable C when there are only 4 rows when written out. I’ll just keep reading my worded pattern.

    Heather says: “Hi, Judy – Thanks for noticing that I mentioned that there was a row 5 and 6 when there are only 4 – and we changed that in the post. As for following charts, I like to use a “sticky note” to work my way up a chart – you can use them again and again and you can write on them as well!”

  • Mary Ann

    I’m almost finished with the 3rd repeat and I am beginning to understand the way the pattern is working. I may give the charts a try because I am a visual learner but these look confusing. Maybe they will be clearer after I try them along with working with the words which I now understand how they work. Seeing your charts along with seeing the stitches on the needles may be key. Thanks for providing them. I really like the pattern and am looking forward to seeing all together but it might take a while.

  • Norma Van Natta

    Judy in Texas, I know what you mean about problems keeping the rows straight. I have found that using different colors for each of the odd-numbered rows (the ones where you are working the pattern) with white rows between (where you are knitting the knits and purling the purls) makes it ever so much easier to keep track of where you are. Also a ruler laid on your paper just above the row you are working on helps too. A second look at the Cable C chart will show you that there are indeed four rows but there are also six stitches in the pattern. As for myself, I am currently working on row 12 of the first 16 row repeat. . .far behind. Also I have some mistakes in my work and I am giving serious thought to ripping back several rows to get things fixed.

  • Donna

    Norma, don’t worry about being far behind the others because there is no right place to be right now. I had a lot done and decided to start again because I had made mistakes and just wasn’t happy with it. I’m finding that the more I knit the more familiar I am with the pattern and the faster it is going. Also, I don’t keep looking back at my mistakes thinking, I wish I had started over. It’s been worth the “rip”…*laughing* Have fun that’s what counts isn’t it?

  • Kristi

    Thanks for the charts. Wow, some of you are crazy fast knitters. I have finished 2 rounds and starting on the 5th row of the third. Hopefully the charts will help. I listed out the original instructions to help read the sequence of “patterns” or “Cables” correctly. I really did want charts for this.

  • Christine-WI

    I am getting ready to start my third repeat on the back (I can only knit for 2 hours, max, in the evening.)
    The charts look really confusing but I’ll look them over to see if I can “get” it.
    I like row by row, with a photo of the finished item to verify what I am doing looks correct.

  • Ashlee

    Thank you Donna #12. Actually…I’m not thanking you yet but I will be after I’m done ripping this out and starting again. I’m in the 7th set and I see at least 4 mistakes that are bothering me and I could go a little bigger. It’s taken me a while to get this far but maybe it will go quicker because I know what I’m doing this time around. And I’ve figured out how to fix the mistakes…lol. I kept talking myself into and out of this huge decision. Your speech about making it perfect finally swayed me…which is good because it’s been driving me insane…lol.

  • http://www.knitchat.com Denise

    yeah charts! I have been waiting! Thanks!

  • Judy in Texas

    Ripping out, “frogging” good name. I feel like I’m jumping back and forth. Too stubborn to just go back to the beginning of the last row of the pattern set before, I have been redoing the last 6 rows for 3 days now. Tonight, I will “ribbit” to the beginning of the 16 rows. I am a little less than 1/2 way through the front. Took a short break and started a sleeve to calm my nerves. Still having fun though!!!! Love this interaction of knitters.

  • Theresa Douglas

    I’ve started with the back, is that right?? I haven’t even gotten though my 1st 16 rows yet! Maybe tonight. This may take me a lot longer than y’all. I think I might need some individual instrucion. I don’t understand why you guys are color coding the cables. I’ve just printed out the charts – I think that might be just a little too much for me at this point, maybe I should stick with my note cards. Anyone in the Dallas area so we can compare notes?

  • sarah

    I charted my pattern up differently. I went to http://www.paperprintout.com and printed out the free 1/2 inch square grid to use as graph paper. The larger squares are easier for me to see.

