by Alison Stapleton

Features of a crochet diagram pattern

In general

Reading a written crochet pattern assumes many things.

Such as:

  • That you can read English
  • That you use either UK or USA stitch names
  • That the pattern is written correctly
  • That the pattern instructions are clear

Let’s look at each one by itself.

It assumes that – you speak English

I speak English as probably you do to as you are reading this. But I also like to use patterns from other countries.

I think the Japanese crochet diagrams are the best. They are clear and precise and I don’t have to read Japanese to use the patterns.

Likewise, if I design a crochet garment and I only write the pattern in English words, then other world wide crocheters can’t read my work.

I want my designs to be used by all crocheters and that is why I write the pattern in English and draw the crochet stitch diagram to go with it.

Almost every pattern on my site and my books are both written and have a diagram.

It assumes that – you know the difference between a UK or USA stitch

The difference between UK and USA crochet stitches and why the diagram is clear.

The UK double crochet and treble crochet are the same as the USA single crochet and double crochet.

The actual stitch is the same but the name of the stitch is different.

Double Crochet (USA) is the same as Treble Crochet (UK)

  • Yarn over hook (two loops on hook)
  • Insert hook into stitch below.
  • Yarn over hook, and pull through stitch below (three loops on hook)
  • Yarn over hook, pull through two loops (two loops remain on hook).
  • And then, yarn over hook, pull through two loops (two loops remain on hook).
  • Yarn over hook, pull through last two loops (one loop remains on hook).

It assumes that – the pattern is written correctly

In a written crochet pattern there are lines of code for the pattern rows. Such as:

RSF R1, yoh (rep5.) 3tr, 2ch 1FPst (rep. from * to * 8 times) turn.

Now in the above sentence (if it is a sentence), any error in the typing (a typo) will create an error in the pattern. And the crafter will not be able to complete the garment because she can’t read the pattern.

In a long pattern with motives, sections and finished borders there could be over 100 lines of pattern instruction. One line will create a problem and often there are two or three errors in a pattern.images-1

This makes the whole job a frustration and the crocheter may give up and (this is the worse part), tell others that your patterns are always incorrect and they should avoid them.

This is not good if you are in the business of selling patterns.

It assumes that – the instructions are clear

There comes a time in written crochet patterns when they will benefit from more explanation. This is achieved by expanding on the instructions and writing instructions in plain English.

We can all do with clarity at times. And crochet patters are no exception.

If a pattern is too hard to understand because of how it is written then it will not work. That pattern is no good.

Crochet diagrams symbols

Diagram symbols

In diagram a there is one symbol for every stitch.images


Slip stitch

Double crochet

Treble crochet

Each symbol is drawn separately.

Diagram rows

Each row is numbered.

Every row has an arrow indicating which way the row is worked. Either left to right, right to left or in the round.

Typically each Rosie drawn in a different color so you ca clearly see which row you are on. Here I use black and blue to separate the rows.

Benefits of crochet pattern diagrams

A picture is worth a thousand words. And this is true of crochet diagrams.

  • Uses left brain of visual imagery.
  • Designer can be non-native English speaker.
  • The diagram can be read by everyone on earth.
  • Clarity uses less space. One page for each project.
  • Can be printed bigger for older eyes.
  • Kids can use them.

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