I've been working recently from some old pattern books, which only have written instructions. I used to be able to follow them quite comfortably, but now after years of always turning impatiently through pattern pages to find the charts before I've even cast on, I'm a lot less proficient than I used to be.
Now, I usually swear up and down that this is simply the logical way to show knitting, that it makes sense, is easy to read, etc, etc. And usually that's still true
But then I started playing with charting a couple of the patterns and you know, it was worse. But I persisted; MUST! HAVE! CHARTS! Until I went from a nice simple pattern that I could follow pretty well, to a tortuous pattern that had more 'intentially blank' squares than I knew what do do with and suddenly had me using post-it-notes and counting desperately under my breath.
Was I charting this poor, innocent pattern because I was irrationally convinced, in face of the evidence, that all patterns MUST BE CHARTS?
Take feather and fan. Charted? Terrible! Written? Logical.
Am I secretly - gasp! - pattern conservative?
I'm going to have to have a lie down now.