I’ve just downloaded a cool shawl pattern and then noticed that there are about 3 pages of charts. Are charts necessary? Is there a different method of knitting using charts? Or can you just use the written instructions for each row and still get it done?
Well, if the pattern has the rows written out, you can certainly follow the written directions. The problem is that they are complicated to follow by eye when the row is of some length.
The benefit of charts is that they are compact and relatively easy to follow by eye. It’s also easier to see how the pattern rows stack up, something that isn’t obvious in a written row and you can use tape, sticky notes or magnetic boards to keep your place.
I’ve never used charts before. Just looking at it is a little overwhelming to me.
The charts can look daunting taken as a whole but you work one chart row at a time. It’s really a simpler way of working lace or color patterns.
Charts share a common set of rules for reading them. There are a couple of videos online that might help. Give them a try to ease into your shawl.
What is the name of your pattern?
The main reason for the charts is universality. You can understand the pattern if you live in the US, Japan, or Russia. There’s no translation headaches.