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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Crochet Diagrams: Breaking the Code

I have found it is sometimes easier for me to understand a pattern if it is presented in the dreaded crochet diagram.  I know you have seen them, those seemingly incomprehensible pictures of lines, arrows, dots, squiggles and what-have-you.

What are Crochet Diagrams?

According to Robin Brzozowski at Craftsy,  "Simply put, a diagram is a chart, a schematic if you will, of a pattern made up of symbols that represent stitches. All you need to break the code is the symbol key — that’s it! And, thankfully, you don’t have to risk life and limb to find it.
In fact, most diagrams (which are also referred to as charts, depending on the designer), include a legend or key to show you what stitches the symbols represent. Once you break the code, you have a tool that opens a whole world of pattern possibilities."

 Crochet Diagram Chart
Crochet Diagram:  Get your copy of the Chart HERE

This is still not much help, so here is a simple design showing how the chart looks and how the finished product should look:

Like everything else, there are rules to follow:
  1. Diagrams are worked from the bottom up and are designed for right-handed crocheters unless otherwise noted.
  2. A solid arrow points the beginning direction. After the starting chain, you work in a zigzag motion back and forth up the pattern.
  3. The right side row (RS) number is placed on the right side of the diagram and you work that line right to left.
  4. The wrong side row (WS) number is placed on the left side of the diagram and you work that line left to right.
  5. Stitches should appear in columns so you can see what stitch to work into as you go up the pattern.
  6. Pattern repeats are shown by either highlighting the stitches or with a bracket under the starting chain indicating the number of stitches. This is important when determining how long to make a starting chain. Don’t forget to add the number of turning (or raising) stitches to your total.
  7. If written instructions are included, this is shown at the beginning of the pattern as: Multiples of “x” plus “y”. (I thought I’d throw this in because it took me a long time to figure it out!)
  8. A bracket on the right side of the diagram indicates the number rows in the pattern repeat.
  9. A chain stitch that “hangs off” the end of the row is not counted. It simply raises the work to the next row.
  10. You do count a chain stitch that is directly over a stitch at the end of the row.
It is particularly easy to complete a doily with a diagram rather than with written instructions.  Whichever method you prefer, get out those hooks and get to work!

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