What a great little bit of knowledge! It's amazing though, that this information isn't more readily available to Americans and that we need to take a class to find out something so logical and easy.
Yesterday I mentioned that I was taking a class in reading Japanese knitting patterns given by Takako from Habu yarns. It was interesting! And she is delightful. It's also so logical and easy to read the basic schematic armed with just a little bit of information. Takako explained that they (the Japanese) had to come up with a way to write patterns because they don't have the ability to abbreviate their written language the way we do. We can read K1P1 Dec 1 st eor and know what it means. They can't. So they came up with a way to abbreviate the directions on a schematic, in a box, and then they use a chart that can be easily generated on any excel spreadsheet, or for that matter written in any sheet of looseleaf or a spiral binder. Easy Peasy.
The following schematic is from one of the books that I own, not the schematic we worked with in class, and not a schematic designed for Habu yarns. See the directional arrows? (I've drawn a red box around them, in the center of the page). Those are the direction that you knit. Which is interesting. They have you start then with either a provisional cast on and then later knit your ribbing on, or else do a regular cast on and pick up stitches to knit your ribbing. She did explain that they don't hand hold - no directions for which cast on, no directions for which method of decrease. Basically their patterns are written expecting you to know how to knit, and how to choose the correct techniques. See the box with those 3 rows of numbers? Again, I've drawn a red box around it in the upper corner of the schematices. That tells you your frequency of decreasing, or increasing, for shaping. Starting reading from the bottom of that box, it reads on row 2 (of this section) decrease 3 st, one time). It's abbreviated 2-3-1
But, of course she is with Habu. Habu has incredibly interesting yarns, but they don't do anything that even remotely resembles texture work. So, what information I still lack is a key to reading those charts for cables and textures. Kim, I'm going to take you up on your offer of a key.
Now, I'm certain there is just as easy a key to understanding the schematics in books such as Pattern Magic And, have you seen the books Cidell just got? Ohhhh my, I'm covetous.