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How to Follow a Knitting Chart - A Step-By-Step Guide for Beginners

Updated on June 1, 2012

Knit for Beginners

Start with graph paper!

Pretty much anything drawn on graph paper can be knit, but it isn't easy. Try to limit yourself to two, maybe three, colors in each row. It keeps from things getting too tangly.

When I start knitting something I've drawn, I hardly ever like the way it turns out the first time. Trial and error will tell you when you've drawn a chart you like. Here is an example of what my note book looks like at the beginning:

Each square is a stitch in your knitting. It makes things easier if you use the colors you plan on using for yarn when you are drawing your design, but as you get used to knitting charts, you won't have to so much anymore. Knitting charts can be very frustrating at the beginning, but don't give up!

A good tip for knitting charts is to make sure you twist your yarn in the back after each color change. I like to twist them around each other at least two or three times to insure that they won't leave separations in your knitting.

If you are twisting correctly, it will look like this in the back:

When you realize you don't like the chart you're working on as much as you want, no fear, just take a deep breathe and try again. I tried this one a few times before I finally found one I liked enough to use. This is what my notebook looked like at the end:

So remember, don't stress out, don't give up, and always twist in the back! Good luck!


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    • Felina Margetty profile image

      Felina Margetty 6 years ago from New York, New York

      Nice one cheds!

    • Cheds profile image

      Heather Henley 6 years ago from Buckfield, Maine

      Thanks. I wish I had seen photos of how to twist the yarn in the back when I was trying to learn to knit charts. I was very frustrated.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, this is really cool! The photos are quite helpful. Thanks for the guide!