    Next, I wrote out each odd row of the pattern from start to finish using this abbreviation system: K is knit and P is purl (of course) and for the “slip to cable” I put S in the box and then the number of stitches to slip next to the S. Then… above the “S” I put either a “b” or a “f” to show me if I was to slip to the front or the back of the work. On the stitches to pick up off the cable needle, I put a “c” over the top and then put either P or K depending what you are supposed to do with them. I drew a line where each stitch marker went (between cables etc.) so I can tell if I have goofed up right away. Row 1 looks sort of like this:
    f c c
    KPKPKPKP | K, P2 | S2 | K2, K2, K2 | P2, K | P3, S
    and then it keeps going like that.

    I hope this helps some people. I would take a picture of my charts for everyone to use, but I don’t know how to get them on this page.

    I put my charts into clear plastic sleeves and then use a piece of masking tape to keep track of where I am by moving it along the chart as I knit. The great part about that is if I get interrupted, I quickly put the tape over the square I am at and can jump up to take care of whatever without loosing my place!

    Happy Knitting Everyone!

  • sarah

    Rats, it didn’t come out the way I typed it for this blog. The little “f” is supposed to be above the “S2″. the little “c” is supposed to be above the middle “K2″ and the last little “c” is supposed to be a “b” and above the “S” at the end. I hope this is clear. Sorry about that :)

  • Christine-WI

    Sarah- I wrote my instructions out basically the way you did. Except I didn’t put them on graph paper. Great idea though!

  • Mary Jo

    Sarah, I wrote out my charts just like you. Made the whole process so much easier. I also put my charts in plastic sleeves. I use plastic colorful paperclips to mark my place. I just slide them down to the next row as I completed the WS row.

  • Denise from Portland, OR

    As it turned out, I had written out my instructions the same way that Mary ann(#16) did in the last thread. I wrote each of the rows (including the odd rows)on index cards. I put my instructions into plastic sleeves and then put the sleeves in a notebook (got this idea from BWYA’s Blog). The notebook keeps eveything together – - nothing floating around to get lost. I then made sure my pages were set up so that when my notebook is opened, the Stitch Explaination page was on the left side and the instructions on the right. I had my husband cut me a piece of sheet metal 8 by 10 ( I can’t remember, or find who is was you shared this, but thank you) and put the sheet of metal in the plastic sheet protector behind the Stitch Explaination page and I use a magnet to mark the row I am working on. My index cards are clipped to the top of the notebook on the right side. I use a post-it to keep track of what row I am working over there. This whole system is working out perfect for me. I haven’t lost my place at all, and I have eveything laid out in front of me in the notebook, that keeps all my papers together. After pulling all these great suggestions together, I have a system that hasn’t failed me yet! Thanks to all of you for your wonderful input.

  • Janet H

    I just started my sweater last night. I have choosen to use fishermans in natural. So far so good as I just started the cable pattern. Thanks for all the help everyone has written, they are all very helpful from lifelines to markers to charts, I am going to take everyones advice and see what works for me. Its fun to be knitting with so many people I have sure learned alot from reading all the comments Thanks for the knit along. When I am finished I will need a refresher on how to sew my sweater together, its been so long since I have made a sweater and I am sure it will come back to me with alittle help.

  • sarah

    Thanks for the sheet metal/magnet idea from Denise comment 23. I am going to do that and put it in behind my chart and swap the masking tape out for the magnet. Awesome! I am starting the third pattern repeat today, but knitting in the round so it takes a bit longer. It sure is getting pretty… love the cables and the texture :)

  • Donna

    Sarh and Denise, I have one of those magnet holders, I got it in the cross-stitch section of a craft store. I also have a line magnifier that is magnitized on the ends so I can put in on the line I’m reading. I haven’t needed it for this project since I increased my font, but it works great for the tiny x’s in cross-stitch. I knitted for almost four hours last night…YIPPEE. I deciced when I came home from work yesterday that I was taking time for me and knitting and I finally did it. Almost halfway up the back and it’s beautiful, even if I do say so myself. Have a great weekend everyone. Happy knitting.

