By helping knitters visually understand, follow, and modify patterns, books in the Knitting on Paper series encourage knitters to take charge of their knitting.

Charts Made Simple

Charts Made Simple, the first book in the Knitting on Paper series, gets the process started by teaching knitters to read the charts that come with their patterns.

Charts Made Simple

104 pages, softcover, $17.95,
ISBN 978-0-9830792-0-0

What the book says

The first two chapters get you started with charts:

  • The Big Picture sheds light on why charts are drawn to resemble knitted fabric, and how this governs the way you read charts.
  • Staying on track suggests strategies for keeping your place within a chart, and for knitting according to a chart with a minimum of goofs.

Four more chapters dive into greater detail:

  • Cable symbol sensibility introduces you to the dazzling realm of cable symbols, and shows how you can unscramble them without always running to a chart’s key for help.
  • Charts that show shape explores the idiosyncrasies of charts shaped to match garment pieces, such as shaping implied via chart outlines only, multiple outlines for multiple sizes, and pivot stitches.
  • Counting stitches dispels the notion that counting chart squares is the same as counting stitches, pointing out that paying attention to the symbols within the squares is the secret to figuring out how many stitches you ought to have on your needles.
  • Repeated stitches draws parallels between the * and [ ] of written instructions and the repeat lines, boxes, or brackets of charted instructions, explaining how to work repeated stitch patterns flat and in the round.

As a bonus, exercises at the end of each chapter give you a chance to strengthen your understanding of the chapter’s main points.

What people are saying about the book

Charts Made Simple guides you through the basics of how charts operate, explaining the whys as well as the whats to make charts your favorite knitting language. My only regret with this book is that it wasn’t around when I had to figure out charting on my own a long time ago.” —Joan Schrouder

“Using eye-opening materials proven in her workshops, master teacher JC Briar reveals exactly how charts reflect knitting, enabling readers literally to read their knitting and work with new-found confidence and clarity. This unique book should be part of every knitter’s basic education.” —Cat Bordhi

Charts Made Simple provides a progression of clear, step-by-step tutorials and is packed with visuals—some of the best I’ve ever seen. You will be happily and confidently knitting from charts in no time!” —Margaret Fisher

“Whether you’re new to knitting charts or have been using them for years, JC has golden nuggets of information to enlighten you in the world of chart reading. This portable reference is a must-have for any knitter on the go.” —Cookie A

Charts Made Simple has also been reviewed by Library Journal, Knitter’s Review, Knitty, Knitspot, Wendy Knits, The Beebonnet Report, and Two Sides of the Same Stitch. It was named one of the top books of 2011 by both Library Journal and Knitter’s Review.

Where to buy

Charts Made Simple is available in yarn shops across the US, Canada, and the UK. Please support your local yarn shop by asking for it there.

Online, Charts Made Simple is available through these vendors:

Yarn shops and bookstores may order wholesale through these distributors: