How to read charts

Hi all,
I’m new to this forum, but not to knitting. I usually knit using written directions, but I have a pattern that is using a chart only. How do you read them and does each author of a pattern have their own way of doing it or is it supposed to be standardized? I’ve read that if the numbers are on the right, you read those rows right to left and that if the numbers are on the left, you read those rows left to right. I’ve followed that with some success, but there are some patterns that don’t follow that. Does anyone have an answer to this? Thanks in advance for your help.

Hi Raggie and welcome to KH!

If you are knitting the chart in the round then you read the chart from left to right only…

If you are knitting back and forth every row then you will read most of the time the odd rows left to right and the even rows right to left.

Some charts do you use the same symbols but I have came across some where the designer chooses what the symbols will be…usually they give you a key.

Something else I will do with a chart is color code it…that way I don’t have to keep looking at the key :thumbsup:

Thank you so much! What I will probably do, following your advice on how to read the chart, is write it out in words. That way, I won’t get lost. It may take me awhile until I get used to it. I’m going to try it. Thanks for your help.

Some charts don’t even show the WS rows if they’re all purled. Then the charted rows are read right to left since only the front rows are shown.

A general rule of thumb is to read the chart as you’d read the knitting. On the right (outside) side the pattern goes from right to left as you’d knit it–let’s say rows 1-25. When you turn the work, you’re working stitches 25-1, so you’d read the chart from left to right.

Another thing I do when knitting from charts is to put a post-it not on the row above the row I am on. That way I don’t get “lost” in the chart.

Thank you very much. What all of you have told me seems to working. I see that it makes a difference when knitting in the round as opposed to knitting flat. Again, thanks for the help.

If you think of a chart as an image of your knitting as seen from the right side of the work, it all makes sense.

Is there some advantage to using a chart over a pattern?

I have put off using them because I was never taught how to use one. They look very complicated.

Some people prefer them because it gives you diagram of the stitch pattern. They don’t look that way to me, so it’s just more of a preference or how your brain is wired.