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I love the way you write! You take something that, in this case, I already know the basics of and explain it in depth and with clarity. I never feel "talked down to", and I never have any doubt what you mean. I wish I could learn to write like that for the times I have to write out procedures!


I have to agree with Kate. You write very clearly and have very useful tehcniques to describe. Thank you for such a good blog.

sherry hohn

THANK YOU!!!!! no stitch finally makes sense. also the refresher on how and WHY you read a chart from right to left. the reason behind the action is absolutely necessary.

sherry hohn


thank god i found your blog. i was having so much difficulty in figuring out no stitch! now it makes plenty sense! thank you sooo much!


First, I just happened upon your blog and I agree with the other comments: you sure can write and I love your explanations. My comment needs an answer: I'm doing a cable afghan with 4 charts. Here's the layout: Row 1 (i.e., all odd rows) (RS) reading right to left, knit Chart A, B, C, B, C, B, D. Here's my question: In Row 2 (i.e., all even)(WS) reading each chart left to right, do I knit in the same order as R1: A, B, C, B, C, B, D, or logically in the reverse: D, B, C, B, C, B, A? I'd appreciate any help anyone can give, and I look forward to tuning in to your blog, Sara! Thanks in advance, Jane


Jane, great question! As you surmised, if you work across multiple charts in one order as you work from right to left, you will work them in the opposite order as you work back from left to right on the WS rows. In your example, you'll work the WS rows across charts D, B, C, B, C, B, A.


Thanks, Sara, for your quick response! Since there are 254 stitches in a row, I didn't want to progress reading the charts incorrectly, only having to take stitches out. Now I can resume after a 3 day hiatus (having withdrawal!). Thanks again.


I've read a bunch of explanations about how to read a chart and I'm pretty clear on that. The problem is that it seems like the stitch counts and the instructions don't match up. I've encountered this in pretty much every lace pattern I've seen.

For example, I have a chart that gives these instructions for Row 1: P1, (K3, k2tog, yo, K1, yo, ssk, K2) 3 times, K1, P1

According to the instructions, I should have 33 sts on the needle.

How can this be if I must consume 39 sts to follow the instructions?

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.


Robin, thanks for your question! Your problem isn't a chart-reading one, however, but a YO problem. You've gotten the impression, probably from poorly written directions, that the YO includes working a stitch (that is, that it makes 2 stitches from one); this is wrong, and a YO is simply the loop of yarn over the needle, and does not include doing anything to one of the existing stitches -- it makes 1 stitch from zero. Therefore, your repeat section consumes 10 stitches, not 12, and your overall row consumes the 33 you have, not 39. If you have further questions about properly executing the YOs, this post will probably be useful to you: http://explaiknit.typepad.com/let_me_explaiknit/2005/11/yo_is_for_yarno.html


Finally, finally, finally I get it! Thank you so much. This really helped. I now fear lace no more!


Can you tell me more about "set up" rows? It seems like maybe they are worked left to right on the chart so that row 1 can be worked right to left but I'm really not sure. I'm not even sure why the set up row isn't just labelled row 1!

This is a really great blog that I have bookmarked and filed under "Techniques" for future reference! Thank you!


Becky, there's not really a standardized way for pattern designers to handle set-up rows, so you'll just have to apply common sense and hope that the pattern writer did also. Generally, if the set-up row is immediately before the row labeled "Row 1", you're working flat, and Row 1 is to be worked right-to-left, then you would indeed expect to work the set-up row left-to-right, as a WS row.

Without seeing your particular pattern, I can't be sure, but I expect that the set-up row is so labeled, rather than simply being called "Row 1", because Row 1 probably is the start of a repeat, so you'd be doing something like working the set-up row just once, but then working, say, Rows 1-12 multiple times; if the set-up row were Row 1, then the repeat would have to be Rows 2-13, and I'm sure you can see how that might be confusing.

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