– Chart Reading 101, Part 3

Part 3PDF

Written by Tuesday Fortnite

Sorry, it’s been a while and thank you to everyone for being so patient, and for your very kind feedback and comments –here’s Part 3 (as a webpage – the PDF has been available for ages – I’ve also made a couple of modifications/updates to this page but not the PDF, just so you know)

This time we are going to finishing off our little test swatch, and looking at a real genuine ‘no English’ chart pattern to work out what’s needed.  Last time I left you with

101-3 image1to see if you could work out Row 4. Hopefully you got….

101-3 image2
Chain 3 to count as first DC, and then 3DC into the top of the last DC of the previous row.


Chain 5101-3 image3
Skip the Ch3, 5DC group, Ch3



101-3 image43DC into the top of the 1DC,
Chain 1,
3DC into the same DC


Chain 5101-3 image5
Skip the Ch3, 5DC group, Ch3



101-3 image64DC into the 3rd of the 6 chain you did on the previous row.



Row 5
This is the last row of our little swatch, and it looks like….

101-3 image7 0- row 5Now the first thing to notice is, that if we look at the whole chart , we’ve seen this (or at least something very similar) before… Have a careful look at Row 3…

101-3 image8Can you see that, if you ignore the edges, Row 3 and Row 5 are the same pattern offset by 1?
So we know, following the chart for Row 5 that we are going to

  • Chain 3 (to act as our first DC), 2DC into the last of the DC of the previous row,
  • Then we’ll Ch3, 1DC into the 5Chain arch, Ch3
  • 5DC cluster into our 1chain space in the middle of our fan of the previous row
  • Ch3, 1DC into the 5Chain arch, Ch3
  • And finally, 3DC into the top of the Ch3 that we did for turning chain on the previous row.

Extending your pattern

(warning: there is a bit more maths in this bit – but don’t panic, just take it one step at a time and read it as many times as you need.  There’s no timer and it’s not a race.  Right, deep breath…)

In all seriousness, that’s where the chart ends – so now what? Well if I look carefully at the chart, and in particular the middle vertical section, I can see what the designer wants me to do…

101-3 image9 - extendingI can see an Arch, with 1DC in the middle of it. There is then a 6DC shell into that and then a 5DC cluster into that.
Looking at either side of the main pattern, I can see that after my 5DC cluster, there is an arch to start the pattern again.  Knowing this I can now extend my pattern upwards (or make my sample longer in normal language)
After Row 5 I am going to start again at Row 2 and so on… A written pattern will probably say something like ‘Rows 2 to 5 form the pattern repeat’.  The box shows Row 2 to 5 extending the pattern upwards..

101-3 image10But what happens if I want to do more width repeats than the pattern box allows? What if I have a stitch dictionary that only gives me a tiny sample and I want to make a wrap? A starting base of 25 and 3 turning chain (28 in total) is possibly enough for a scarf, but it’s not enough for a wrap.

Well, actually this is doable. Back in Part 1 we discussed pattern repeats and how knowing the number of chain in a pattern repeat allows us to increase the width..

101-3 image11Our original starting chain was 25, and 3 turning. In this case the pattern repeat is 12 sts (the repeat is marked by the blue box) – so if I wanted to make it wider I would have to increase my base chain by 12 for every repeat I wanted.

101-3 image12Notice that there’s quite a lot of pattern there that isn’t covered by the blue box. Those starting chain are important! We have the two edges to deal with – lets mark those out as well in green…

101-3 image13So you can see we need to add another 6 stitches for our edging (it’s usually ¼ of the pattern stitch count on either end – or ½ the stitch repeat in total.) But 12 + 6 is 18, not 25 – so where’s the other 7?

It’s the other ½ repeat in the middle of our swatch (marked here in pink)

101-3 image14But Tuesday”, I hear you cry, “How can ½ of 12 possibly be 7?” It’s not, obviously, but remember back in the dim and distant past in Part 1 we talked about stitch repeats and that extra one chain to turn the corner? This is where the sneaky one comes in. Looked at in a different way we have:

  • 1 pattern repeat – 12
  • ½ pattern repeat – 6
  • ¼ pattern repeat on one edge – 3
  • ¼ pattern repeat on the other edge – 3
  • (making a total of two pattern repeats) = 24
  • Add the extra one to turn the corner -= 25!

The current pattern is 1 and ½ whole repeats of the pattern wide (plus the ¼ edges) making a total of 2 genuine repeats. What would I need to do to make it 6 repeats wide?

That’s right – add another 4 repeats. We know a repeat is 12 stitches. 12 x 6 = 72, and do you remember that extra 1 to act as a corner? Yeap, that’s 73 plus our turning chain 3 (76).

Another way of saying the same thing (for those who brains work differently): for a 5 1/2 repeat wide scarf with ¼ pattern edges we would need to do 76 chain (or 73 and 3 turning chain)

Here’s an example of 4 repeats wide – how many starting chain? (can you work it out before you look at the answer below?)
101-3 image15

  • 12 stitch pattern repeat (blue box), 3 repeats = 36.
  • + ½ repeat (pink box) = 6 stitches = 42
  • + edge stitches (green boxes) = 6 stitches = 48
  • + 1 fudge stitch = 49 + 3 turning chain = 52

I’m hoping that by now you are comfortable (or at least a bit more confident) about reading a crochet chart.  You can read the legend that tells you what stitches you need, you know how to count  the repeats, how to ‘read’ what the designer wants you to do – and how to modify a pattern to make it wider and longer.

Well done!  Go treat yourself with your favourite tipple or snack before we move onto  the next part of this section – How to apply all this to those pesky foreign language charts!


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