I’m doing the A to Z Challenge for the month of April with the theme “Learn to Crochet A to Z.” For more details, and to see previous posts, click on the link at the top of my blog!
Hello friends! I am super excited to present something for the letter “X” today. I know it’s kind of a long title, and not the greatest, but really how many words starting with X relate to crochet? I’m extremely fortunate that the symbol for single crochet is “X,” so I thought it would be good to talk about crochet charts today!
Crochet charts are something I’m definitely not an expert on. For a while I didn’t even know they existed (I think I’ve said that about a dozen times this month, actually). But they’re just another way to communicate crochet patterns – and the great thing about charts is they’re universal. You know that frustrating moment when you find that PERFECT crochet pattern on Pinterest, but the pattern is in a language you don’t speak? If there’s a chart, there’s no need for that frustration. (Of course, half the time I can’t even track down the original source on Pinterest, but that’s a topic for another day. =) )
I got really bored in French class today and, instead of doodling (because I can’t draw), did a chart for a granny square:
And here’s a crochet chart I drew up for a doll dress pattern (back from when my blog name was Cogaroo Crafts!):
Excuse the bad iPhone pictures. I don’t have chart-making software. 🙂
It’s basically a bunch of symbols that represent stitches – like a really technical picture, I suppose. The first step is figuring out which symbol is which. There are tons of crochet stitches, therefore tons of symbols too – however, I’ve drawn a really short list of the basic stitch symbols. (US terms)
Notice the symbol for single crochet can be either a lowercase “T” or, of course, an “X.” 😉 Obviously this is nowhere near an exhaustive list…
So then it’s just a matter of looking at the chart and translating the terms. It really just takes practice and a little trial and error – I thought it might be helpful if we went through a couple charts for examples, and I’ll give you the written pattern as well as the chart so you can compare. One tip is to look for the triangle, where you fasten off or start crocheting.
(Start in the lower left-hand corner for this one!)
The written pattern would read like this (US terms as always):
Row 1: Ch 8. Sc in 2nd ch from hk and in each ch across.
Row 2: Ch 1, turn. Sc in each st across.
Row 3: Ch 2, turn. Hdc in each st across.
Row 4: Ch 3, turn. Dc in each st across.
Row 5: Ch 4, turn. Tr in each st across. Fasten off.
Definitely not an exciting pattern, just basic stitches, but I hope you can see how they’re methodically stacked on each other – once you find out where to start (in the lower left hand corner of the picture in this one), just follow the symbols.
Here’s a chart that would produce a sort of leaf-shape (as you can tell from the title). This is just a one-row pattern, see how the triangles are on the same side? One is for the slipknot and one is for fastening off.
Row 1: Ch 8. Starting in second ch from hk, hdc, dc, 2 tr, hdc, sl st in last st. Fasten off.
It’s also cool how the chart forms a leaf-shape. You can usually tell what the finished crochet will look like just from the chart.
Here’s a chart for the first round of a granny square! I forgot to draw the triangles on this one, though. But not all charts have triangles to show you where to start and finish off.
Ch 4, sl st into first ch to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 3, 2 dc into ring, ch 3. *3 dc into ring, ch 3* 3x, sl st into top of first ch to join.
I was too lazy to continue this chart, but that’s the first round of a traditional granny square.
One of my wonderful followers showed me how to make crochet charts in Microsoft Word, and I wanted to share it with you briefly! Thank you so much, Kristen, if you’re reading this. 🙂
Here are two examples. You just use Courier for a font, because every letter is the same width, and find letters that match the symbols. “X,” of course, is easy, and O works for a chain. The chart with T is a half-double crochet example, and I used the number 8 for a chain 2. You can also look under ‘special characters’ to find some that work – there’s actually a symbol for double crochet, believe it or not. So this is a great way to make some charts, especially ones in rows!
Obviously this just scratches the surface of crochet charts – there’s still so much I want to learn about them! I just wanted to offer a brief explanation in case you’d never encountered them, because they’re so useful. What are your thoughts on crochet charts? Do you like using them? Any tips for reading them/decoding them? 😀