Our crochet for beginners instruction will introduce you to reading graphical crochet charts. Very often people who are accustomed to follow crochet patterns described in words or abbreviations run far away once they see a pattern presented graphically. :-)
Meanwhile, majority of people are visual learners. They get much more information if they can see something with their own eyes instead of reading or listening someone's information without seeing a process. Especially when we are talking about crochet for beginner level of mastery.
That's what graphical charts are for. They give you a chance to VISUALIZE a pattern BEFORE it is ready. Is it really easy to understand how to read crochet charts? They say that the shortest is the road you know. Let's make the graphical charts "the road we know."
To make our learning crochet for beginners curve easier, we are going to consider a pattern which looks pretty complicated from the first glance, but is designed of three basic crochet stitches only: chain, single crochet, and double crochet (US).
To show them on the chart, we use International Crochet Symbols.
Our pattern has 12 rows to crochet. Let's follow them step by step. Each row is shown in a different color. At the end of each row we make a turning chain to go to the next row. Number of chains in a turning chain depends on the type of stitch in the next row. One chain for single crochet, three for double crochet.
Turning chain becomes the first stitch of the next row once you turn your work 180 degrees in order to begin next row. Read the chart starting from the bottom. This is where the very first row always located. Follow a pattern in the direction shown for each row. Odd rows from right to left, even rows from left to right.
Not always a chart has number of rows marked and direction of crocheting shown. In this case look for the turning chain. It always shows the beginning of the row it belongs to.
Patterns begins from the foundation chain. Since our 1st row has double crochets (dc) in it, number of chains in the foundation chain is equal to the number of stitches in the first row PLUS THREE chains (35st+3st=38st). To be safe, you can make more chains (any extra chains can be easily eliminated later).
Row 1. 35 double crochets (dc) into the foundation chain . First stitch goes into the 4-th chain after the hook. Now you have 36 stitches in the 1st row. At the end 3 turning chains (counted as first stitch for the 2nd row).
Row 2. *1 dc in the 1st stitch, ch 1, skip 1 st,* pattern between * and* repeat 7 more times, 2dc, *ch1 ,skip 1 st, 1 dc,* pattern between * and* repeat 7 more times, 1 dc, 3 turning chains(counted as first stitch for the 3rd row)
Row 3. Repeat 1st row: 1 dc in each stitch of the second row.36 stitches total.
Row 4. 9
dc, ch 8, skip 3 dc, 10 dc, ch 8, skip 3 dc, 10 dc. 3 turning chains
(counted as first stitch for the 5th row). Sometimes instead of showing
chains, designers just show an arch and a digit for the number of
Row 5. Ch 2, skip 2 dc, 4 dc, ch4, skip 3 dc, 2 single crochet (sc) under arch of 8 chains of the previous row, ch4, skip 3 dc, 4 dc. Follow the chart to the end of the row. 3 turning chains (counted as first stitch for the 6th row).
Row 6. Ch 2, skip 2 stitches, 1 dc, ch4, 6 sc: 2 sc under arch of 4 st, 2sc into 2 sc, 2 sc under arch, ch 8, follow the pattern to the end of the row. 3 turning chains (counted as first stitch for the 7th row).
Row 7. Ch2, skip 2 stitches, 4 dc: 1st into dc, 3 under arch, ch 4, skip 2 sc of the previous row, 2 sc into 3rd and 4th sc, ch 4, skip 4 stitches, 4 dc under arch of 8 ch, ch 4, skip 4 stitches. Continue to the end of the row. 3 turning chains (counted as first stitch for the 8th row).
Row 8. 9 dc: 2dc under arch of 2 chains, 4 dc into dc, 3dc under chain of 4 ch,ch 3 , 10 dc: 3dc under arch of 4ch, 4 dc into 4 dc, 3dc under arch of 4ch,ch 3, 10 dc: 3dc under chain of 4, 4 dc into dc, 2 dc under chain of 2, 1 dc into turning chain.
Next row consists of single crochets which are lower that dc. Hence, 1 turning chain at the end of the 8th row (counted as first stitch for the 9th row).
Row 9. 35 sc. Together with 1 turning ch from the previous row we have 36 st in row 9. 1 turning chain at the end (counted as first stitch for the 10th row).
Row 10. 1 sc,* ch 5, skip 3 ch, 1 sc.* Pattern between * and * repeat 3 more times. 1 sc, * ch 5, skip 3 ch, 1 sc.* Pattern between * and * repeat 3 more times, 1 sc.
3 turning chains (counted as first stitch for the 11th row).
Row 11.*Ch 1, 3 dc INTO the 3rd chain of the 5 ch arch.* Pattern between * and * repeat 3 more times, Ch 2.
* 3 dc INTO the 3rd chain of the 5 ch arch, ch 1* Pattern between * and * repeat 3 more times,1 dc, 3 turning chains (counted as first stitch for the 12th row)
Another way to crochet a pattern is a crochet in round method. In order to begin crocheting in rounds our foundation chain has to be turned into a ring. After that all stitches of the pattern will be located AROUND that ring.
Very often it is pretty difficult to make an adequate word or
abbreviation descriptions for design based on crocheting in round
methods. For crochet for beginners level life becomes much easier -:)
if you use graphical charts to present your design.
Our next crochet for beginners instruction is about crocheting in rounds. Let's consider how to read charts while we work with crochet in rounds type of projects.