  • Denise from Portland, OR

    Donna, Thank you for mentioning the line magnifier!!! I have one of those also and didn’t even give it a thought……just pulled it out of my cross-stitch stuff, but it was too long to work on the 8 1/2 inches page. I’ll have to see if I can find a shorter one. Great idea! Thanks Donna.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judy-Baker/759329373 <fb:name linked="false" useyou="false" uid="759329373">Judy Baker</fb:name>

    I’ve never used charts before. But now that I’ve done three 16-row repeats, I think I will give them a try. I really enjoy reading everyone’s comments and got some good pointers before I started knitting this project. Without you I wouldn’t have known that I needed to do some planning before I dove in. I’m glad I took the time because I’ve never done such a complicated pattern before. I used MS Word to copy and paste the directions together for each RS row, one row to a page, large font.

    As for mistakes, I keep a crochet hook handy to switch stitches from k to p (or vice versa) as I come across them. However, I have a really big blooper near the beginning of one Cable C section that I didn’t notice until I was finished with the lst 16 rows. I decided that I put too much time into it to rip it out. So I’m calling it a “birthmark” and moving on! If we all got together and threw our sweaters in a pile, I would be able to pick mine out easily (unless someone else made the same mistake!).

  • MaryAnn M -Shelton WA

    Judy, (#28), I made a Cable C mistake but also didn’t notice it until the first pattern was completed. It will be on my left hip & is my signature mistake so no one will think this is a factory sweater! Unfortunately, I made another blip during pattern #7 & I did have to rip out about 10 rows – OUCH! But it sounds like I have some company in the do-over boat… I am really enjoying the beauty of this pattern. A co-worker has already said she would pay for the yarn if I would do one for her. I suggested we see after this one is finished – wonder if I will still be as excited if I get into the business???

  • Mary Lee in Illinois

    Judy #28 and Mary Ann M #29 I also made a mistake on the Cable C left side next to the seed stitches. I wonder if it was something with the pattern? I didn’t discover is until I was in the second repeat so it is staying. I had previously ripped out my first sixteen roles when I lost count of my rows and could not get back on track. This is my first knit blog and I have found it very helpful and fun. I would not have attempted such a complex pattern without all the good advice and support. Big thank you to all you knitters participating in this blog. Happy Knitting.

  • Donna

    I have a question. I think I know the answer but want to make sure. When the pattern says end with WS row, does it mean to work the wrong side row? Thanks

    Heather says: “Hi, Donna: Knitters ask that question a lot! When a pattern asks you to end with WS row, it means that you have finished the WS row and are ready for a RS row.”

  • Donna

    Thanks Heather. I would love to get to the neck shaping part today and wanted to make sure what to do.

  • Donna

    I have another question, one which I’m pretty sure of again but just want to confirm. When I bind off the shoulders, do I bind off on the WS? Thanks for putting up with all of my questions. I’ll tell you something, I have an absolutely beautiful sweater happening and can’t wait until it’s finished and I can wear it to work and show it off. Of course it’s going to probably be so hot, I’ll take it off as soon as everybody admires it. We’re having record breaking warm temperatures this winter, which is fine with me. Have a happy Sunday everyone **smile**

  • Denise from Portland, OR

    Thanks for asking that Question, because I’m never sure if I am doing it right or not either. Happy Sunday to you also!

  • Anne

    I have a question about the 22 stitches increased on the last row of ribbing. Do you just knit all the stitches or are you trying to keep the k2 p2 ribbing pattern? I’m trying to catch up… LOL

  • Christine-WI

    Anne- I kept going the in the ribbed pattern.

  • Connie in Texas

    Donna, I don’t think it matters if you bind off on WS or RS. I finished the back last week, woo-hoo!, and instead of binding off I put all the shoulder sts on holders. I plan to try Kitchener st to weave shoulder seams. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll bind off and try some other method. Any suggestions for seaming shoulders would be welcome. Thanks!

