Schematics and charts

The schematic is a small outline drawing of each sweater piece in the pattern. The pattern usually includes one schematic showing the body front and back with the neckline sketched in and another schematic of one sleeve. Cardigans usually show a single front, a back, and a sleeve.

Listed along the edges of the drawing are the dimensions of the piece in each size — for example, the width and length of the sweater, the distance from the bottom of the sweater to the armhole, the depth of the armhole, and the depth and width of the neck. Figure 14-1 shows a schematic for a toggle jacket (head to Chapter 18 for instructions on making this project).

  • lt;-22 (23 1/4, 24 1/2)"-
  • lt;- 17 (18, 18)" -H

Figure 14-1:

A sample schematic showing shape and measure

  • lt;-22 (23 1/4, 24 1/2)"-
  • lt;- 17 (18, 18)" -H

Figure 14-1:

A sample schematic showing shape and measure

ments.

Schematics are a big help because they show you the structure of the sweater at a glance: whether the armhole is straight or shaped and whether the sleeve cap is tall and narrow or short and wide. As you become more familiar with the way actual measurements fit you, you'll be able to tell quickly from the schematic whether you want to knit the pattern as is or make changes.

Depending on the design of the sweater and the way the pattern's written, a sweater pattern may include a chart to show a stitch, cable, or color pattern. Or it may include a chart to show an unusual feature of the garment, such as a shawl collar. Figure 14-2 shows a chart for a repeating color motif and indicates how you should use it.

Figure 14-2:

Sample chart for a repeating color motif.

16-stitch repeat ■

End size small and size large

Begin size small and size large

End size medium Key

Begin size medium

Figure 14-2:

Sample chart for a repeating color motif.

On right-side rows, work the chart from right to left. On wrong-side rows, work the chart from left to right. Refer to Chapter 3 for more on how to read charts.

If you collect vintage knitting patterns, you'll seldom see a chart or schematic. Instead, all the moves are painstakingly written out. Some people who learned to knit under the row-by-written-row system regret its demise. Others welcome the picture over the written instructions. The good news is that if you understand better when things are described with words, charts can be written out in word form — and vice versa. If you have a pattern with interminable and obscure directions, read them carefully with graph paper and pencil in hand, and make yourself a chart to better understand the text.

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