How to Read Knit Symbols
Learning to knit is one thing, learning to read a pattern is another. As a newbie knitter, that I am, I struggle to visualize the stitch counts at times. In some future patterns that I will be teaching later on this month, I will be showing you graphs in the tutorials.
The graphs aren’t being shown to brag about me using them, but for me, I am a visual learner and need a road map of stitches to know what I am doing. Like a family road trip, pre-GPS, the map in the car is necessary for me.
As a crocheter, I learned to read the diagrams first as I am most likely a below average reader. I don’t like to read too many things and I get hung up on the periods, commas and brackets. For me, in the world of crochet, the diagrams saved me and allowed me to continue my journey.
In learning to knit, I found myself confused. I just cannot see into the future like other people can. I need that visual confirmation on where I am knitting, the diagram allows me to see on paper what I am doing in advance. So my journey of learning to knit patterns, backed by using diagram and making them myself are necessary.
Stitch charts in knit and crochet patterns are being used more and more as an addition to or in place of words to describe a pattern stitch. Following are the standardized knit symbols that have been adopted by members of the Craft Yarn Council and are considered to be the clearest and easiest to render and to read. For the most part each symbol represents a stitch as it looks on the right side of the work. Always refer to the pattern key for additional symbol definitions.
For me, what I usually do is print out the PDF and keep it with my patterns. Currently, I am still learning to draw my own graphs for this but I am constantly jetting my eyes back and forth to the graph to the knit symbol key to figure out what is being asked of me.
For some, they complain they cannot read patterns. To some, they may never get it. The only way to really learn how to do it is to give yourself the time to learn. In time, like crochet symbols, the boxes begin to make sense and you will find yourself checking the symbol key as much. Before you know it, you may even retire the stitch key.
The Craft Yarn Council has a Knit Chart Symbols that you can download and use. If designers are following the council standards, it will be so much easier for everyone involved. The council formed many years ago and most large manufacturers of yarn follow the council standards to make life so much easier.
Source: Craft Yarn Council