I jumped at the chance to test knit Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Daytripper Cardigan for Field Guide No. 17. It was irresistible as a reimagined version of the designer’s Stopover. (I wore my Bang Out a Sweater Stopover for seven days straight on a camping and canoeing trip in Blue Hill Bay, Maine with a pack of eighth graders—a story for another time.) And I love knitting and wearing Léttlopi.
In this article I’ll take you through my process drawing the Daytripper charts for my version.
Please don’t let that word discourage you. You don’t need to think of yourself as an artist to make (and to enjoy making) your own colorwork charts. You just need a dot grid journal, a pen or a 2B pencil, a straight edge, and markers or colored pencils (plus a fine paint brush if you’re using watercolor pencils).
And for confidence and inspiration to grow your journaling joy, I heartily second Max Daniel’s recommendation of Felix Ford’s Knitsonik online bullet journal course. Felix teaches journaling as an adaptable practice for accomplishing tasks and for developing habits that is also an end in itself—as it slows you down and focuses your attention.
Let’s get started.
Connect the Dots
On page 42 of Field Guide No. 17 you’ll find the Daytripper charts.
- Working from the top of a page in your journal, draw 26 lines across a page in pen or 2B pencil. The sample below uses 2B pencil, but I drew my original charts in pen.
- Add 14 vertical lines to form the Yoke chart and 4 vertical lines to form the Yoke Steek chart.
- Draw 7 lines across the bottom of the page. Then from left to right add 8 vertical lines to form the Body Trim chart; skip three spaces and add 7 vertical lines to form the Sleeve Trim chart; skip three spaces and add 4 vertical lines to form the Body Trim Steek.
- Using the Field Guide charts as your guide, shade out the boxes that represent yoke increases. I like to do this with slant-line hatch marks. Finally, label the charts and number the rounds.
How the bulleted instructions look step by step
Color It In
For guidance pondering color choices, check out this conversation between Felix Ford and Jen Arnall-Culliford in the Boost Your Knitting series. At minute 15:00 there’s a particularly useful trick for using your smart phone camera to help! And check out Jen Geigley’s Daytripper Cardigan illustration ready for you to color in here.
I used the page facing the charts to recreate the color thumbnails from page 42 of Field Guide No. 17. Keeping the Field Guide open for reference, I colored in my charts.
For charts you can rely on to guide you as you knit, it’s only necessary that the colors resemble the actual yarn colors. Do play with shading and layering to approximate them, but don’t worry about capturing them exactly. If you’re using pencils, you can vary the pressure as you shade in the squares. I always start light with side-to-side shading and build up. It’s the only technique you need to make the charts you see here. For both markers and pencils, you can use a 2B pencil to darken shades.
Derwent Water Colors are my pencils of choice. I like to use a light brush of water to wash to hues, but they also look good shaded in and layered without water. (The pages of the MDK Journal support a light wash of water.)
Feel free to drop questions—or your own tips!—into the comments.