Learn How to Read Crochet Diagrams

Crochet Diagrams Lesson
How to Read Crochet Diagrams
How to Read Crochet Diagrams

How to Read Crochet Diagrams

The art of reading a crochet diagram is a method I prefer over reading written words. For myself, my first crochet book when I was 14 had written words but also diagrams for each pattern.

Reading isn’t my strong suit and it’s still not today. Look at my grammar and you can see I am not kidding.

I learned to crochet through reading the diagrams as I came to understand what the symbols meant. Using a stitch key, I taught myself pretty quickly.

TIP: Give yourself time to develop the skill to read the diagrams. Once you get it, patterns across the globe will open up to you without ever having to know the language the designer is speaking. 

More Pattern Ideas

  1. Free Learn to Crochet Ebook by Mikey
  2. Crochet Baby Blanket for Beginners Pattern
  3. Crochet Corner To Corner Afghan Pattern

The video below is a comprehensive look at learning how to read crochet diagrams. I start back at the very beginning and work towards getting more complicated. Everything from how to read them, symbols, and so much more. The video has 15 segments. I provide the minute marker near the beginning of the tutorial so you can fast forward if you want to see particular elements and learn specific information.

Video Tutorial

Learning crochet is not a race, enjoy the journey.


  1. Isabel Evans

    Loving your website all it’s lovely patterns to browse. I learnt how to use the crochet diagrams some years ago but I would love to be able to download your instructions as a pdf. Do you have it in this format or is it only as a video?

    • most patterns are downloadable, you will see a blue button on ones that are. We had a glitch in the system and are currently in the process of adding the buttons back.

      • Isabel Evans

        Thank you Marina I have found these but was wondering if there is a pdf for use of crochet diagrams? Not patterns but the diagrams which show the stitches as loops for chain, lines crossed according to the stitch being double, triple, etc.?

      • Gotcha, no not all patterns have the diagrams. But you could try what I do, if I find I am struggling with a pattern I diagram line by line as I go (read what it gives for instructions then draw the diagram for what you just read), it also helps me keep track of what row I’m on.

  2. Marge

    Love all of the instructions and information you give out ! Thanks Mikey !

    • Charlene M Garcia

      Hi Mikey! I love ur YouTube channel, this blog, etc. You have taught me a lot.
      All the Best to you Always, Charlene

  3. Laura P

    Whoa, slow down! Around 11:00 you started talking so fast that I gave up listening. Didn’t learn anything because of it. Sigh.

  4. Micky ich finde deine Anleitungen super. Obwohl ich Häkelschriften lesen kann habe ich mir das Video angeschaut. Es hat Spa§ gemacht und lernen gut man immer wieder noch dazu. Durch Zufall bin ich in Youtube auf dich gestoßen als ich eine Anleitfür eine Baby Schildmütze gesucht habe. Ich verstehe nur etwas Englisch aber wenn ich es sehr ist es meistens kein Problem es nach zu arbeiten. Ich sag mir das Video von dir an und es hat mir sehr gefallen wie du in einfachen Schritten schnell und verständlich das Muster gezeigt hast. Ich bin dann neugierig geworden und habe mir noch ein Video angeschaut. Hat mir so gut gefallen das ich das Top als nächstes häkeln werde. Habe dich gleich mal abboniert und mich weiter umgeschaut und habe dann die URL für deine Seite hier gesehen. Ich bin bestimmt schon 2 Stünden auf deiner Seite und bin ein totaler Fan von dir geworden. Ich habe schon sehr viele Seiten im Internet angeschaut aber deine Seiten sind die besten die ich je sah. Ohne groß herum zu klicken findet man das was man anschauen will. Auch die Seiten sind kurz aber sehr gut verständlich aufgebaut. Heute Morgen wußte ich noch nichts von deiner Arbeit und jetzt hast du ein begeisterter Fan mehr. ?
    Ich schicke dir und deinem Team viele Grüße aus dem Black Forest aus Deutschland

  5. Anna Malecki

    I like
    The pattern. Is there a written instruction??? Thank you

    • Diana

      Search for Crazy Eight Shawl on this site. It has diagrams and written instructions.

  6. Pauline Johnston

    Fantastic tutorial. Thank you so much Mikey.

  7. Bettyboo

    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.

    • shellyscorner

      Betty Boo ~ I agree 100% with you!

  8. Liz

    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!

  9. Irene

    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?
    the link above is the pattern that confused me. thanks so much!

  10. debra jo

    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 :))

  11. 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!!!

  12. Rebecca Boukikaz

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Tammy

    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.

  15. Lori


    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!!!

  16. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *