Reading Patterns in Crochet

Reading patterns in crochet is not really difficult. If you love crochet but don't really know how to read a crochet graph then this post is for you. 

 When I started to Crochet, the biggest problem I faced was that, all the patterns I liked were either visual patterns or they were in Spanish. (we are talking about 2005!) 

I don't speak Spanish but I did teach myself a bit of it and then one fine day decided that it was better to learn to read those patterns than break my head over translations. (It was also the day I fell in love with a Chinese pattern!) 

Here are two charts that translates written stitches into visual diagrams.

 
Chart 1.
 
 
Chart 2.
 
No matter what system you follow -UK or US system, the symbols are the same. Even in Spanish and Portuguese.

How do you read them?
 
Six chains to form a ring will be six little ovals arranged in a ring. Sometimes, they may write a '6' in the middle and sometimes not. If you look at the diagram below, you'll know what I mean.

Example of a diagram with chains
 
If I were to write the above pattern in words it would be like this. Please refer to the above diagram one row at a time so you can compare and understand what I am saying.
 
First row: Chain 6 and slip stitch in first chain.
 
2nd row: Chain 1 for first sc and then (8chain, sc into ring) 5times. Chain 3 and then 1treble on to the chain 1 at starting of row. (This will move us to the next row)
 
3rd row: chain 2 for 1st hdc, 2hdc on to the treble of previous row, chain 6 and 3hdc on each (chain 8) group of previous row. (you are not making a hdc in a stitch but over the chains. if it was in each stitch, the diagram would show 1hdc in each ch) Follow around and slip stitch into the chain 2 at the beginning.
 
4th Row: chain 2 for first hdc, 4hdc and chain6. (5hdc and chain 6) all around and slip stitch into first chain 2 at the beginning.
 
 
Here is another example below.
 
Example of a Diagram with chains and double crochet.
 
It doesn't say how many chains to use to make a ring in the middle. I, personally, prefer to use a two chains and then work into the 1st chain but you can also make a ring of 4chains and then work on it. It is simpler that way and neat too. Here is how to read the pattern.
 
1st row: make a ring (however you like)
 
2nd row: chain 3 for first dc, (ch1 dc1) 15times into the ring. ch1 and slip stitch into top of starting chain 3.
 
3rd row: Chain 3 for first dc, ch1 (1dc, 1ch) in each chain and each dc of previous row. (that means you are working into each stitch and not over it.) slip stitch into top of the chain3 at the beginning.
 
Try continuing with the pattern and see what you come up with.
 
 
Do leave a comment as to how you like this post and what else you'd like me to include.

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