Thank you all for your feedback on my last post - you've given me a lot to think about. I've been asking for a lot of feedback lately, and it's all very muchly appreciated - especially your response to the post about the Marina photos - I'm very happy that you didn't select the photo of me!
last night I redrew the charts for Ziggy, the example I used in yesterdays' post. Firstly, I drew it as I would draw charts now, using Open Office Calc. I'm much happier using a spreadsheet program for my charts - I have complete control over fonts, scale, lines and more, and they drop right into my pattern document without being converted to an image file.
So, here's how the chart would look, with the symbols used literally (i.e. as it was shown yesterday but in the new format):
I appreciate that at this scale you can't see the detail well, so you should be able to click on it for a larger version to appear in a pop-up window (all being well!) These are low res jpeg versions of the charts, and with the new formats all charts are much crisper (one of the reasons I ditched Stitch & Motif Maker)
Next I tried the chart using the knit symbol to show stocking stitch (i.e. same symbol for RS and WS):
I've been working with a new tech editor, one who works for magazines and publications, and she tells me it's their standard practice to have one symbol represent both sides of st.st or rev. st.st, i.e. to look like the RS of the fabric. (BTW - on some design forums you read about some designers having 2 tech editors... now that I've tried it, it is realy useful as both bring different perspectives!) I don't have to follow this practice, but I thought it was worth considering. BTW, this is how my Japanese stitch dictionaries show the charts - the ones I have don't have blank squares to confuse me ;)
As I said before I cannot work with the blank square to show st.st - it really does cause me problems - my brain needs digits and symbols to register a response. Whilst I want to find a charting method that suits as many people as possible, I do also need to be able to work with my own charts! I understand though the reasons why those who like the blank squares do, so set about finding another way of emphasising the stitches you need to do above the ground work.
So I tried typing the fonts in bold for the lace stitch symbols:
The bold stitches aren't really dark, but I think this could be a good compromise - the stocking stitch sits back and the stitches required to make the lace pattern stand forward.
What do you think?
I don't need to redo the charts for my designs worked in the round, as most of those are fairly small, and don't cover the whole pattern in one chart (with the exception of Traversa and Starburst - they could have the bold treatment if you think it's a winner) It's really only my sideways designs, with their RS and WS that need redoing.
Now, worry not - I will still be including the written instructions in my patterns! My aim is to reach as many knitters as possible, and that means keeping both methods. The only sideways designs I will be re-charting for now are Vlora, Marina and Sherbert Fountain - I will wait before I even think about the charts in Going Straight... I might out-source those to save my sanity, and I need to wait for enough spare cash to be able to do that. Anyhows, there's no rush with the book, it's the for-sale singles that are my focus right now.
I think adopting the Japanese method is a good way to go - it's one that many are already familiar with, and it will be around for a while. I'd love to hear what you think about bolding the non-st.st parts of the charts - I think it's a good idea and am happy to do it, but if it gets a huge thumbs-down it can be rethought!