I need to do another post about my charting perspective. I know I sit [slightly] outside of the mainstream, but from my perspective my thinking is perfectly normal and it doesn’t occur to me that it is not what everyone else is thinking. I was more than a little taken aback this week to find out that something I had been doing for years was wrong! It turns out that my shaping charting perspective is wrong–or to my way of thinking, just not standard.
The top chart shown is a “standard” chart and the chart below is an Action Chart. Both are the same stitch pattern, and I have aligned the pattern repeat so it stacks.
The standard chart definitely looks more like what the fabric is going to look–I do not deny that. Action Charts tell you what to do from the perspective of where you are in your knitting (right or wrong side).
My Charting Perspective: Action Charts
After struggling for years to make sense of standard charting, I decided to create Action Charts and let the world catch up to me. Honestly, it is like a type of dyslexia that I know I’m not alone in having. I have been quite heartened by comments I get from knitters in my Craftsy class and others who use my charts who say that they love them! I am sure there are others who don’t and I’ve had at least one refusal to review a pattern collection of mine because of the charting system I use. I know I can’t make everyone else happy and be happy myself. I’m actually very proud of the charts I make. Action charts are WYSIWYG or WYSIWYD (what you see is what you do) because that is the only charting perspective that makes sense to me.
My Charting Perspective: Shaping Charts
So I get a note from my new Tech Editor saying my use of decrease symbols that go over two (or more) squares is wrong. I think the TE must be nuts, and I stew about it for a while, then I ask JC Briar (Charts Made Simple). It turns out that it is me who is incorrect.
While I understand the logic of why to do it the “standard way”, it makes no sense to me. The standard is that the chart reflects what you end up with on your right needle. To me this charting perspective means that the row you are looking at represents the future and I want to see what to do. My charting perspective is that if you are looking at doing a k2tog, you need 2 stitches which is two squares. Then my next row shows the resulting smaller number of stitches in the row.
If I am increasing, I put in the extra squares in the row where they are made because that correlates to what I need to do in that row. I see that this fits into the standard approach, because those stitches don’t exist on the left needle. My charting perspective is WYSIWYD (what you see is what you do) which means I don’t have to think about what is happening in the future, I am just dealing with the now. So, if I am doing a decrease matched with a YO, then that k2tog symbol takes one square because one of those stitches is replaced by the YO in that row.
My Charting Perspective When Knitting
I do have troubles with future/present thinking in terms of my knitting/charting perspective. That’s why I want charts that just tell me what to do. I love to knit, but I am a fast knitter and I want to process information very quickly so my fingers can move without having to slow down for my brain. To me all pattern writing should facilitate knitting ease, whether or not that is the “standard”. I can see why having everyone do things the same way makes things easier overall, but my rebel spirit just cannot make me do something that doesn’t make sense to me. Trust me, I really struggle with this when working for other publishers where it is incumbent on me to conform.
I think there have been others who have stepped outside the lines a few times in the past and their perspective has helped move knitting forward. So, if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to stay my course. I will put up a page under Learning explaining my system of Action Charts and shaping charts to make this all easily accessible.