You can also work a chart by hand, scan to your computer and then add it to your pattern. And, if you are not tied to electronic delivery, you can draw the chart by hand and attach it to your pattern, or use photocopies of the drawing for multiple patterns.
I work with Knit Visualizer but there are many other good softwares available. As you will see, many of the symbols I use are custom made because the symbol names are not usually stated in common form. The biggest problem is working the legend. I want my legend to be clear without conflicting information. I'd like it to move in a logical order, beginning with the blank, knit box, followed by the purl box. I sometimes want to convert conventional symbols to show a different type of knitting.
Other softwares will have their own issues. You have to do the best you can with what you've got. It took me a long time to overcome issues, but with perseverance the challenge can be met to create good charts for your patterns. Each pattern provides an opportunity to learn more about your software.
The following is an example of how I work around issues with KV:
Below is an example of a chart I quickly made showing some of the symbols and terminology used by KV:
|This is an example I've used only to illustrate the restrictions of the software. I'm not attempting to design a knitted piece. Notice the key lists the stitch symbols in the order in which I have placed them on the chart.|
- The knit box is not followed by the purl box in the key.
- The blank box says knit, yet gives directions to both knit and purl. The same with the purl box.
- I've added cables to both RS and WS rows. The cable directions state: none defined for WS rows.
- The cable is also labeled c2 over 2 left, rather than C4f, the more common abbreviation.
- And what if I wanted to make the bobble differently?
Well, I could disable the directions for each stitch symbol, using only the symbol's name or abbreviation and then define them elsewhere in the pattern. I get the following:
While this solves some of the problems, it creates others. I now have directions to knit all blank boxes and purl all dot boxes. I'm also left with c2 over 2 left--- not a really helpful name. And the knit and purl boxes-- still not one after the other.
I make all of the charts for my pattern. Then I make a customized, separate key.
Chart for the pattern exported without the key that the software will generate (see above):
Next, I make the following chart using customized symbols:
Then I can export only the legend in either form:
|C4f and MB will need explanation and directions elsewhere in the pattern.|
|While still not perfect (Knit/Purl boxes), this is much clearer on how each symbol is worked.|
So, the final action would be to place the chart(s) in the pattern without their automatically produced legend along with one customized legend that can be used for all the charts and that is clear concerning each symbol.
My preferred method is to use the legend with only the name or abbreviation, the first of the two examples. The blank and dot box need no further explanation. In the abbreviation section of my pattern I will list C4f and MB with the directions for working them as needed in the pattern. C4f for this pattern would need directions for both RS and WS rows. MB for this pattern only needs directions for RS row.