A chart is a graph paper with the picture or the design on it. Each square represents a stitch, and each line represents a row. It is a way to transfer a picture into a knitting design. The main thing to remember is:
1. When knitting, read the chart from right to left (<-k) .
2. While purling, read the chart from left to right (p->).
3. Start at the bottom of the page and mark the lines with a pencil as you knit your way up.
Before starting a new row, look at the chart row you are about to knit and at the chart row above it. Are there any big changes in the design? Do you need to insert or discard a color? Get ready because sometime you will need to carry a color on this row in order for it to be ready in place for the next row. This will only happen when the color is moving ahead in the row above (if it moves back from where you left it there will be no problem as you will just carry it there on the next row).
It is not that complicated, and once you start, the color that is already in place will help you out. However, you will need to pay attention to what you are doing and probably will not be able to knit a picture and watch TV at the same time.
1. A ruler helps me follow the row I am working on. I like using transparent ruler, so that I can see the other rows too.
2. A pencil to mark the row I am knitting. This way the knitted rows are already marked and I will not loose my place or re-knit a row by mistake. Marking with a small line (like this -) will do, but the best is writing K for a knit line and P for purl, so that even when interrupted in the middle it is easy to find where I was.
3. I like using a plastic tray to hold everything together: the chart, pencil, ruler, scissors, crochet hook, needles and yarn.