misadventures in crochet charts

I celebrated Thanksgiving by catching a head cold, and have spent the days since rubbing my poor nose raw with tissues, drinking tea, and eating soup. In between that, though, I’m getting caught up on Crochet School. This lesson: Reading Crochet Charts. My impetus for learning to crochet was seeing this lovely image on Pinterest:

Source: ravelry.com via meghan on Pinterest

So when the assignment was to find a pattern with a chart and make it, I immediately thought of this Japanese pattern. Just for fun, here’s what the chart looks like:

click to view full pdf

Simple enough, right? I know how to make granny squares, and I know the basic stitches. Not so much…

First, I thought that the stitch on the second round on the chart on the right was four double crochets. But this didn’t look right:

attempt 1

Then, I thought, “Oh! That must be the symbol for a popcorn stitch!” (Now, had I looked more carefully at the symbol for a popcorn stitch, I would have saved myself some yarn.) I did some googling, learned how to do a popcorn stitch, and made this:

attempt 2

Hmm, still didn’t look right. Maybe it was the gauge? Closer investigation of the label revealed that the yarn actually called for a slightly smaller hook than I had. So I switched to some chunkier yarn, and made this:

attempt 3

Still not loving it. This is when I realized that I wasn’t supposed to be using a popcorn stitch. Turns out I was supposed to be doing a cluster stitch. So after much frogging and wasted yarn, I finally wound up with these:

success

Finally — the correct stitches! But I’m still not loving them. I think that when (if?) I actually make this blanket, I will use a slightly smaller hook than the yarn calls for. This seems to be what others have done on ravelry. The actual pattern calls for two strands of lightweight yarn on a 3mm hook. Everything above is a worsted weight on a 6mm hook. The pattern doesn’t list gauge, but says that the squares measure 8 cm, which is a bit larger than 3 in. As you can see, my squares are about 5 in. I’ll definitely be making a lot more practice swatches and trying a few modifications on the pattern before I make a whole blanket out of this — if I decide to make it a blanket at all.

The good news is that after this adventure, I can definitely read a crochet chart, and I’ve been able to take a couple of tutorials and create charts for them, because I find the charts much easier to read, and much more portable for crafting on public transit. (I’ll show the charts in an upcoming post.)

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One thought on “misadventures in crochet charts

  1. Oh man – you’re bold for giving it a go. I think those two squares look great. Reading about your adventure, though, reminds me why I have only crocheted scarves in long straight lines 😉 Those patterns look intimidating.

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