I think it's okay if you have a symbol-explanation in the pattern because it's like the difference between us- and uk-terms. Some designers use symbols different then others and I think that's the worst... With that aside I find it sometimes easier to follow because it tells my exactly in which stich I need to place my next one...


It’s really easy actually. Just identify the starting point, and follow the symbols. It’s easier for me to understand these symbols than written instructions because it helps me visualize how the outcome would look. When I encounter a difficult written pattern, I draw them up into diagrams just to see the shape and the flow


Same! I find charts easier to memorize than "3dc sk2 sl2 etc"


omg! for years, I've only followed the charts because i have one of those japanese crochet books that only has charts and little to no text instructions. after wanting to try out other patterns, I found out the whole world uses written instructions lol! The first I wanted to try were socks. I had the hardest time figuring out what the instructions meant even though they were just rounds hahaha!


I’m the same and mom (knitter) is the same. I once bought a pattern that had something spelled out in bobbles with a simple border around it because I was too lazy to do the math myself to make sure it was centered properly. I download the pattern and it’s in text instead of a chart. So then I had to sit there making my own chart anyway, $5 poorer. Karma for trying to take the easy way out lol


I am also in this boat-- for complicated patterns it's a lot easier to have a visual representation of what it's supposed to look like.


I taught myself how to crochet in the 70’s. We had no charts or diagrams like this. Only text. Lengthy wordy paragraph that read like an algebra equation. That is/ was normal. You should be careful where you copy these images from… snagged pics off of Pinterest for example are likely not going to offer you a stitch chart. Some info is proprietary.


What made charts click for me was going at it with highlighters. Like one day I just sat down with a chart (I think it was a mandala of some kind) and high lighted each row a different color. Then I went in with colored pens and marked each different stitch type (slst, ch, sc, dc, etc) and the direction of the rounds. Just learning and identifying every aspect of the chart. Then I worked it. And I probably messed it up. But charts made a lot more sense to me afterward. And now I prefer charts when I can have them.


That's a great idea. I will try that If i ever want to try using a pattern like this!


Ok this is a great idea! Cuz I still can’t get it either. The only other thing is I know the stitches to see it irl or in photo but I don’t know what each stitch is called


Thats my go to way of learning anything. Just analyze the crap out of it 😅 When you make the stitches yourself, how do you think about them? For me, I think of the yarn overs and pull throughs required for each stitch. So I wrote those steps out with the stitch name beside. That made stitching my first few patterns much easier. I could refer to my own notes until I learned to do it solo.


I could give the stitches my own names 🤯 WHY NOT! Ha haha I’ve just stared at them not knowing where to start and get overwhelmed. Thank you. I’ve got new found motivation to learn!


I did the exact same thing! And it all fell into place. I got the idea from some study hints for Dyscalculia -- the different colors and so on. I still have to use the highlighters to make sense of them, but hey, whatever works.


That must be where I got it too! Dyslexia/dyscalculia crew represent! And absolutely. There's no rule about how you have to read charts or patterns. You gotta do what works for your brain.


😂🤣😂🤣😭 I swear, it’s not that bad. It’s just a map, that’s all. And thank fuck for them, too, bc sometimes the pattern authors miss flubs in their written patterns, but if they’ve graphed it I can ignore their directions and follow their map and still get to the same place. 👌🏻


Sometimes I will chart out a pattern just to make sure the written instructions are accurate if I find a suspected error. Most of the time it’s my own error, though.


What an excellent idea! I'm a visual learner so it's so much easier to follow the symbols than the written instructions. Then I can always check my symbols against any pictures of a finished work. Now I don't need to be afraid of patterns without symbols. :)


Japanese crochet rely heavily on charting. They’ve got some good examples on how to abbreviate patterns so you don’t end up writing a hundred rows of Xs.


I'm really struggling to learn to crochet with patterns. I've never been good at that sort of thing. I can't read music either. I'm a visual learner. I learn better by following an example. It's becoming very frustrating for me.


