Learn to Read Crochet Diagrams

How to Read Crochet Diagrams

Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

I am Michael Sellick, known online as 'Mikey', I am the founder and leader of The Crochet Crowd. I'm a 'hooker' at heart with the passion to crochet and play with yarn.

12 thoughts on “How to Read Crochet Diagrams

  • July 29, 2015 at 6:07 pm
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    The trouble is that every key to learning teaches you how to read the perfect chart. In real life they aren’t like that. They don’t tell you where to place stitches, there are slip stitches shown which appear to sit in thin air. There are petals made that look like they are made in a single round but made in two. Charts in real books or online are often made up of tiny symbols which you need a magnifying glass to see how many chains there are. In perfect charts there is a number indicating the number of chains, in real diagrams you have to count them one by one. It’s slow and laborious to decipher many charts. With some things they are good to use, with many not a good option at all.

    As for crochet symbols being a universal language. No, not so much. The important information pertaining to bits and pieces that are vital to understanding are indecipherable as they are in Japanese or Russian. Basic motifs are fine but anything with construction information or different symbols to those ‘universal ones’ then it just doesn’t work. With written instructions you just do what it tells you! Bad written patterns exists which don’t tell you the where what or how either but there are likely to be in our own language so it is easier to find help with them.

    Sometimes when written instructions are not so good, I would love a chart but far more often the chart is crying out for words to go with it. Why can’t we have both? It annoys me greatly. We pay for patterns, yet we get told we can’t have the whole crochet chart as it takes up so much room, so then we are dependant on recognising patterns and sequencing which is incredibly difficult if you just don’t have those skills because you are not mathematically gifted, just to complete your own way around a chart. If I pay for a pattern I want all of it! If a couple of words can help me out about where to put the hook, use them. Stop skimping on the quality! I would rather 6 patterns in a book that worked beautifully than 20 all squeezed together which I end up not being able to do because of lack of full instruction or they haven’t been checked over properly as the words are edited down from the original proof and now don’t make sense.

    So basically chart patterns as an add on unless they are done properly with explanations and they are best served up with written instructions. At best too much guess work is used. I just saw some instructor say, ‘oh with a chart you can put your hook in the chain space or the chain, it’s up to you!’ There was a way the creator did it and words tell you that and I want to know too! It’s fine if you want to be creative but if you want to replicate exactly the same over again and as intended, certain information is needed.

    You need an awful lot of information about chart reading to have adequate skills to replace, words. Many course, books etc. don’t really get past basic stitches in granny squares. It gets REALLY complicated but the info just isn’t there. You catch bits here and there but ultimately it’s all a bit pointless anyway as most books in English are all written anyway. And like I said it isn’t much good by itself.

    • October 25, 2015 at 1:52 am
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      Betty Boo ~ I agree 100% with you!

  • May 17, 2015 at 9:54 pm
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    This tutorial was SO clear & helpful. I’d only seen a diagrammed pattern once before, but I’ve always thought that the worded patterns are so… wordy. Thank you for explaining the diagrams so clearly & simply!

  • Pingback: How to Read Crochet Digrams - Fileflee.com

  • February 11, 2015 at 2:51 pm
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    HI! I’m just getting into crocheting and love it! Thank so much for explaining how to read the charts- they seem much easier to understand and I look forward to trying some out. I have a pattern that i’m interested in trying but i’m a little confused if you have time could you explain how to used written and chart patterned?
    http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/us/pattern.php?id=4713&lang=us
    the link above is the pattern that confused me. thanks so much!

  • February 6, 2015 at 2:32 pm
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    YAY! Thanks for opening up the diagram world for me and the other half million people who love you and your crew. You are so important to so many and I’m so glad I found you :))

  • February 1, 2015 at 3:56 pm
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    Thanks Mikey for the tutorial..It did help to understand how to read the crochet diagram. I can see why it would be easier to understand because there have been times that I have had to rip out a row or two or more because while I read it one way it could be misunderstood and you can actually crochet it in a different way and then realize that you were reading the pattern wrong….in a diagram you can plainly see what the stitches are and how many and you know the placement of each stitch…so I thank you for letting me see just how easy it is to read…You were Bang on!!!

  • January 17, 2015 at 3:48 pm
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    Mickey, that was the clearest tutorial or explanation of charts I have ever heard or read. I have been using charts for years, but use both charts and written instructions. I needed to chart a pattern for a friend who does not speak English or French. Now I know how. Thank you for this and all the other tutorials you do. You are such an inspiration for me and countless others.

  • January 16, 2015 at 12:28 am
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    I have two of my mothers doilies that I need to block….can anyone give me some idea of what to do. I remember her doing it, but I was just a kid.

  • January 15, 2015 at 5:22 pm
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    I also had books and magazines with diagrams when I first started to crochet from a pattern. I now only crochet from diagrams because I can see how the rows are made and whats next. They also are the same the world over unlike written patterns which have differences.

  • January 15, 2015 at 1:42 pm
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    Mikey,

    This was so very helpful! You explained things beautifully. Do you have a special trick on how to keep up with where you are in the pattern? I am add and I need all the pointers I can get to stay focused and keep on track. And thanks for moving the logos to the top of the screen now things are easier to see. Bang on once again Sir!! You’ve been so busy for TCC and it’s only the 15th of the month you’re going to need a vacation soon:) Thanks for all you and the CC crowd do!!!

  • January 15, 2015 at 10:20 am
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    That was super awesome thanks Mikey. Something I’ve needed to learn for a while now. I’m going to sit down this minute and figure out one I have been itching to try.

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