How to write out the pattern as a chart? I keep getting lost! Reading In Bed Shrug

Why oh why is lace still hard for me!? Pam Allen of Interweave says this shrug is so simple… but I keep making mistakes and have to rip it out again.

Now I’m wondering, maybe I should have the chart in front of me and that would make it clearer. I remember Ingrid! once turned the pattern into a chart but I don’t know how to do that. Is there software? Is it easy. Would it help do you think. Here’s the pretty Reading in Bed Shrug link (the pattern is a pdf.file) and the Leaf Pattern instruction below that.

[B][COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot]Traveling Leaf Pattern: [/FONT][/COLOR][/B][COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot](multiple of 12 sts + 5)[/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot]Rows 1 and 3: [/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#231f20]FONT=&quot [/FONT][/COLOR][U][COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot]K2[/FONT][/COLOR][/U][U][COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot], *k1, yo, k3, k2tog, k1, ssk, k3, yo[/FONT][/COLOR][/U]

[COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot] rep from * to  last 3 sts, k3.[/FONT][/COLOR]

[B][COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot]Rows 2, 4, and 6: [/FONT][/COLOR][/B][COLOR=#231f20]FONT=&quot Purl.[/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot]Rows 5 and 7: [/FONT][/COLOR]

[U][COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot]K2[/FONT][/COLOR][/U][U][COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot], *k1, ssk, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, k2tog; [/FONT][/COLOR][/U]
[COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot]rep from * to last 3 sts, k3.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [B][COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot]Row 8: [/FONT][/COLOR][/B][COLOR=#231f20][FONT=&quot]Purl.      Rep Rows 1–8 for patt.[/FONT][/COLOR]

One of the trickier things in knitting lace is to remember to YO in the right place. Or making an extra YO in another spot. I usually convert charts to written sts, though I’m getting a little better at reading charts. It’s just easier for me in words. Take it slow and one row at a time. Count your stitches at the end of the pattern rows to make sure you haven’t added or dec’d a stitch or 3. Yes it’s slower, but maybe not as slow as ripping it out over and over. I find that once I get about 6 or 8 inches into it, I can `read’ the pattern in the stitches and that makes it easier to spot goofs, as well as to remember what comes next.

Thanks Sue! Yes, slow as she goes looks like the only way until I can see it. I was beginning to see it, the pattern, then I went and dropped a couple yarn overs I think and that screwed it up. I just know this is easy once you get the hang of it… I hope.

When you count sts at the end of the row and find you’re off, look at the start of the row and follow the sts along to see what happened. If you’ve forgot a YO, mark the spot on your needle (use a paper clip or another piece of yarn there) and when you purl back, just pick up the yarn between the 2 sts where the YO is supposed to be. Very easy to do and you can continue on to the next row. If you’ve done an extra YO, mark it as well, and drop it on the purl row.

It’s really quite simple to convert to a graph. On graph paper, or in excel mark out a box that is 12 cells wide by 4 rows high. (This is because your repeat is 12 stitches by 4 rows)

Label the ROWS on the right side from bottom to top as 1,3,5,7
Label the cells along the bottom 1 to 12 going from right to left.

Row 1, put a circle in cell 2. a / in cell 6, a \ in cell 8, and a circle in cell 12

row 3 - ditto above.

row 5 - \ in cell 2; a circle in cells 6 & 8, / in cell 12

row 7 ditto row 5

Then all you have to remember is you start each rs row with k2 and end it with k3

If you want to try to make a chart, you have to remember that the box in which you mark your stitch is the result of the stitch, even though it may use two, as with a / for k2tog.

Your lace rows 1 and 3 would be

[COLOR=red][COLOR=black][COLOR=red][COLOR=black]k k k [/COLOR]l [/COLOR]O k k k \ k / k k k O k [/COLOR]l [/COLOR]k k

5 and 7 =

k k k [COLOR=red]l [/COLOR][COLOR=black]/ k k k O k O k k k \ k [/COLOR][COLOR=red]l [/COLOR][COLOR=black]k k[/COLOR]

read right to left.