    Heather says: “Hi, Donna: You might want to try the 3-needle Bind-off to join your shoulder seams – I love to do this technique! Here is a link to the technique from our “Learning Center”

    http://learntoknit.lionbrand.com/faq/95.html?language=

  • Donna

    Thanks Connie. I’ve watched the video on the kitchener stitch and am not brave enough to try it. I know I’ve learned so much making this sweater but will be happy just to get it together any way I can. I’ll need to make some samples and try the kitchener that way. Who knows by the time I get to the shoulders I may just give it a shot. *smile*

  • Kathy

    To Anne, comment 35. I added my 22 stitches by knitting in the back loop of the second knit stitch of the rib pattern. I split them into 11 and 11 on each side, that way it didn’t interfere with the center “Panel B” pattern. This the first time that I have done such a complicated pattern, I’m loving the challange, but coming up with the uninterupted time to concentrate has been hard.

  • Ashlee

    When I did my increase I went to http://www.thedietdiary.com/knittingfiend/tools/IncreaseEvenlySpace.html which tells you how to evenly increase and I knitted unless it was between 2 purl stitches.

    And I just saw something called a suspended bing off…will that work for this pattern? It’s a way to make sure your bind off isn’t too tight. Because no matter what I do, mine is always too tight. Is there another way to make sure it’s loose?

    Heather says: “Hi, Ashlee: I findthe best way to make sure you don’t have a tight bind-off is to use a needle a couple (or more) sizes larger to bind off. See how that works and just make sure to not pull your stitch after you have bound it off. Hope this helps!”

  • Anne – Palo Alto, CA

    Connie, Donna, I sewed my shoulder seams with the kitchener’s stitch. It’s not difficult at all. Follow along with the video, and you’ll catch on right away.
    http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-tips

  • Anne

    Thanks for the info ladies. Increases done, now to establish the pattern YIKES!

  • Ashlee

    Thank you Heather! I will give that a try first. I didn’t even think of it. But it does make sense.

  • Donna

    I decided that when I get to the shoulder bind off that I’m going to put it on cable holders and either try the kitchener bind off (after trying on a sample first) or three-needle bind off that I was watching a video on. Has anyone ever tried the three-needle bind off? If so, how’s it turn out? Thanks

  • Denise from Portland, OR

    Donna, I’ve done both, but like the three needle bind off best. (Just my 2 cents worth)

  • Donna

    Thanks Denise, I know from watching the videos, 3 needle bind off looks less complicated.

  • Judy Bishop

    three needle bind off is my favorite. The seam looks “seamless!” It just takes a bit to get use to holding 2 needles in one hand.

  • Marie

    I’m just getting to the end of the back and hadn’t given any thought to different methods of bindoff and joining until reading what has been said here. Hmmm. I was going to just bind off and I found a seaming guide in the back of an old book that I have used before. The shoulder seam looks just like another row of knit. But I think I might look into the three needle bind off. Thanks for the tips.

  • Janet H

    I need help! can someone tell me if this is right? I just did my set up row and the K the K and P the P row. Than I did row 1 RS and on the next row WS I K the K and P the P. than I did row 2 of the pattern ect. looked wrong so I ripped it out. I think I am suppose to do Row 1 of pattern than row 2, row 3 ect. of pattern. but on the wrong side rows2-4-6 ect. it say K the K and P the P does that mean just for the 3 stitches between the cable patterns. I hope this makes sence to someone. any advice would be greatly appreciated Thanks

  • Donna

    Janet on wrong side rows knit the knits and purl the purls the whole way across. On the right side do rows 1, 3, 5 etc. (the odd rows, even rows are ws rows) Heather put charts up, don’t know if that will help you or not. I have a pencil and paper that I keep track of which row I’m doing. I mark down the side of the paper; cable, C, panel A, panel B etc….then as I do the rows I mark them. It’s the only way I could keep track since cable c only has 3 rows, panal A 7 and Panel B 15. It was confusing at first but it gets easier, hang in there. And it takes a while for it to look right so give yourself a few rows before you rip out. I hope I just didn’t confuse you more.

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