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 Lace Forum
 Charts vs. Written Pattern
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jmarcella
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2014 :  10:02:59 AM  Show Profile Send jmarcella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ok so I know there is a significant divide with knitting and how they knit lace; some use charts and other prefer the pattern written out.

Personally, I love charts because I can literally see what I'm knitting and what it is looking like on the shawl, scarf etc.

What does everyone else prefer to knit with? Are there knitters who shy away from charts or are their knitters who use both? Why do you use one over the other?

auntlinda
Chatty Knitter

USA
199 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2014 :  1:29:26 PM  Show Profile Send auntlinda a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I originally used the written instructions.

Then I used both written instructions and a chart - until my brain could wrap itself around the symbols and I could remember what they meant.

Now I just use charts.

~Linda
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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2074 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2014 :  04:46:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How do.

Put me in the row with Linda - sometimes I find myself wanting to use the written words & when that happens, I know I am tired, distracted & the possibility of more distraction, i.e. maybe not the best time for lace ^ .. ^

Joann, lovely question & thread. I love to learn from what others do & how they do it.

Martha

http://marfasmewsings.blogspot.com
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yarnlover
Permanent Resident

1753 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2014 :  09:09:35 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For me, it depends on the pattern. Easy repetitions and short pattern repeats are easy to memorize, and sometimes I like the written directions since I don't have to refer to the details as much. A quick glance will restore my memory.

But for more complicated patterns, I use a chart because I find it easier to keep my place. If I make a copy of it, I will make my own notes, such as numbering the blank boxes which stand for a knit or purl stitch. I can glance at the last number and know that I need to knit or purl XX stitches.

See My Stuff: Here

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dschmidt
Permanent Resident

4004 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2014 :  09:43:45 AM  Show Profile Send dschmidt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like charts, especially since i started using Knit Companion on my iPad.

Donna in VA

The Honor Roll? It's easier here than in school. Scroll up to "Want to Make Betty Happy?" and be an Honor Roll member.
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socks4all
Permanent Resident

USA
1461 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2014 :  10:22:46 AM  Show Profile Send socks4all a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I prefer charts. I can visualize the repeats and how each row is built on the ones below.
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Bulldog
New Pal

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  12:08:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bulldog's Homepage Send Bulldog a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm a dyed in the wool (forgive the pun) pattern reader. I have a couple of really horrid diseases which have robbed me of my short-term memory. Trying to remember what all those symbols mean (and then repeatedly checking the key to make sure) is time-consuming and frustrating. Besides, I learned how to knit and crochet 54 years ago before charts were readily available, so reading patterns is like second-nature to me.

All indie, all the time.
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sockjoan
Warming Up

Australia
61 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  12:48:18 AM  Show Profile Send sockjoan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Charts, any day! If I come across a pattern I want to use and it only has written instruction, I will chart them. That way I can see what I'm trying to achieve and don't have t be a "blind follower".
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susan@beeberrywoods.com
New Pal

11 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  03:42:13 AM  Show Profile Send susan@beeberrywoods.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Personally, I am a chart knitter. If presented with words, I chart cables and lace. Garment structure I leave alone - although I might create a schematic if none were provided.

I blogged on this last year in a post called "The Language of Knitting" (short link: http://wp.me/p3Gnw9-1S )

Susan Dewey
www.beeberrywoods.com/FiberEtc/
in - Downeast Maine
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kalispack
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  04:31:52 AM  Show Profile Send kalispack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I, too, started out with written patterns. The charts baffled and intimidated me. As I became more experienced with lace, and more experienced reading my own knitting, my "knitting" mind changed. The chart symbols became a more accessible language (symbol system) for what my eyes were interpreting and my fingers were doing. Now I chart everything!

Kali in Vermont
where the cool weather is tantalizing that knitting mind, pushing my fingers to want lovely wools rather than plant fibers (and silk) running through them
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scarfitup
Chatty Knitter

192 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  04:36:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit scarfitup's Homepage Send scarfitup a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't follow either - not sure what that's about! I prefer to use my own imagination in my designs, perhaps starting with a pattern, but when I can no longer follow it, I either do my own thing or sometimes bind off and add freeform crochet to finish. Perhaps these are skills I might want to learn????

Scarf It Up!
http://scarf-it-up.net
http://flickr.com/photos/scarfitup
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KnittingKittens
Chatty Knitter

USA
173 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  04:44:11 AM  Show Profile Send KnittingKittens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Pattern and stitch charts give me a headache! Those symbols never make sense to me and I am constantly checking and re-checking. Ugh!
But when it comes to colorwork I do quite well with charts-lol!
There's more than one way to boil water- whatever works!
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Alvern
New Pal

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  05:00:37 AM  Show Profile Send Alvern a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I prefer to have both the written directions and the graph. That way I can double check a direction if it is a complicated pattern. I usually make a copy of the graph and pencil off each line as I finish it, that way I don't ever get lost.
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emmyc
Chatty Knitter

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  05:23:13 AM  Show Profile Send emmyc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I remember being scared to death of charts. My first couple Irish Knits were written patterns, and I thought that was the only way to go. Then I picked a ridiculously complicated sweater that forced a chart on me. Now I avoid any complex pattern that does not have a chart!

emmyc
winchester ma
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emahar


Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  05:52:57 AM  Show Profile Send emahar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Aging eyes and age-related macular degeneration prevent using charts. That should have been my first clue of my AMD.
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fargoflash
New Pal

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  06:04:26 AM  Show Profile Send fargoflash a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Charts scare me so for now, I follow the written words.
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1844 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  06:17:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't use charts much because I design my own projects a lot. My latest project required drawing the stitches out, though, to really understand what to do (it worked).

I find text instructions to be unwieldy most of the time. After knitting my first sweater, I realized that the reason it took so long to get into sweaters was those mounds of written instructions. A chart may be easier, but somewhere it seems like I'd still have to read some text to decipher it (like when it's important to know that only the RS rows are shown on the chart). So I would be comfortable using some of both, mainly the chart, but then having the text to fall back on when I need it.

But I prefer to knit by ear. Don't you?!

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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Pepper G
New Pal

5 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  07:33:45 AM  Show Profile Send Pepper G a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know how to use charts but I really like written instructions. I've just never been able to get totally comfortable with reading a chart.
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kaydee1944
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  08:09:43 AM  Show Profile Send kaydee1944 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I prefer written. Am senior cit. and have a problem with the charts.
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kbshee
Permanent Resident

USA
4168 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  08:45:28 AM  Show Profile Send kbshee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I much prefer charts. When they are too small, I xerox them and blow them up (in size!).

kim in oregon
http://kbshee.blogspot.com
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KnitLuvr
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  09:16:57 AM  Show Profile Send KnitLuvr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I prefer charts definitely. If it isn't charted, I'll make my own. I can enlarge it if it's too small, add notes, and keep track with a magnetic board or highlighter tape. A chart allows me to see just where I'm at in a pattern since it shows me visually the relationship of the stitches not only to each other but, more importantly, row to row. Also, if I want to change a pattern from working flat to working in the round, a chart is the easiest way to make that change. It may be no more complicated than just eliminating the "plus" stitches."
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