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Create a Knitted Design Chart using an Excel Spreadsheet

Welcome to ColorNotes Yarn!

My name is Jill Szalaj, and I am looking forward to answering your questions about yarn, knitting and crochet.  I will also be sharing tips and techniques that I’ve learned through my own experiences, and hopefully inspiring you with ideas and projects to try.

Please join in the conversation by sending me your comments and questions at jill@colornotesyarn.com or by using the Contact Us page. I would love to hear from you.

Now, on to some knitting…

Charted Knitting

Knitting charts are a way to describe a stitch pattern visually, rather than with words.  If you are a visual learner, or think visually, try using charts instead of written instructions.  Charted knitting designs are helpful for lace patterns, knit and purl textures, cables, intarsia, Fair Isle, and mosaic knitting.  When working with a charted design, right side rows are read from right to left and wrong side rows are read from left to right. This is just as your knitting appears in front of you as you work.  Many patterns include charts, but if the pattern you’re working with doesn’t include one, it’s easy to make your own. Knitting charts are simple to make using a spreadsheet, and the rest of this post will show you how.

Using Excel Spreadsheets for Charted Knitting Designs

worksheet picture2

I work with spreadsheets a lot, and have found that they make excellent knitting charts.  You can easily insert colors and symbols into each cell to represent a stitch, copy and paste groups of cells to repeat a pattern, and add colored borders to mark pattern repeats.  A spreadsheet can be customized for a specific project, saved, and reprinted whenever needed.  No more lost patterns.  Another benefit to making your own charts is they can be customized to print out big enough to be read comfortably and to include only what you need.

Try creating your own knitting chart using the sample file below.  The file is in Excel 2013 format and is set up for 50 stitches by 50 rows, but can easily be made larger or smaller by adding or deleting columns and rows.  The sample chart in the picture above is also included in the file.

How to Create a Knitting Chart using an Excel Worksheet

Download the sample file Knitting Graph Paper and Design Worksheet and save it on your computer.

Create your own custom knitting design chart by following these steps:

  1. Open the workbook, and create a copy of the “master” tab
    1. Right click on the tab, and select “Move or Copy” from the menu
    2. Click on the “make a copy” checkbox at the bottom of the window and click OK
  2. Add letters, symbols, and colors to the cells for each stitch as desired.  See the Sample Chart in the file for ideas.
  3. Save the file again after you’ve completed your design
  4. Print your chart, and start knitting!

Have fun with your charts.  If you have any questions about using charts, or any other knitting or crochet topics, please send me a note through the Contact Us page, or email me at jill@colornotesyarn.com.

Join our mailing list below for more information about yarn, knitting, and crochet.  As a thank you, we’ll send you a coupon for 25% off your first order!

Happy Knitting!



1 thought on “Create a Knitted Design Chart using an Excel Spreadsheet”

  1. Hello Jill,
    This is a generous gift you share with us! Thank you!
    I’m curious about a number of things: (1) how to number the chart rows for circular knitting; (2) if it is possible to re-number the chart stitch counts to reflect increases and decreases in circular knitting and how one might perform these functions in Excel.

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