Learning how to read a crochet chart doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems.
Just knowing what to look for and which direction to read it in is the key to reading the chart. For a chart with symbols you’ll also what to know what each symbol means.
I’m going to share my best tips for how to read a crochet chart.
What to Look for First
The first thing you want to look for is what direction you should read the chart in.
Most charts you find in crochet patterns will tell you how to read the chart.
On my crochet pattern the Halifax Hat, I state ” To follow chart, start with row 15 and work your way across each column, left to right.” Then work your way up each row. ”
Meghan of MeghanMakesDo states in her Phoenix Basket Free Crochet Pattern that her chart is read right to left. So, always check first in the notes section or near the chart itself.
If you’ve checked the pattern and it does not state how to read the chart, then it is best to assume it is read from right to left. In the book, The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs, it does not state how the charts are read.
However, it does have the row numbers listed on the end of each row, so it’s easy to figure out that the chart is read right to left.
If you are left-handed the way the chart is written may have an effect on your end project. Color work is usually backwards for left-handed crocheters so keep that in mind. You will need to work the opposite of how the chart is written in most cases.
Also, most of the time crochet charts are an addition to the pattern, as a form of extra help. So you can usually see how to follow the chart by checking the written instructions and comparing them to the chart.
When in doubt, send an email to the designer or author and ask.
As far as the symbols for crochet charts, most charts will have a key that states what each symbol means.
Check the pattern, book, or tutorial for the key.
If it is a colored chart, it will tell you which color to use. Sometimes it will just tell you whether or not to use your main color or contrasting color.
If it is a written chart, with specific stitch symbols, there is usually a key. A great resource for learning the different stitch symbols is the Crochet Chart Symbols post from Craft Yarn Council.
Follow the symbols as they are written to create the project.
A schematic is not necessarily a crochet chart, but it does provide a visual reference for the crochet to look at as they work up their project.
Schematics are often found in garment patterns or other complex projects. They usually include the size and shapes. They sometimes even show where to attach pieces or leave areas unworked.
Learning how to read a crochet chart is really not as hard as it seems! As long as you can figure out which way to read the chart and what the symbols mean you can decipher any chart!
Using crochet charts as an add on to the pattern is very helpful, especially if you’re a visual learner! So take advantage of those charts!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment below or send me an email!
Michelle has been crocheting for over 9 years and has been designing crochet patterns for 6 of those years. She specializes in modern garments and accessories for your handmade wardrobe. Michelle has been featured in Happily Hooked Magazine, thehooknooklife.com, wecrochet.com, ourmakerlife.com, and several other websites. She is committed to providing the highest quality crochet information and patterns that instill a true feeling of pride, enjoyment, and accomplishment when completing a project.