Learning a new way to read a crochet pattern today!
One of the hottest trends in crochet today is Japanese crochet. Japanese crochet is the same as "regular" crochet, except it is all done from a chart. The written pattern is almost always excluded.
Now if you are new to crochet and pattern reading (we've been learning to read a pattern while learning to crochet here on the blog if you'd like to learn too - just do a search for crochet in the sidebar), don't panic. It will look really scary, but actually it is EASY.
Yep, easy. Really.
Here is the chart of crochet symbols from the Craft Yarn Council of America. When you pull up the chart, you'll see x's and T's and hooky looking things. These symbols each represent a specific stitch. The cool part about the chart is that these symbols actually LOOK like the stitches.
And this is what makes working from a chart easier, especially if you struggle with reading a pattern. The chart basically shows you what your end product will look like. If you know what it's supposed to look like, it's easier to follow along and to catch mistakes.
So let's give it a try!
Here's a simple flower I found on a blog hop. It's from an adorable site, LeMonde de Sucrette. She has all kinds of fun crochet stuff, so be sure to go back to her blog and check all the goodness out!
Click the link above, and print the chart. Grab a hook and yarn - whatever size you like to work with. Here we go!
You'll notice that the chart doesn't have a beginning chain. You can start crocheting this way, and I'll be glad to show you how another time. Today, we're going to start with chain 4.
We are also going to do double crochets (dc) instead of trebles. Make 11 dc in the 4th ch from hook. Join with sl st in top ch of beginning ch 3. This will make the inside circle, just like we did for the flower mug mat. On the chart, this round is blue. It looks like this:
Can you see how the double crochets look kind of like a T with a line through it?
Round 2 is in red. Ch 3 and dc in same stitch. 2 dc in each stitch around. Join with sl st in top ch of beginning chain. Like this:
Round 3 is in green. It's the shells that make the petals. Start with a ch 3, and make 4 dc in the same stitch. This is your first shell.
(Skip one stitch, and sc in the next stitch. Skip one stitch, make 7 dc in the next stitch) 5 times. You now have 6 shell petals. Skip one stitch, sc in the next, and join to the top ch of the beginning ch 3. Fasten off - you're done!
The especially cool part about using a chart really comes into play in that last round. You can see how Sucrette skipped a stitch, just by looking at where she placed the x that represents a single crochet.
So make a bunch of these in all sorts of colors, with all kinds of yarn or even crochet thread. This is very similar to the small flowers I used on the Anthro Inspired skirt. I used a G hook and cotton crochet yarn. Sew them on skirts and other items for little girls, purses and bags for little girls. Crochet a bunch out of crochet thread and stitch them together to make a doily for Mother's Day. Make a long crochet chain, then attach these to the chain for a cute spring banner. And of course you can play with the flower design itself. Skip round 2 to make it smaller. Add a third round of dc's to make it bigger. Use fewer dc's to make the petals smaller. Stack your shells to make it ruffly. Using trebles, like in Sucrette's original design, will also make your circle bigger. Use sc's to make it smaller. Change colors after each round - a great way to use up those really tiny oddments of yarn in your stash!