Sometimes it is great with a “TV knitting project”, like an easy sweater that almost knits itself, but sometimes it is also great to cast on designs that are more complicated, that require turning off the TV, letting out the dog and telling your husband / wife / children that silence is required. In this blog, we share some insights about learning to knit in sequences and according to charts.
One such project could be knitting in different lace techniques or according to charts. This requires splitting your work with lots of stitch markers, keeping a close eye on the chart and keeping count on the number of rows with a pen. Otherwise, you can very easily get lost in the chart and not knowing where to start the next time you pick up your knitting project.
We love sequence and chart knitting at Önling. In our knit-a-long from 2018 the focus was to include a lot of fun, new knitting techniques, for the KAL to be challenging and exciting. See more about the EMMA shawl here.
In addition, we have included various techniques and charts in many of our other designs, for example our new North Sea knitting collection (“Vesterhav sweater and shawl”) uses an exciting technique, we had not tried before, and our “Limoncello” sweater, which has the cutest lace pattern on the front and back. Furthermore the lovely Möbius cowl and the popular Magnum sweater has both been experimenting with where to place the lace pattern.
Advance your knitting techniques
When you master the basic techniques like garter stitches, rib, moss stitches, fair isle knitting and binding off, you can start challenging yourself with new and more complicated techniques. Knitting according to a chart requires training, a good sense of logic and a good deal of patience, but everyone can learn! To begin with, you should try out simple charts and it can be a great advantage to practice on dishcloths and the like, before advancing to sweaters or blankets. But once you master the technique behind knitting according to charts, there is no knitting project you can't do! If you are able to stick to a knitting pattern, you can knit beautiful sweaters, blankets, hats etc. and take your knitting to the next level.
In this blog, Önling has gathered the best advice and guidelines for you, who are fairly new to knitting and want to extend your skills with new techniques and knitting according to charts and sequences.
What is a knitting chart?
A knitting chart exists to show how to achieve a particular pattern or structure in a design. The chart visualizes and simplifies the knitting pattern, as it gives a better overview than long explanations full of knitting terms and abbreviations. If there are too many abbreviations in a pattern, you can quickly lose your breath and get confused as to how far you are in the pattern. On a chart, you get a visual overview of where the stitches are positioned in relation to each other, which gives a clear overview of the pattern and provides an impression of the final result. There are two different types of knitters; those who like to knit according to a chart and those who knit according to the textual description. In Önling’s patterns, you’ll always find both options, because here at Önling we have both types of knitters.
How is the knitting chart designed?
The knitting chart looks like an Excel sheet with a lot of symbols. Each type of stitch has its own symbol, and if there are repetitions in the pattern, there will often be a pattern repeat highlighted with e.g. a frame. In the chart, you will find symbols for everything from garter and purl stitches, in- and decreases to color indications - this of course depends on your knitting pattern. When you first look at a chart, it can seem very confusing and difficult, but you will quickly learn to decipher it!
The knitting chart - how to read it
The page with your chart will always indicate the meaning of the different symbols. In the beginning, you probably have to look up the meaning of each symbol every time a new one is introduced. But the more you work with them, the easier it will be to recognize and remember the individual symbols, and you will quickly be able to read the chart without having to stop at each symbol.
The way you read the chart is a bit atypical. You start reading from the bottom right corner and move left and up, as this mirrors the way you knit patterns – from the bottom and up. If you knit back and forth, you navigate the chart in the same way - from right to left and then from left to right. To keep track of the chart, splitting your repeats with stitch markers is recommended.
Similarly, if you knit lace pattern, you can knit with an "extra" thread each time you have completed a pattern repeat. Then, if you make a mistake in the next report, you only have to unravel down to the extra thread you inserted. In addition, it is important to have post-it’s or notebooks close by, so you can note how far you are in your pattern, or you can use the post-it as a ruler.