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Emily Explains: Writing Out Charts

My first stitch dictionary I ever had was Barbara Walker’s Volume II. The endless pages of patterns were eye-opening to me, and the book was perfect because each row was written out stitch by stitch. When I started my job at Berroco, I was introduced to Lesley Stanfield’s The New Knitting Stitch Library of charted knitting stitch patterns. I have always been a pretty visual person so I immediately fell in love with working from a chart. Many of our patterns at Berroco use charts, but if you are not comfortable working from a chart yet do not fear!

If you really love the pattern, you can take a little bit of time before you begin to read the chart and write the pattern out for yourself. This is great practice for better understanding charts and preparing for what you are about to knit.

An example of a chart worked flat. 

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chart knit flat


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Because this chart is worked flat you would read row 1 from right to left and row 2 from left to right. Pay attention to the chart key. Again, because the chart is worked flat, the symbols mean something different on the right side then they do on the wrong side.

Row 1 would read…

P1, k2, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k2.

Row 2 would read…

p1, p2tog tbl, yo, p3, yo, p2tog, p1, k1.


Now lets look at an example of a chart worked in the round.

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chart worked in the round


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Because this chart is worked in the round all of the numbers are on the right side of the chart and each round is read from right to left.  You are always looking and working on the right side of the piece.

Round 1 would read…


Round 2 would read…

k3, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k2

Round 3 would read…


Round 4 would read…

k2, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k1.

If you are new to this approach I recommend patterns with small, manageable charts, like Ivy and Cecelia from booklet #357 Comfort for Baby.

I hope this helps!

Happy Making,


4 thoughts on “Emily Explains: Writing Out Charts

  1. Thank you. That helps a lot. I’ve always been nervous to try a charted only pattern. I may now feel brave enough to try !

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