How to read a Knitting Chart (Lace Knitting)

Lace knitting charts are usually read in one of two ways. If every row is printed, read them back and forth.
If every other row is printed, usually you read the pattern from right to left, then purl (or knit) back.
The pattern repeat will usually be in a box; this tells you where to put your markers.

Row 1: Knit 2 (border). PM (place marker). *K1, p1, yo, ssk, p1. PM (place marker)*. K3.
Row 2 (WS - wrong side): K2, p1, k1, p2, k1, p1, k2.
Row 3 (RS): K2, *k1, p1, k2tog, yo, p1*, k3.
Row 4: Repeat Row 2.

*= pattern repeat -- i.e., repeat the pattern, which is between the asterisks, as many times as
desired to get the width you want.

Key:


This pattern could also be printed this way, with every other row not shown:

The pattern should tell you what to do on the opposite rows. If you just purl, it should tell you to "purl across".
In this case, it should tell you to "knit the knits and purl the purls", which means you need to read your knitting
and if you see a knit stitch (which was purled on the right side), you need to knit it, and vice versa with purl stitches.

Some patterns will have patterning on both the even and odd rows, in which case all rows will be shown in the chart. Here's an example of this kind of chart:
:

 

Copyright 2004-2005 Mara Riley