How to calculate starting stitch for color chart work

For Scandinavian styles garments, you are often left with figuring out where to start your row, as the number of stitches in the chart do not match the number of stitches in your row. 

Also, these patterns are often centered on a single stitch. This is usually marked on the pattern as the center stitch.

Easy as 1, 2, 3!

  • One: Find the following numbers:
    • Number of stitches on your needles from the edge to the center st. (A)
    • Number of stitches in the pattern repeat (B)
  • Two: Divide the two to find the remainder (R):
    • A / B = C + R
  • Three: Find the starting point using the remainder.
    • If the remainder is 0, start on the stitch to the left of the center stitch on your chart (if the center stitch is the leftmost stitch on the chart, then start at the rightmost stitch).
    • If the remainder is not 0, using the center stitch in the graph as stitch 1, count to the right the number of stitches equal to the remainder. This is your starting stitch for the row or round. (If this count moves beyond the right side of the graph, continue counting from the left.)
Example 1

There are 88 stitches on the needles from the side or beginning of the round to the center front stitch (A=88) and the pattern repeat is 12 stitches (B=12). So 88 / 12 = 7 with a remainder of 4. In the chart, the center stitch on the graph is the left most stitch. You would start the pattern on the 4th stitch in from the left of the graph.

Example 2

There are 91 stitches from side to center front stitch and the pattern repeat is 36 stitches (A=91, B=36). 91 / 36 = 2 with a remainder of 19. The center stitch on the chart is 19 stitches in from the left (the chart itself is 36 stitches, showing one repeat). You would start the pattern for your row or round on the first stitch from the left. (Counting 19 to the right from center moves us beyond the right side of the graph).