For intarsia or fairisle (stranded) knitting, I wouldn't normally offer a written out version alongside a chart, unless the motif or pattern was small and easily repeated. Writing out fairisle patterns in longhand just makes life harder for everyone.
But what about when the colourwork is created entirely by short rows?
(intrigued? This is the secret knitting that I've been engrossed in for the last couple of months! I shall reveal more very soon)
Writing out short rows with lots of turns is tricky enough, but throw in two colours with that and you can easily see how the instructions can get unwiedly and be prone to errors.
I'm approaching the charts for these designs in an unorthodox manner; traditional chart methods don't lend themselves that well to fabrics created from lots of short rows, so I'm developing these as maps - the symbols will not only indicate which colour and which stitch (hello, garter), but also which direction you're knitting in. And I've simplified it, and included stitch counts within the map, to make it even easier to follow.
On this basis, I'd like to know - would you still prefer a written set of instructions alongside the map charts? Would/does a chart-only set of instructions put you off colourwork?
I'm trying to think of everyone's sanity here! I look forward to your thoughts and feedback :)
(please do leave a comment here, as I don't check Twitter or Facebook frequently - ta!)
ETA - let me clarify a few points!
These designs are knit sideways, and they are fully charted already. Sideways designs lend themselves very well to charts, and I'm not at all worried about that aspect.
However, the fabric is made up *entirely* of short rows - it's the manipulation of fabric that creates the colourwork (the b&w photo at the top hints at this - I'm afraid the work is all still secret and I can't reveal a bigger sample or example) - and it's this large amount of short rows, combined with using two different coloured yarns that I'm concerned about with the written instructions. The instructions cover an entire panel, the chart is a full page by itself.
To the best of my knowledge, something like this has never been done before with Hats, or with something that requires shaping specifically integrated, presented as a pattern. The short rows not only create the fabric, they also shape the form. Did I mention that these designs are entirely short rows? ;)