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’sa 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? 😀
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
Hello! I am an expert in crochet and all things related to the craft. I have extensive knowledge and experience in crochet techniques, patterns, and terminology. I've been involved in the crochet community for many years and have a deep understanding of crochet charts and their importance in communicating crochet patterns effectively.
Crochet Charts: A Universal Language
Crochet charts are visual representations of crochet patterns, using symbols to represent different stitches. They provide a universal language for crocheters, allowing them to understand and follow patterns regardless of the language they are written in. This is particularly helpful when you come across a pattern in a language you don't speak, as the chart can guide you through the pattern without the need for translation.
Understanding Crochet Chart Symbols
Crochet charts consist of various symbols that represent different crochet stitches. These symbols are like a technical picture, illustrating the stitches used in the pattern. It's important to familiarize yourself with the basic stitch symbols to understand crochet charts effectively. Here are a few examples of common crochet symbols:
- The symbol for single crochet can be represented by a lowercase "T" or an "X".
- Other symbols represent different stitches such as double crochet, half-double crochet, and treble crochet.
It's worth noting that this is just a short list of basic stitch symbols, and there are many more symbols used in crochet charts. If you're interested in exploring a comprehensive list of crochet chart symbols, you can visit the Craft Yarn Council's page for more information.
Reading Crochet Charts
Reading crochet charts may seem daunting at first, but with practice and a little trial and error, it becomes easier to understand and follow the symbols. When reading a crochet chart, start from the lower left-hand corner and work your way across the chart, following the symbols and their corresponding stitches. It's also helpful to look for triangles on the chart, as they indicate where you should start or finish off your crochet work.
To illustrate this further, let's go through a couple of examples:
- Here's a chart for a simple granny square. The written pattern for the first round would be: "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."- Another example is a chart for a leaf-shaped pattern. The written pattern for this one would be: "Ch 8. Starting in the second ch from hk, hdc, dc, 2 tr, hdc, sl st in last st. Fasten off." As you can see, the crochet charts provide a visual representation of the stitches and their placement, making it easier to understand the pattern and create the desired crochet project.
Creating Crochet Charts
If you're interested in creating your own crochet charts, there are various methods you can use. One option is to use Microsoft Word and select the Courier font, as each letter in this font has the same width. You can then find letters that match the crochet symbols and use them to create your chart. Additionally, you can explore the "special characters" section in Word to find symbols that work for different crochet stitches.
Crochet charts are a valuable tool for crocheters, allowing them to communicate and understand crochet patterns in a universal language. By familiarizing yourself with crochet chart symbols and practicing reading charts, you can enhance your crochet skills and tackle patterns with confidence. Whether you're following a chart or creating your own, crochet charts provide a visual roadmap to bring your crochet projects to life.