Tips for Working with Stranded Colorwork Charts

As you can see, I’m making a second Latvian Christmas stocking.  This time, I’m trying to keep the color work pattern consistent around the heel  of the stocking.  I thought I would share some simple tips for working with stranded color work charts.  The tips are very basic, but make a world of difference in the ease of your knitting.

Tip # 1: Place stitch markers after every repeat of the pattern.  In this stocking, the stitch markers change from time to time.  Some pattern repeats consist of 12 stitches, others consist of 6 or 8 stitches.  I move the stitch markers as needed when the number of stitches per repeat changes.  The stitch markers allow you to easily recheck your work and figure out where you are in the pattern at all times.

Tip # 2 Cover the line on the chart ABOVE the row you are working.  When I first started using charts. I would cover the rows already worked and leave my current row and the rows above uncovered.  It makes more sense to cover the rows above the one you are working.  By viewing the rows already worked, you can check your work as you knit your current row and see the evolving pattern.  It is much easier to spot errors and correct them immediately when you are viewing your current row as part of the developing pattern.

Tip # 3: Knit the charted pattern from right to left, bottom to top.  Since stranded knitting is almost always knit in the round, each row on the charted pattern will be read in the same direction, from right to left.  Charts for flat knitting are different in that the odd rows are usually knitted right to left, and the even rows are knitted left to right.  Charts are generally read from bottom to top (the same direction as your knitting) and row numbers are usually indicated on the side of the chart.

Tip # 4: Have fun!!  There are few things in knitting that I find more rewarding then working stranded rows involving only 2 colors per row and watching a beautiful pattern emerge.


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