Reading Charted Crochet PatternsBy Claire Ortega-Reyes – 15 Comments
The first time I saw a charted crochet pattern, I thought it was some form of ancient hieroglyphics, or a language beamed down from another planet. It didn’t help that the rest of the instructions was in Japanese–another very foreign language to me. I shouldn’t have been intimidated–as it turned out I would prefer charted patterns to worded ones.
There are many benefits in learning how to read crochet charts or crochet diagrams:
- Do you find it a constant challenge to understand written crochet patterns? You may not know it yet, but you just might be a visual learner, and so can understand charts, graphs, and diagrams better than written instructions.
- It’s easier to adjust a pattern to your needs if it is charted–at one glance you can see which parts of the pattern you can change to make it a better fit for you.
- Charted patterns use an international set of symbols. Once you understand how it works, you can try your hand at patterns from around the globe!
Every crochet pattern that uses charts should have a table of symbols used in the pattern, and which stitch each symbol represents. Below are the international symbols used in crochet patterns:
Not all charted patterns use this set of symbols though. Not to worry; in any case, they should all have a similar table provided in the pattern. Also, some patterns use a mix of charted and written instructions, like the one featured below.
There’s only one way to know if this works better for you. Try working on patterns that have both charted and written directions. Cover worded instructions and just rely on the chart. If you get really stuck, consult the written instructions to see how or why you misunderstood that specific part of the pattern. The ever-popular One-Skein Scarf pattern is an example of a pattern you may want to try (go ahead, it’s free).
Good luck with your crochet ventures, and happy crocheting!