How to read a crochet chart – Part III
We are steadily moving through the chart reading series as we follow up How to read a crochet chart – Part II with today’s lesson. In How to read a crochet chart – Part I we talked about the symbols that represent various stitches and how to read them on a basic chart. In How to read a crochet chart – Part II we elaborated on what we already learned and started reading clusters. Today we read in the round!
Reading a crochet chart in the round is just a little bit tricky because you need to keep track of where you are, but just like reading the straight patterns, we must follow the stitches where they lead. Keep in mind that the circle chart uses the same symbols as the flat chart, but in a circular fashion. So, let’s look at the symbol chart in figure 1 and refresh our memories about what each symbol means.
Now, we’re going to take a look at a very simple circular crochet chart pattern that we’ll break down so we know exactly how to follow the directions on the chart in the round. Before we pick up our hooks and yarn, let’s just read the pattern. If you get lost, don’t worry, just start over, using your finger to direct your eyes and see if you can read it while following each symbol. Good!
The chart goes as follows: Chain 8, connect with sl st to first ch – What you see in the chart are 8 symbols for “chain” arranged in a circle with the dot at the end which represents the “slip stitch”
Rnd 1: ch 3 (counts as first dc), 17 dc in center ring, sl st in top of t-ch (18 sts) – When the stitches aren’t associated with one particular stitch below, as in this row, that means all stitches are worked inside the circle and not into a particular stitch.
Rnd 2: ch 4 (counts as dc, ch1), [dc ch1] in each dc around, sl st in 3rd ch of turning ch – When stitches are stacked, as they are here, that means the stitches are worked in the tops of the corresponding stitch below it.
Rnd 3: [sc, ch 4, sc] in each ch-1 space around, sl st to first sc bind off. – In this row you see how the stitches are slanted to correspond to the same stitch below, that’s how we know they are both worked in the same place. You also see the loops, which represent chains, above the stitches indicating how many chains are needed before the next stitch is made.
NOTE: When stitches are grouped in brackets [ ] it means all the stitches are worked in one stitch.
Did that make sense for you? If not, read the chart again then work the piece again to make sure you understand. As I’ve said before, reading charts is a new skill that requires practice. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to learn what is being presented. The image in Figure 3 shows how your final piece should look.
Create the crochet piece in Figure 3 by using the chart you’ve just learned. Practice reading where to put the stitches so you’ll be more fluent when you get to more complicated charts.
Next week we’ll talk about reading graph charts.