I am doing one of my favorite things this week. I get yarn from the Great Wall of Yarn for the Yarn Group of TNNA and I get to do a swatch for their display–of whatever I want. Oh the joy. No pressure to write a pattern. I just get to do some knitting I want to do.
My first step is always to look through my stitch dictionaries. I’m looking for a perfect match between the yarn and what I want to knit. For both the yarns I got I decided it would be lace. I love lace. I like it to be a little complicated. I like lace patterns that pattern every row (no purl/knit row in between), but I know that isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, so this is a perfect place to try out a pattern I like, but that I may not do anything with.
So I make a copy of the pattern (which has both words and charts) and sit down to knit–and I cannot make it work out. I know it isn’t the stitch pattern, I know it is me. Blargh.
I asked Wendy to make me a chart using the Jill Wolcott Knits format. Last night I finally got to try it again, and after a fairly long day. I love this pattern. It is actually pretty easy and easy to see the pattern of the stitches. So why did I have troubles when I work from standard charts?
I cannot easily make the mental conversion that if it is this on the RS, then it is that on the WS. By the time I’ve figured it out, I’ve lost my place in the chart. We’re talking nanoseconds, but it gets me confused. We do our charts so that a symbol is always what it is. This means I can easily look at the chart and my brain tells my fingers what to do. No conversion necessary.
This method of charting disturbs some people. The argument against charting the way I do is that it doest tell you what the right side looks like. My argument is that when I’m looking at the WS, I don’t actually care–I care about what I’m looking at! I created a Chart in Stitch Maps so you can see what my chart looks like there. And here is the key for that one! So you have options. You can always create a chart that makes sense for you. Now you know why my charts are different from the rest.