I want to take a break today from increases and decreases to show you how to read a knitting chart. Reading knitting charts is so much easier than written directions. I prefer a chart 100 times more than written directions for two reasons. First, I am a visual learner so I find it quite easy to look at my work and then look at the pattern and see if they match. If my work doesn’t look like the pattern then I know I have made an error. Also, I find it cumbersome to try and follow along when there are lengthy written directions. I easily become lost and become frustrated because I spend more time trying to figure out where I am in the pattern than I do knitting. Second, as a lefty I can read the chart left to right and I do not have to change anything!
Did you catch that?? When reading knitting charts, as a lefty you can knit left to right without having to interchange increases or decreases! Whoop! Whoop! Karen does the happy dance!
So, let’s take a look at what that means. Here’s a chart that I made for a shawl. You will see on both the right and left side numbers going up the column. These are your row numbers. Across the top you see the stitch number. This chart is pretty typically of what you see with a pattern with a chart.
Now take a look at the image below.
This is the same chart showing the direction of knitting for right handed knitters. Row 1 will be knit right to left, but then row 2 will be knit left to right.
This image above shows the same chart with direction of knitting for left handed knitters. Row 1 and all odd numbered rows will be knit LEFT to RIGHT and row 2 and all even numbered rows will be knit right to left.
As I mentioned earlier this is awesome because when coming across the increases and decreases all you have to do is make the corresponding stitch match the symbol’s direction. I believe I said in one of my first posts that I think of increases and decreases in terms of which way they are leaning not according to how they are made, which is the name of the stitch.
Reading Knitting Charts-EXCEPTION
Of course an exception exists! It wouldn’t be life without exceptions. Reading charts left to right does not work in one situation: any pattern that has bind off stitches. Those are usually done at the beginning of a row, so you must follow the pattern right to left.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. As always, please leave a comment and let me know what you would like to see for future posts.
PSST! This is a good pattern to try if you want to practice the CCD that I posted last time.
If like the pattern that is pictured at the top of this post you can find it here at my ravelry store. Jeanette