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Knit-Along Check In: How to Read the Chart

I’m afraid I don’t have much to show for this week; I cast on for the cuff of my first knee-high on March 1 and worked feverishly to get to the fun part; a.k.a, the colorwork! But…once I got there, the chart threw me for a loop. I will state now that there isn’t an error in the chart; the problems I had were human error. So I thought I’d share my experience and explain the chart a bit so that you don’t have to do what I did and frog the whole thing 🙁

Okay, so the chart looks like this:

The chart is worked from right to left twice per round. As you work it, the gusset (on the left side of the chart) begins to shrink due to the decreases placed strategically within it. This gusset shapes the knee-high so that it conforms to the natural curves of your calf and fits you better.

Let’s look a bit more closely at those decreases; specifically, the first row.

So, on the first row, the first decrease appears on Stitch 35. This may confuse some knitters, since the symbol only appears on one stitch. However, keep in mind that when decreasing, you are actually using two stitches.

As you work the chart, you may ask “Which two stitches should I decrease together?” Good question. Take a look in the next row and see which stitch is now “no stitch.” You will decrease that stitch together with the stitch that has the decrease symbol.

So, when working this first row, knit Stitch 34 and Stitch 35 together in a “slip, slip, knit” (ssk), then continue knitting Stitch 36. When you get to Stitch 47, knit Stitch 47 and Stitch 48 together in a “knit 2 together” (k2tog) to make the other decrease for this row. You’ll notice in the next row and subsequent rows that there is a black box, signifying “no stitch.” This is because you decreased two stitches in the first row.

Work all decreases in this manner for the gusset. Keep in mind, too, that different sizes use more or fewer of the chart columns; check the caption below the chart for instructions for your size. For instance, I’m knitting the small/medium size, which instructs you to omit stitches 1, 30, 32 and 50 for each row.

I hope to have more finished next week. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks, and keep on knitting!

Rachel is a Craft Editor by day and a knitting addict aficionado by night. In addition to knitting, she reads, bakes really terrible cornbread muffins, and spends way too much time on Ravelry. She can be found as rachelthepeach on Ravelry, and just plain Rachel on this blog. She lives in Northern Kentucky with her fiancé, two dogs, two rabbits, and way too much yarn.

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