Knitting charts and written instructions are equally useful for gaining your mastery and having more pleasure from knitting. Very many knitting instruction provide both versions of the pattern - graphical charts and written descriptions.
Usually, when you ask "what is BETTER", the truth is located somewhere in between.
Your best tool is that one which you feel confident and comfortable working with.
This page will show you how to read charts for knitting presented in graphic symbols. Needless to say, it is not as difficult as it seems. Let's see how it works.
All designers describing their knit patterns in charts follow the same logic. This logic is based on common sense and a natural way of knitting.
It makes our life much easier if we read graphical charts instead of the word descriptions.
At the same time we have to say that knitting symbols for charts are not standardized.
Different sources of knitting patterns use (slightly) different symbols describing their patterns. Fortunately, each chart has a stitch key, which explains what kind of stitches has to be used, to knit the pattern.
Let's analyze the way we usually knit. 1-st row.
In the flat knitting the first stitch to knit is the very right one on the needle.
Direction of knitting is from right to left.
Once we reached the end of the row, we turn our knitting over and begin the second row facing the back of the work.
At the end of the second row we turn our knitting over once
again and facing the face of the work, and so on.
The boxes of
the knitting charts "behave" just like the stitches do on the
needles. Here is a classical pattern
"Horseshoes". Lets look at its graphical chart .
Here is a written description for the same pattern. Compare it
to the chart above. (For the list of knitting abbreviations consult the Craft Yarn Council).
You can see that all even rows of the CHART A) above have to be purled.
To make knitting charts more compact, very often charts are printed with Wrong Side rows left off the chart. (see chart B).
In this case the pattern tell you what should be done on those "missing" rows.
For our example, it would be written: "Purl all even rows." For other patterns it could be written: "Knit the knits and purl the purls", for example.