Charts: The Sequel

Welcome to another Wednesday, everyone!

You know, after publishing last week’s post about charts (which many of you were quite enthusiastic about- thanks!), it occurred to me that we failed to address one huge group of crafters who use and love charts just as much: crocheters! Since not all of our readers are knitters, we thought we’d follow up last week’s discussion of knitting charts with a word about crochet charts.

Charts are useful in crochet for many of the same reasons that they are useful in knitting: they allow you to visualize how the individual stitches come together to create the finished design, making the journey from pattern to product much smoother.

Also like knitting charts, crochet charts represent stitches using symbols that look similar to the stitches they stand for. However, crochet charts are not always laid out on a grid. Many crochet projects, such as granny squares or doilies like the one pictured above, are best charted the same way they’re worked: in the round.

The crochet chart pictured above gives instructions for the doily pictured at the top of this post. You can see immediately how the symbols, arranged as the stitches will be when worked, present a clear image of the whole, finished doily. At first glance it may seem difficult to follow these instructions, but let’s take a closer look.


Here it is much easier to see the individual stitches and rows of the chart. You can tell by the direction these symbols are facing that this chart is worked from the center out. The symbols are not laid in straight lines, but you can easily follow the row by moving your finger from symbol to symbol where they connect.

Use the key given below to identify the stitches and see if you can follow a section of this pattern. A small oval represents a chain, so several ovals in a row tell you how many chains to work. A cross or an X represents a single crochet. A T with one slash through it represents a double crochet; a T with two slashes through it represents a triple crochet. When you encounter one of these symbols lined up directly with the stitch or space below it, you will work that stitch into the corresponding stitch or space of the previous row.

You can download this useful key as a PDF from The Craft Yarn Council’s website. It’s a wonderful resource for knitters and crocheters alike! We hope this explanation of crochet charts has been useful. Next time you encounter a crochet chart, give it a try…and be sure to tell us how it goes! Good luck!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandra David
    Oct 26, 2016 @ 12:23:27

    Excellent! Learning to read crochet charts at The Yarn Patch got me interested in crochet again. I know I’ll be doing more of it in the future. Even though I can, and have, made complicated crochet lace using written directions, I find it almost as tedious as doing the same with knitting. Charts are wonderful, and I really appreciate your focus on them.



    Oct 26, 2016 @ 16:01:59

    Hi:I have a question–In the actual pattern for this doily it says to start with the Magic Ring–what is this? Thanks for the chart_ I learned to crochet many years ago (70) and all I ever saw was written out directions that my grandmother had. Lately, I’ve seen patterns that use these symbols and didn’t know how to read these. Bev Moon–have enjoyed these post you have made lately




    • yarnpatch
      Oct 26, 2016 @ 16:55:29

      Thanks, Bev! Excellent question about the magic ring. I could give you a really long, really confusing explanation here…but I think youtube might do a much better job! 😉 Just search magic ring and you’ll find many good video tutorials.



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