One of the questions we get asked a lot by knitters is how do you knit from and read a chart. Knitting from charts can seem overwhelming at times but I promise it's a way that some knitters find faster and easier to work from. And when you are working with lace and cables for that special Summer Sweater Knit Along project a chart can be super helpful and necessary.
To help answer this question we have the awesome gals from Pom Pom Quarterly here today to share a fun tutorial on How to Read a Chart - The Basics! Pom Pom editor Lydia Gluck has even done up a fun FREE downloadable tutorial in their signature Pom Pom style! I love it!
Their brand new Autumn 2015 - The Wool Issue is live and a stunner! I think it's one of my faves yet! Filled with gorgeous cables, textures, and yummy wool this issue doesn't disappoint!
Now let's get learning about those charts! Read below for the full tutorial!
HOW TO KNIT FROM A CHART - A TUTORIAL
Here at POM POM we publish written instructions alongside our charts, to make sure that everyone is able to read the pattern that they want to make! But it has to be said that we have a real soft spot for charts. Once you ge the hang of them they are a wonderfully simple way to read instructions for your knits!
Not only are they compact but they also give you a good idea of what the finished fabric should look like, and make it easier to check you are on track. We thought it would be handy to include a little "how to" on chart reading for this SSKAL!
Charts are often used for cable and lace designs, as well as for colour work pattern. In our most recent issue, Autumn 2015, we went a little crazy for cables. They are just so satisfying! We have several sweater patterns that fit the bill for the transition to cooler weather (especially if you are anywhere near London right now), and involving charts as part of their instructions.
Below we have the tutorial shown in two parts, drawn in our POM POM style by editor Lydia Gluck.
HOW TO READ A CHART - the basics!
When reading a chart for flat knitting (when you knit back and forth in rows) it's important to make sure you are reading each line in the right direction. There are lots of symbols used in charts, and each chart you use should come with a key that tells you how to read all the symbols used in that chart.
Many symbols are commonly used and so you will become familiar with them. If the chart includes both WS and RS rows (as our example does) the symbols will be read differently depending on whether you are working on the WS or the RS, so keep an eye on that too! Remember that a knit stitch in front is a purl stitch behind. Sometimes only RS rows are included in charts, so make sure to check whether yours included both before you begin knitting.
- RS stands for right side and WS stands for wrong side.
WORKING IN THE ROUND
As you can see in the second part of our tutorial, charts work equally well for knits in the round, and because you are working on the RS for every round its' even easier!
Instructions for cables really benefit from the visual aspect of charts, you can see at a glance in which direction the stitches should travel, and if you are working several cables in the same row, you can see how they interact.
REMEMBERING WHERE YOU ARE
Of course one of the main parts of reading a chart (or written instructions for that matter!) is remembering where you are. Our top tip is to use wash tape (Japanese paper tape) to mark the row or round you are working on. It comes in lots of lovely patterns and colour so you can even match it with your project if you want to! (Which you do obviously!)
We hope this helps get you started reading charts if you haven't already!
x Pom Pom
Thanks so much ladies!!! I love the tutorial!!! If you are interested in subscribing to Pom Pom Magazine or looking to just pick up one issue (digital/printed/both) click HERE. You can find all things Pom Pom Magazine below:
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Are you guys crushing on the latest issue of Pom Pom Mag too? Do you have some great chart knitting tips to share?
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