The most amazing knitting designer and a little something to facilitate working with charts!
I’m the luckiest person in the world! I had my very first knitting classes with one of the most talented knitting designers: Sivia Harding! And I also had these classes in one of the coziest knitting stores, with the most adorable helpers and owners and with a great product selection: Urban Yarns in Vancouver, CA.
Everyday at every single stitch that I work, I acknowledge all the gifts that she gave me during that time. Sivia unveiled my eyes to the unique beauty of lace knitting. She also showed me how to learn from my mistakes and just ignore the anxiety and excess of perfectionism that holds back the charm and pleasure of knitting. “ It’s only yarn and needles…”, she said to the class with an unique kindness and confidence that makes me smile just to remember about it! And so I was undoing my work, stitch by stitch, to understand my mistakes, and without noticing, I start relaxing my shoulders and falling in love with knitting!
Sivia’s designs are so unique, so sensitive and exquisite, that I have to pinch myself to believe that I saw the first sitches from Dué Amori Gloves and Scarf, hold my breath every time that I look to Dryad and I’m counting the days to knit her newest design: the Harmonia’s Ring Sweater! You check Sivia’s patterns at Ravelry clicking here!
This post is totally inspired by something Sivia had shared us in class. It was something like this: “To make it easier to follow a knitting chart, everything you can do is worthwhile!”. Right after that she shared with us precious clues that have changed my inclination towards this kind of chart! What I’ll be writing here is a mix of all the great tips that other knitters have been sharing with me along my few years as a knitter! Once the KAL from Dalilah Shawl is about to begin, perhaps this information can be useful for someone else!
Inside my knitting tote, together with my finishing needles, scissors, markers etc, I always keep highlighters and some bright adhesive tape!! Another thing I always do is to keep my projects stored in plastic envelopes we use in binders!
I get really distracted reading the “lines” on a knitting graphic, specially if it is really intricate! And this without mentioning the numerous involuntary bumps on the sheet of paper, that even when attached to a stand jumps from where it was! And how to knit this kind of project on a public transportation or taking it on a trip?
These tips help me a lot: first I choose a color for each symbol of the graphic, except from knit and purl stitches. The easiest way to do that is to color these symbols on the legend (As I have been doing this for a while, I choose the same colors for each symbol in all graphics which has made it easier to read them).
Next, I start coloring the graphic, color by color, symbol by symbol. Another tip is to start coloring one kind of symbol at a time always in the same direction (from um to down, from left to right or vice-versa). By doing that I get familiarized with the repetitions and the drawings.
You can also make notes of the stitches in pencil (if you, like me, enjoys knowing that you can erase a note) or in pen. When the chart is really big and has long repetitions on the purl and knit stitches (when I will most likely loose count!), I write down the number of repetitions as shown in the picture.
Then I slide the colored graphic on to the plastic envelope, always keeping the legend of the symbols around until I have memorized the correspondence between stitches and the colors I chose. As another reference tool, I place the adhesive colored tape over the plastic envelope, evidencing the row to be knitted. This way I’m ready to knit, anywhere I go, even with the most elaborate chart! These are some of the ways that make it easier for me to follow knitting charts.
As one very talented person said to me some time ago: “feel free to make any note or to choose another way to follow the charts!” What is more important is to get rid of unnecessary tensions so that knitting remains a very pleasing thing to do.