Another thing, when you repeat, don’t include the first k2. You go from yo, to k1, yo.

I make charts for every texture (read: lace) pattern that I knit; I don’t have a printer, and I can’t stand to do lace patterns from words. If you don’t know what symbols to use, I’m sure you can Google for a “standard” set of lace symbols. You’ll get more and more used to reading charts if there are consistent symbols (this is one advantage of making your own charts).

It also helps if you place markers between each repeat. That way you’ll know if you’ve missed something in that set.

Thanks so much MMario, Ingrid for writing that out for me. I’ll do it!

Yes, I think I’d like the chart in front of me. Funny, it was going along great yesterday, I did a bunch just perfect, then I just got lost this morning and came up short 1 stitch so here I’m ripping again. The marker idea might work really well, little pieces of yarn maybe… It’s turning out pretty anyhow!

THANKS again!

I second the stitch markers suggestion. I always use stitch markers to section off lace pattern repeats so that I don’t get confused. It also makes it much easier to go back and correct a mistake.

Jenn, that’s a lot of stitch markers on the needle though. Do you use regular markers or something lighter like a piece of yarn?

Suzie! I missed that bit of advice (picking up the stitch if I missed a yo…) That’s an important one. Thanks again.

Are you also installing lifelines every 5 or 10 rows?
If you do make a mistake that can’t be remedied by picking up or dropping a YO on the following row, you won’t have to rip all the way back.

If that would be too many st markers (yeah, it would be) put them every two repeats. It still breaks it up so you can count easily to see where you are.

I still have trouble reading charts. I always forget what symbols mean what and when I look up at the legend to find out, I lose my place.

But when using written instructions I’ve found that it helps for me to copy them on a single sheet of paper in larger font, line by line and remove any extraneous wording like the info in that pattern on ssk (that would really distract me). Then I use post it notes (they now make them super sticky) to block out the rows I’m not working on.

I’m telling you, post its have been my lifeline.

Thanks all for the advice. I bought a “metal” board & stand w/a magnetic ruler, I use it for almost all my patterns now. Lace, oh my, I still get lost, if anyone looks at me while I am in the middle of a row, I GET LOST. It is so frustrating, I love the look of lace & I have promised myself to “get it” !!! Again, thank you all for your advice!!!

Oh! I never have used a lifeline yet. Thanks Knitasha… I forgot about that. This is turning out to be pretty simple, this particular lace pattern. I’m glad I’m getting the hang of it.

Yeah, bravobabe, I always do that too… print them on a seperate piece of paper in BIG font. Then I have in pencil the numbers of the rows 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 and I just put a dot beneath each row as I go… very important for me.

It’s soooo pretty, I took a picture to post but my camera just died!

I want to learn the symbols though, I think if you do both for awhile, which would take some patience, like look at both, you would soon be reading those symbols pretty darn easy.

P.S. Tutu Carol (you should hear me yell at the DH when he says something and I’m in the middle of a row! It’s Off Limits to talk to me when I’m working on this particular piece.)

There are a number of different symbol sets out there: I prefer the ones that remind me of the stitches I need.

O = yarnover (obvious, right)
/ = right leaning decrease = k2tog
\ = left leaning decrease = skp


The other thing that helps a huge amount is being able to “read” your knitting - so that you see where you stand in relation to the row below. Often there are spots that line up - or have a specific relationship to a certain increase or decrease.

For example - in rows 1 & 3 of this pattern - the initial k1 of each repeat will line up vertically; the other k1 has decreases which lean away from it and k3 on either side of the decrease. if the k3 is preceded by a yo then it is followed by a decrease which leans into the k3. If the k3 is preceeded by a decrease it is followed by a yo. The initial k1 of the repeat is bracket by yarnovers after the first repeat.

Look for things like that - it really helps keep your place.

MMario… I am rereading what you wrote yesterday.

(sometimes I don’t sit down and read everything thoroughly)

and I just found a notebook that’s a graph so I’m writing the chart out… and your instructions.clarification are really great to have. Funny how lace intimidates you so at first, then it slowly takes shape and it’s great. THANKS SO MUCH for writing all that out, I appreciate it!