If you love lace, Stitch Maps gives a perfect way to see what happens to the fabric as a result of the increases and decreases in each pattern. Instead of being a flat chart, Stitch Maps allows the rows and stitches to flow as they would in the actual fabric, giving you a very clear visual map of how the stitches relate to each other both horizontally and vertically.
Stitch Maps 2015
Since Stitch Maps debuted in 2013, with fairly basic chart-building capabilities, JC Briar has worked to expand the types of patterns that can be charted using her unique charting system. If Stitch Maps started with a total of 20 symbols, it now has more like 200. There are 35 increase symbols alone! There are now Stitch Map symbols for basic stitches, increases, decreases, cables, gathers, clusters, beads, and miscellaneous stitches. Some of the symbology (which are the terms that can be used within Stitch Maps) were developed as JC worked with designers to find ways to accommodate different types of knitted patterns.
Jill Wolcott Knits & Stitch Maps
JC and I see charts differently. This is a small understatement, but a good place to start. I prefer to see every stitch as I see it when I am knitting, while the more common approach is to show what the stitches look like from the right side of the fabric. I think these are both valid ways of looking at charts, and if you want to check in on my thinking, you can read this blog post. Despite this difference of charting opinion, I think that Stitch Maps are brilliant. Their ability to show the fabric and the relationship of every stitch in pattern is hard to beat. I haven’t tried knitting from Stitch Map charts, but I do create them from time to time to see the fabric.
Most of my patterns are only available if I provide the link. Here is a pdf of ears of grass Stitch Map, which is used in these patterns from Love of Knitting: Bromley Mitts & Colliers Wood. Bromley Mitts are a free download, so if you haven’t done so already, this might be the time!