The Sewing Place

Best Way to work with Charts

b15erk

Best Way to work with Charts
« on: October 05, 2017, 15:38:46 PM »
I found a lovely pattern to knit for my hols (Christmas), but, it's a Drops pattern (not the easiest), and the lace chart is the work of the Devil!  :S  I know it's a free pattern, but that shouldn't mean that pattern quality should be poor.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/169-5-sea-nymph-cardigan

I've spent ages transcribing the pattern into something I can understand, but it isn't ideal. How does everyone else manage?  To add to my woes, the chart is tiny!  No rush for this, I have got other projects on the go, but it's annoying that I can't just dive in and start knitting.

Any hints for knitting  lace patterns? 

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

Efemera

Re: Best Way to work with Charts
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 16:09:12 PM »
I can follow a written pattern but have never tried a chart.. I have had a lace scarf/ shawl pattern and wool for 3 years and have yet to start it!

Ploshkin

Re: Best Way to work with Charts
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 17:06:15 PM »
I did a lace scarf last year - first time knitting from a chart & found it ok apart from having to squint.  (scarf as yet unfinished - I need to graft one end on). If the chart is small can you get it enlarged on a photocopier or photograph it and enlarge it?  It may be useful to use a highlighter too to help you follow it.
Life's too short for ironing.

LeilaMay

Re: Best Way to work with Charts
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 17:47:43 PM »
I don't find DROPS patterns the easiest anyway - but it is lovely :)
I download and then size up the chart section as big as it will go on one piece of paper. Then I print it out - with the key as well. I use a row counter to make sure I don't forget where I am. and I use a strip of cardboard pinned across the patter with paperclips at either end so I can see the correct row I'm meant to be doing.

Like using written instructions, once you get the hang of the pattern it becomes easier. Some folks, who learnt on charts not on written instructions, find the written type dreadful - it's just what you're familiar with.

Keep at it, SLOWLY, and you'll get there

leila
 :wool:
Singers - 28K, 66K, 99K, 201K - all manual. Singers 221K (2 of 'em), 319K and 401G - electric. Bernina 730 Record, Elna Grasshopper, Husqvana 5220, Grain chainstitch toy machine, most of a Guhl & Harbeck chain stitch machine called Lyra. That's all!  :)

Holly Berry

Re: Best Way to work with Charts
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 18:41:43 PM »
I too photocopy and enlarge. I then laminate and make a “bookmark “, also laminated the width of the pattern/row and using  cellotape move it in line with the pattern. The cellotape has to be renewed periodically, but it doesn’t move.

Alternatively I’ve written out long hand, but found the laminated way the easiest, providing of course you can access a laminator.
Procrastination get behind me

Sewbee

Re: Best Way to work with Charts
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2017, 19:37:56 PM »
I crochet and I hate, hate, hate charts!!!!!!!

b15erk

Re: Best Way to work with Charts
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 08:54:19 AM »
Thank you, Thank you girls!  I really thought it was me being thick, that the charts spooked me.

I've read the reviews on this cardi, and they made me feel stupid, as most of them said what an easy knit it was apart from a few mistakes in the pattern!  Now, I'm thinking, where are these mistakes?  I'll be watching for them, but I do wish the writer had been more specific.

Up to now, I've transcribed the pattern in Word, from an enlarged chart.  It took some time, but it may save my eyes later, and the laminator will be called into service (if I can find it :)). 

What was wrong with old fashioned patterns, with straightforward instructions?  Although I shouldn't complain as this is a free pattern.

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

LeilaMay

Re: Best Way to work with Charts
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2017, 08:57:49 AM »
DROPS is not a UK pattern company, and I think charts are more common in Europe - especially for colour-work but now it spills over naturally (for them) into texture patterns as well.

Enjoy
Singers - 28K, 66K, 99K, 201K - all manual. Singers 221K (2 of 'em), 319K and 401G - electric. Bernina 730 Record, Elna Grasshopper, Husqvana 5220, Grain chainstitch toy machine, most of a Guhl & Harbeck chain stitch machine called Lyra. That's all!  :)

Ellabella

Re: Best Way to work with Charts
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, 09:36:54 AM »
Lovely pattern Jessie.

I would copy the chart at 120% if it's really small and then you at least have a chance of seeing it.

On the rare occasions I knit a lace pattern I have to put a marker at the end of each repeat until I've knit enough to work out where I am. I just use slip knot loops of a contest yarn.  Then at least you only need to pull back one pattern repeat if you get lost.

If possible I will only start knitting if I know I have time to knit all the rows of the pattern. If I have to  stop I make a written note of which line I have to restart with.
Desperately trying to alliterate in North Yorkshire

b15erk

Re: Best Way to work with Charts
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2017, 10:06:29 AM »
Great advice EB.  I usually knit with a notebook at the side of me to record rows, but never thought of marking pattern repeats - great idea.

I did try the KnitTink app, but can't come to terms with it.... ><

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

Maximum

Re: Best Way to work with Charts
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2017, 18:28:56 PM »
I often admire Drops patterns but cannot get my head around the charts for knit or crochet. I find normal crochet charts really useful but Drops obviously have another method. I've yet to find a video or tutorial to help either - they no doubt think it's so obvious that no explanation is needed   :S.
Last week I left a Drops pattern with a crochet tutor so maybe she can work it out although at first glance she found it confusing.