A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Charts, Cables, and Laces

Artists to my mind are the real architects of change
and not the political legislators
who implement change after the fact.
~~William Bburroughs

Cables are not always charted. When they are, it makes working the project much easier since charts are visual. Working cables can be intimidating at first. Once you work a few, you realize all that is involved is working a few stitches out of order. The only challenging part is remembering if that first set of stitches is to be held to the front or to the back.

When you’re working from written directions it is typically written out exactly what to do. On a chart, you have to look at the cable symbol, then check the key, and finally work your cable. Some patterns have multiple types of twists such as this Winter Wonderland coat combining cables and lace pattern worked on both side rather than just the right side of the knitwear (a terrific learning piece for myself.) It can be frustrating to go back and forth from chart to key every time you come to a cable before you have it memorized. However, when you do learn to really look at a chart, you won’t need the key–at least most of the time when you’re not sleep-deprived!

You come to trust a chart and look carefully at where the stitches are meant to go, you start zipping along rather than stopping to read written out instructions every time you come to a cable. Just one more way visual nature of charts makes your knitting easier and faster!

Lace is probably charted more than any other type of knitting and for good reason. Charts allow you to have a large amount of information in a small space. The variety of types of lace out there make it impossible to generalize about lace charts. There are a few good guidelines to make sure you avoid common mistakes.

First of all, read the key and make sure you know how to work various types of increases and decreases you will be using and try to understand why each symbol represents each item. Understanding little tricks will allow you to move along in your knitting rather than checking the key every time you come upon a special stitch.

This Shetland shawlette was accomplished in a day

while Lady Jane has been unraveled twice

First time, I was unhappy with the gauge or lack thereof (switched to US6 from US8 needles). Second time was due of wrong execution of a key (knitted 3X in a single stitch instead of making 3 wraps between two stitches) after picking it up again a week later when Clue 2 was released. I am not complaining…This Prism Lace is out-of-this-world SOFT and I am getting extra knitting miles out of them (in US5 needles and is even happier!) The fun part of this mystery project is that no one, other than the designer herself, knows what finishing shape, size, and total number of clues of this lace would be. It’s not too late to join in the Knitting Delight fun (here on Yahoo and Ravelry)–you have only 100 rows to catch up before next release on Thursday, January 29.

Happy creating!


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