For the visually-oriented person like me, there are definite advantages to charts. Take the following example:
Every day, when the sun goes down and the evening becomes cool, the need for that large, enveloping cardigan becomes ever more urgent. There’s just nothing in my wardrobe that quite does it. It’s too warm for a pullover, and the other cardigans I have are beginning to look and feel a little dated – cropped and fitting, they just aren’t comfy. I want something to slouch around the house in, if you know what I mean.
Despite the fact that I’m still knitting a couple of other projects (one of which I’m quite excited about, and will share the pattern with you once it’s ready), the itch became too much. I started my swatch. You may remember I originally settled on a natural-coloured DK yarn for this project, and selected a Debbie Bliss pattern, the Patchwork Aran Jacket from Special Family Knits, pictured below.But, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to use that soft, cuddly pink merino I had sitting in my yarn collection – Ihakara Wools’ Truly Eco merino yarn. It’s actually an aran (worsted) weight, despite being labelled 8 ply (DK). Which meant that the above pattern no longer fit the yarn. Hmm. I did remember eyeing a similar Debbie Bliss pattern in an aran weight yarn a while ago… could I find it?
I got out my pile of magazines, and eventually located it – in Knitting magazine’s November 2009 issue. This one looked like a reasonable substitute. You can’t see it in this photo, but there’s also a whacking great cable that goes up the back. A nice bit of detail!
Alack!! No chart! In fact, none of Debbie Bliss’ patterns appear to have charts. I painfully charted out the cabled section, only to find that the magazine had already separately charted it for readers! Good oh! I was comforted to see it looked the same as mine.
The tension guide said that I’d get 21 stitches x 32 rows in herringbone stitch on 5mm needles. Hmm. No chart for the herringbone either. But there were only four repeat rows – surely I could do it from the written pattern? The catch was…the entire pattern repeat was way more than 21 stitches, with the cable pattern cut right through it. I wasn’t sure if I could match the correct order of stitches within a smaller frame to line up into herringbone. I gave it a go.
No. That didn’t look right. Rip! Try again. Rip! OK. Just go to bed. It’s late.
Next morning: Rip! Head begins to boil. Give in, chart the damn thing.
Ah! Now I can see what I’m meant to do! And the effortless result: