Converting a Pattern from Words to Pictures

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Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2008

When the Lornas Laces Oddball Shepherd Sport arrived last month, i immediately laid claim to 2 hanks each of my 4 favorite colors (Tuscany, Black Purl, Edgewater, and Huron). Since we hadn't had the sport weight in the store lately, I had forgotten how incredibly soft it is (there is no nylon in it - unlike the sock weight). I knew I was going to knit socks with each of the colors, but wasn't sure which pattern to use (having grown tired of simple stockinette stitch socks). I thumbed through the Lorna's Laces patterns (I was using their yarn, after all!) and decided upon the Spring Blossom pattern - written specifically for their sport weight yarn.

I started knitting later that night only to realize that the 12 row pattern was going to drive me crazy (knitting at night while watching a movie and drinking a glass of wine was not going to yield flawless socks). For every row, I had to look down at the paper, find my place in the pattern, and then knit/read 1 stitch at a time. And by the time I had the pattern for that row memorized, I was already finished with the row! This was going to take forever - there had to be a better way. I resisted the urge to rip everything out and start over using just stockinette stitch...

Instead of beating my head against the wall trying to read the lines of the pattern, here's what I decided to do. I opted for creating a more visual aide - something that I could glance at and know what to do - instead of having to read it... So, I created a chart. In essence, I transformed the lines written below into the visual aide underneath (I snuck at peek at how Interweave writes charts - and used the same symbols that they do). Here's the pattern (in words):

  • Row 1: yo,k2,k2tog,k3,ssk,k2,yo,k1. Repeat around.

  • Row 2,4 and 6: k4,p3,k5. Repeat around.

  • Row 3: k1,yo,k1,k2tog,k3,ssk,k1,yo,k2. Repeat around.

  • Row 5: k2,yo,k2tog,k3,ssk,yo,k3. Repeat around.

Is it just me or does that give you a headache just reading it? Alternatively, here's the chart I made:

Create a Knitting Diagram from a Pattern

Now, doesn't that seem easier to follow (for us visual-types)? I can actually visualize the pattern - i can see that you need to do a left-slanted decrease before that 3-stitch purl section... and a right-slanted decrease after the purl section. I can also see that the yarn-overs slowly move towards the center as the rows progress. This is sooo much better for me! What do you think?
p.s. if you need a refresher on ssk and k2tog, check out our decreases instructional article!

Here are some pictures of the finished product:

Create a Knitting Diagram from a Pattern Finished Product  Create a Knitting Diagram from a Pattern Finished Product 2

Posted by Jimmy (Laura) of Jimmy Beans Wool

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