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 Charts vs. Written Pattern
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carol@cfmdesigns.net
New Pal

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  09:49:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit carol@cfmdesigns.net's Homepage Send carol@cfmdesigns.net a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Both. Chart to simplify knitting, words to explain the chart if I get stuck.

CFM Designs
"It's All About the Pretty"
http://cfmdesigns.net
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
543 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  09:53:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I began with written instructions, but now use charts most of the time. I do like it when BOTH charts and written instructions are included with a pattern, because I can check the written instructions if I'm not certain about the chart.

It helped me lots when I began to "see" that many of the chart symbols really do look similar to the completed stitch, i.e., K2tog leans to the right, ssk leans to the left, yo looks like a hole, etc. Also, when there is a long segment of plain stitches between chart symbols, I usually go through at the beginning and count the number of stitches, then write (usually with red) that number at the beginning of each of those segments. That way, I don't have to stop and re-count each time I come to that part ... my eyes are not that good!

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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hkpdx
New Pal

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  10:01:17 AM  Show Profile Send hkpdx a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As usual, it depends. I'm still perfecting my ability to read charts, so I like to have the written as a back up. Sometimes the charts are just too small! But I want to be able to use some of the Japanese patterns and they are only in charts!

I often write out what the more complicated symbols mean on the bottom of the chart, especially if they don't recur frequently.
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tempeh
New Pal

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  10:18:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit tempeh's Homepage Send tempeh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My main way of learning or following any instructions is to read. I can follow a chart, but only after I've read through it once, "translating" it into words.
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Daylily
New Pal

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  11:06:49 AM  Show Profile Send Daylily a Private Message  Reply with Quote
2I started with written patterns but know I can use charts if they are not complicated too much. I learned one trick to help me learn to read charts and this is it: If the chart has multiple items like several different elements to make up the pattern, use highlighters to identify each element. I did that on a sweater that didn't get finished for some reason and got frogged.

Daylily, another one tomorrow
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CatherineS
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  12:19:58 PM  Show Profile Send CatherineS a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I learned to knit using written instructions and haven't yet learned to read charts, although I'd like to. Part of my problem is that I tend to start projects that I'm in a hurry to finish, and I'm afraid to try to take the time to learn how to work with a chart. The other part of my problem is that I just can't seem to visualize how the chart works, so I skip those patterns without written instructions. If I worked with a pattern that has both written instructions and a chart, I'd probably be able to see what's going on and learn how to use a chart. But I'd need to take the time to do that....
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Sloknitr
New Pal

USA
49 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  2:49:29 PM  Show Profile Send Sloknitr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I prefer charts, as I find it easier to keep my place. One chart line is often 2 or 3 lines of text. Many of my knitting friends have a problem with the charts, finding it hard to follow or concentrate while looking at a chart. I do use the text on occasion, especially when the text gives a stitch count at the end of a row of increases or decreases. What a help that is! To each her own - we should use whatever is most comfortable for us.
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SusanR
New Pal

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2014 :  6:54:52 PM  Show Profile Send SusanR a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use both depending on the project. For lace, I prefer reading the instructions with the chart as backup. But for stranded knitting, I much prefer using the chart. Like Emmy, charts initially terrified me but over time I have realized that they support my preference for visual learning. I prefer not to rely on learning the symbols for an entire project (too much back and forth with the chart key if there is a large variety of different stitches). Easily memorized repeats - love the chart, if the pattern is more complicated and varies, sole reliance can be slowndown to my progress.
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vismajor
Warming Up

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2014 :  09:06:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit vismajor's Homepage Send vismajor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm going to say, "it depends." Some project just click better for me when they have written instructions, and some work better for me with charts. That being said, I love the idea of the simplicity and visual aspect of charts. Presenting the instructions in chart form appeals to this engineer's brain of mine, as charts seem to be the most efficient way to present the information. Now if I can just get my brain on board with comprehending the charts all the time... ;)

Amy McC.
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Mary Howard
New Pal

28 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2014 :  7:58:33 PM  Show Profile Send Mary Howard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like the visual benefits if charts. Since my eye sight has deteriorated, I use written instructions --even going so francs to translate charts to written instructions which I put on index cards, one round/row per card.
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Jessica-Jean
New Pal

Canada
28 Posts

Posted - 08/30/2014 :  12:20:46 AM  Show Profile Send Jessica-Jean a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I never saw a chart before ... I guess before I got online in the late 90s. However, when my mother asked me to knit her a red cardigan with all kids of cables all over it (ca. 1980), I learned to make my own bleeping charts using graph paper leftover from my school years, coloured pencils, and too many erasers. A dozen different cable patterns with as many different length pattern repeats, different stitch counts, and different rows on which to work the cables! It was a physical impossibility to work more than a row a day! (Yes, of course it would have been easier had I not decided to work both fronts and the back as a single piece up to the armholes. I dislike seams.) I made up my own symbols, and finished the sweater within a reasonable amount of time.

Today, I prefer patterns that have both full text directions and a chart. I like to have the text to fall back on if I'm confused about something, and I love to have the chart, just in case there's an error in the text - something that happens all too often. I'm sure there are erroneous charts out there, but I've yet to run into one. Sadly, text with errors abounds.
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