Fear of graphs?

When I was about 14, I wanted to knit a ski hat for my boyfriend that read, “Beethoven” on one side, “Einstein” on the other. So Mom handed me a piece of graph paper and said, “Here.”

Actually, I think she showed me how each little square constituted a stitch. So if I had 50 stitches in which to “write” eight or nine letters, I would have to—in the immortal words of Tim Gunn—“Make it work.”

Having been exposed to charting at such a tender age, it doesn’t scare me now. Other things scare me, like knitting lace or the thought of ever having to take a job, but not charting. Charting is all about watching your knitting as it spools from your fingers and painting with stitches.

The Great American Aran Afghan that has consumed me—and about a dozen other knitters—for the better part of a year is a highly modified version. We’ve personalized it in various ways, simplifying difficult squares and incorporating a new border (I simply refuse to knit that giant cable they’ve designed to rim the thing). We’ve also added monogram initials to represent the family in whose home it will reside. Hence the charting.

This spooked some folks. Because I provided graphs and written instructions, I think I scared the boogers out of knitters who liked the idea of following lines that read, “K3, K10, P4, K17, P4, K10, K3,” about as much as downing a bottle of castor oil.

Can you blame them?

But a graph—unless you’re dealing with the hieroglyphics of cable or lace—allows for squidgy knitting, intuitively sallying forth toward a finished image.

Here’s how I started. Using the customizable knitting graph paper available over here, I scratched out a simple “H.” See?


Then someone knit it.


As we progressed, I got fancier, printing out more elaborate fonts and tracing them onto the graphs. They’re easy knits as long as you have a start– and end-point and you mimick what’s happening on paper. Occasionally it involves some counting and a bit of ripping when things go awry, but otherwise, these squares make for quick knits.

Look, an “E” with seraphs.


Had I been really ambitious, we could have executed the monograms in combinations of cables, bobbles, texture and seed stitch, but occasionally we must meet a deadline or engage in social congress or we get a little odd, so reverse stockinette accomplished our little task just fine.

Moral of the story: Fudge. Not fear.

Comments (3) -

October 24. 2006 09:56


inspiring!  definitely words to live by, and knit by.

John |

December 16. 2006 12:30



窃听器 |

June 29. 2007 14:19


You don't need a flow chart to divine the whiplash the neo-cons are experiencing thanks to such hypocrites as Mark Foley and especially the sanctimonious Rev. Ted Haggard

上海数据恢复 |

Comments are closed