Lion Brand Notebook

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More Tips for Working with Charts

August 9th, 2011

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Now that you’ve gotten comfortable with the basics of reading charts, here are a few more tips to make it even easier:

  • If your chart is fairly simple, put each row of the chart on a separate notecard. You can then move the completed row to the back of the deck, and the next one will be right there ready for you work on. I find this the easiest way to keep track of where I am on a pattern, and it allows me to put a project down without worrying overmuch about whether I’ve tracked my rows properly.
  • For larger or more complicated charts, use pattern magnets to move up the chart as you go. Again, this is a great way to keep track of where you are and where you’ve been.
  • Combine to conquer. Sometimes you’ll have multiple charts to keep track of, with different row counts; try putting them all together in a single chart that will begin and end on the same row (for instance, if you have one pattern with a six-row repeat and another with a four-row repeat, you can combine them into a single 12-row chart). You can do this either by making multiple copies of your charts and taping them together, or just transposing them onto a separate sheet of graph paper.
  • Spell it out. Even after you’re comfortable working with charts, you may find it useful to either transpose them into written instructions or refer to existing written instructions if the pattern has them. Occasionally, there will be something in a charted instruction that just seems odd. By writing it out (or cross-checking with providing written instructions) you can usually resolve the issue and continue working from the chart.

With these tips in your bag of tricks, you should be ready to tackle even the most complicated lace and cable patterns!

  • Itsbadangel

    My LYS gave me a top ring bound index card book. You can write each line of your pattern on each page, then flip as you go. It stands up too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shellie-Dunn/1829806038 Shellie Dunn

    Absolutely BRILLIANT!!!! I never thought of doing this and I’m working on a fairly complicated aran style hat with 2 styles of cables with post stitches and popcorns. Each pattern section takes 6 rows and 6 index cards are working so very well for me. My DH was amused as I rushed around the house for my abandoned “recipe” cards. And then he was perplexed as I transcribed the symbol patterns, row by row on each blank index card. Now I don’t have to cart around the 8 1/2″ x 11″ printout of this pattern! This is my second hat in this style and it is going to be so much easier! Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU, Laura!

  • http://www.facebook.com/vivette.ashenbrenner Vivette Pullum Ashen-Brenner

    When working a charted pattern, I make a copy of the chart, enlarging if necessary, then I color in the patterns with different colored pencils. Makes is much easier not to make mistakes.

  • Anita Rolon

    for years I have made afghans for the cancer hospital.  I am now rather tired of the usual patterns and since we make for the childrens ward I found 2-3 patterns that were graphed with animals in the center….I find I love doing these and making some part of each animal a bit different for the kids to play with.  My problem is not many patterns exist so I am trying to graph stuff from kids color books not too good at that but would love to have some help.  so far I did a whale, rabbit, garaff, dog that is where I started adding something I made the ear of Clifford out of fur  yarn and attached it on top of the afghan.  At the moment I am doing a robot  and using pompoms for the control panel.  If anyone can help guide me I would sure love it.
    Anita.Rolon@sbcglobal.net

  • Sharon Brown

    When I am working from a chart, I make a copy (usually enlarged) of the chart and as I finish each row I use a highlighter to color that row.  It is so much easier to follow especially on the filet crochet charts.

  • Laura Oak Harbor

    I have started taking sections of the large charts and just making motifs to sew on plain clothing.  This gives me some nicer outfits that suit my personality and keeps me busy too.  Looking at the charts helps me see the finished project without having to make the whole piece first. 

  • Laura Oak Harbor

    I have started taking sections of the large charts and just making motifs to sew on plain clothing.  This gives me some nicer outfits that suit my personality and keeps me busy too.  Looking at the charts helps me see the finished project without having to make the whole piece first. 

  • Eileenkeane65

    Where do I find the pattern for this hat and sweater?   Please and Thank you.

    Eileen

    • Zontee

      Hi Eileen, it’s the Inisturk Sweater & Tam on LionBrand.com. Just go to the website and type “Inishturk” into the search box.

  • Anonymous

    I recently got a pattern for a sweater using a chart.  I’ve reached a row where directions are no longer given for a few stitches.  Am I supposed to bind of at those points or is it just showing that the stitches have been decreased and will no longer be there to knit?  Forgive me if my question is a little confusing.

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