Symbol Charts!

This is a portion of a symbol chart.  If you’ve never seen one before, then you haven’t learned how extremely cool they are.  I am currently working on my second garment design.  With both garment design projects, one of them being the Bella Dress, I get ready to start figuring out the changes for the multiple sizes and just stare at it for a long while feeling completely overwhelmed and think, “How on earth am I going to figure this out???”  Well in both cases, I prayed for inspiration, and I don’t mean that abstractly or figuratively — I really prayed.  And both times, the answer came — symbol charts.  Well, I should have remembered the second time around, but I didn’t at first.  When I started trying to figure out the shoulder shaping for the Bella Dress I turned to charts.  I hand drew a chart for the shoulder shaping of the back bodice piece for each size and that allowed me to see where the stitches would need to be changed without actually making each size.  So, now that I am working on the same step with a new pattern I found the same solution.  I drew out a chart for an entire piece last night and then crocheted the piece all in about an hour’s time.  I had spent probably 2 hours earlier in the day getting nowhere on it.  Thank goodness for symbol charts!  The answer to prayer.  Amazingly, I had never seen a symbol chart until about 1 1/2 years ago.  These are really easy to figure out.  Each stitch type has a symbol and you draw the stitches in their correct places and voila! you can see the piece with all the stitches without actually stitching it.  Then I can mark where rows and columns of stitches will be added or taken away and work out the shaping for the other sizes.  You don’t have to have a ton of experience with charts to use them.  More and more patterns include symbol charts these days along with the traditional abbreviated pattern lingo that we’re all used to.  Fortunately, those that you will find that are published are produced by computer graphics programs and look a lot nicer than this one, but it gets the job done for figuring out shaping while I design.  I definitely recommend you give them a try!

Have a cheery day everyone!

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