Chart Read­ing for Lace in the Round

Creative Knitting - - VERDER HAT -

Un­der­stand­ing and fol­low­ing a knit­ting chart can seem like a daunt­ing task when you haven’t tried to work from one be­fore. There are so many boxes, sym­bols and num­bers—how does it all come to­gether and make sense? I used to be re­sis­tant to charts in my knit­ting, too, but with a lit­tle prac­tice it’s now my pre­ferred pat­tern for­mat.

Here are some chart-read­ing ba­sics to help you get started. We’re start­ing with knit­ting in the round, be­cause it’s the eas­i­est chart to fol­low. Soon you’ll be well on your way to knit­ting from any chart you want! Work From the Bot­tom Up The chart will give you the row or round num­bers along the ver­ti­cal edge of the chart. You can see in the chart be­low there’s a “1” in the bot­tom right corner of the chart. This in­di­cates that this is Round 1 of the chart and we should start there. Know Which Di­rec­tion You Need to Read the Chart The num­bers along the ver­ti­cal edge of the chart won’t just tell you what round you are on, they will also tell you which di­rec­tion you need to read when fol­low­ing the chart. When work­ing in the round, as we did for the hat, you will work ev­ery round from right to left, be­cause we are al­ways on the right side of the work. That’s why all the num­bers are at the right edge of the chart. If how­ever, the pat­tern were worked flat (back and forth in rows), then the row num­bers would al­ter­nate be­ing on the right and left edges of the chart.

This is prob­a­bly the most con­fus­ing part of chart knit­ting. Don’t get dis­cour­aged— it’s just like when you first learned to read as a child; it just takes prac­tice! Don’t For­get the Stitch Re­peat On the chart above, you can see a red box that goes around the whole chart. This in­di­cates the six-stitch re­peat. You’ll be re­peat­ing those stitches over and over un­til you get to the end of the round.

Look at this swatch be­low. Round 8 is com­plete so we’re go­ing to start Round 9.

I work the first six stitches by fol­low­ing the chart.

K1, yo, ssk, k1, k2­tog, yo.

Now I’m ready to start the next sixstitch re­peat and knit those same six stitches again.

That’s it! I’ll keep re­peat­ing those six stitches over and over un­til I’m at the end of the round. The Key Is Your Friend The key that is in­cluded with ev­ery chart will tell you what stitch ac­tion you need to per­form. The key will give you the ab­bre­vi­a­tions for the stitches—if you aren’t sure what some­thing is, check the pat­tern ab­bre­vi­a­tions sec­tion to see how to do that par­tic­u­lar ma­neu­ver.

Re­mem­ber, chart read­ing is like any knit­ting tech­nique. It takes a lit­tle bit of prac­tice to get the hang of it. How­ever, once you feel com­fort­able with charts, you’ll never look back.

K1, yo, ssk, k1, k2­tog, yo.

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