Charts and written instructions, I couldn’t even pretend there was a vs. here. I use both now; but there was a time when I would decline on working on a pattern that was just charts. I will not give up on a pattern because it is all charts, or I could not knit something as complex and completely charted as Lothlorien. Or some of the shawls from last year, or designed some of my own patterns.
Case in point a lot of graph paper, and spreadsheets went into turning the images of the various Lantern Corp Symbols into a chart. The chart for the above symbol for love took ages to get right and fit into the size of the rest of the scarf, while some like Will and Anger were quite quick to work out. And I just had to make them bigger or smaller to match the height and width expected of the scarf.
I just cast on Rock Island today and am working on the lace edging, and the entire pattern is charted. The Octopus Mittens are charted. Both the cowl, and Lantern Corps scarf I am writing up, are charted and I am trying to decide if I should include written instructions. Vivian is written, with instructions that refer to charts. And I can follow all of these.
I think what daunted me for the longest time about reading charts are all the symbols, and that they do not always remain standard across patterns. That and I think one of the first charted patterns I picked up did not mention the wrong side rows in the chart. So that came out terribly and I had no idea why.
Written instructions, don’t have this level of code breaking. As someone who taught themselves Morse Code as a child, and a direct letter to letter translation for Hieroglyphics, I’d think I would be more attune to charts and doing the replacement of symbols to words. / O / O – just does not instantly mean ssk, yo, ssk, yo, the way the letters do. It’s more along the lines of wait is that ‘SSK’ or K2tog, turns back to key, and if the same stitch is different on the wrong side row, I have to quadruple check to make sure I am making the right stitch.
I do notice though that in a pattern with written instructions and charted instructions I do still tend to gravitate towards the written instructions. Part of that is that I do find the written instructions easier to follow. Mostly because I don’t have to double back to what ever page the legend is on and make sure of every stitch. The written instructions translate faster in my mind, which means faster knitting.
As I work on designing a shawl, and try to decide if I want written instructions to go with the charts, I think I would like both, especially as I think one can be a check for the other. As even when I am not using the chart to work on a pattern a check of the chart if something has drastically changed usually can easily be seen with a glance at the chart.
And the last two Lantern symbols in this set. Compassion and Avarice.