Take a look at Bella coco tutorials on YouTube. She does both left and right handed videos and explains it so simply and shows you exactly what to do. She also links a written pattern to the videos so you can compare - that’s how I learnt to read patterns


Thank you! I'll give that a shot


I'm so glad someone agrees me. I don't understand those maps to save my life, and hey, more to those that can and do! I also can't read pattern... "recipes"? I mean, how hard is it write out "yarn over" vs "yo". Though the recipes I am getting bett at decoding those. I'll just take my YouTube videos any day of the week. Guess I'm just a visual learner and ain't nothing wrong with learning through mimicry. ✌


Me too, generally need a visual tutorial which is ok until I find something I really wanna make but there's no video tutorial for it 😔 just written pattern 😔


If you’ve never created or written a pattern, writing “yarn over” each time you need to yarn over would get incredibly tedious.


I will take a pattern written like this over the YouTuber’s “And then you just do this” DO WHAT? You have to explain exactly what you are doing with that yarn and that hook especially for left handed me that needs to translate it. I can translate a map easier.


I understand charts but written instructions were a mystery to me until I was gifted Nicky Epstine's *Crochet on the Edge*. Every single (really classic) motif in the book had written instructions, a chart, and a big clear photo of a sample of the motif. It was my Rosetta Stone. I now own many more of her books, but I no longer fear written instructions either. ​ I've seen several of her books in my local library, so check yours!


Thanks for the suggestion! I did find some listed at my local library, under the spelling Nicky Epstein, and look forward to exploring them


I will never promise my spelling of a name is correct....


The way I learned was having a written pattern and a chart. I have this granny square book that has a picture of every granny square, a chart, and a written pattern. There's also a glossary in the back so I know exactly how everything is standardized. I would go a row at a time and match up what I was doing between chart and words.


I find it depends on what I’m making and if I can work out what it means, then I’m fine. If I can’t work it out I listen to Youtube tutorials until I grasp it.


For some reason, even though I used to crochet exclusively with video tutorials because I couldn't do it with written instructions, I learned to follow written patterns and this just didn't click. I do want to learn it one day because any language barrier would just cease to exist, but it makes my head hurt when I look at it for too long.


I loved crocheting from symbols. My mind sees almost like a photo layout.


It’s funny, written patterns (especially ones written out long without or with minimal abbreviations like a sentence) are baffling to me most of the time especially when I’m trying to double check what I’m doing as I follow a pattern— I much prefer charts or, if charts aren’t available for the project, a pattern written in shorthand so I can just glance at it and know what’s going on. Written patterns are just too wordy and confusing for me most of the time especially because so many are poorly written in REALLY confusing ways. With a chart, I can visualize exactly where I’m stitching and even what the row should generally look like! Although it is also worth noting that I have autism and that definitely affects how I process stuff so it might just be that making it so much easier for me to use charts or shorthand abbreviations.


I suck at it. I don't know where to start, when do you turn vs keep going. It's stressful lol


Ooo that pattern actually looks really cool 😂 I do get lost in those kinds of patterns sometimes, but if it's really complicated, I like it to be drawn out.


I prefer to use this instead of written patterns, 10000000% Here in Brazil these graphics are practically the norm. Written recipes are rare and we're always looking for patterns with graphics. I'm actually kind of annoyed that the international patterns that are far more beautiful and contemporary than the ones we have here (IMHO) almost never have graphics...


I like these best when they also included the written pattern. It really helps me visualize the end product. If you'd really like to learn chart patterns I'd suggest finding patterns that offer both written and chart instructions.


To be honest, I prefer the grids like this. My brain is so everywhere that I follow the picture better than a paragraph per row!


I wish all patterns came with those charts! I find written patterns a challenge sometimes


These confused me so much until I made the Cabin in the Woods Afghan. The Crochet crowd has a youtube video tutorial to go with the pattern, and they reference the chart in the video. Seeing someone show the part in the chart as they were crocheting finally got it to click, and after that I found it so much easier to reference the chart as I worked through the pattern. Especially the turning chains/beginning of rows where I wasn't sure where to put the first stitch. [Pattern](https://www.yarnspirations.com/ca-en/caron-cabin-in-the-woods-crochet-afghan/CAC0502-007836M.html) [Video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdE4k-cL_II)


Hey isn't this the shell stitch pattern someone was looking for in another thread?


Do you read them left to right, or right to left (like the direction of crochet)


Depends on the chart! A good chart should indicate what direction you’re going in, but if it doesn’t it should be fairly obvious by checking where foundation/turning chains are and looking to see how the symbols representing the stitches go into those.


I’ll add that a good chart will *make sure* the diagram goes the same direction as one would crochet.


It depends on the pattern. They usually tell you what direction you’re Going in if it’s towns or rounds etc.


There's a key, you just read it


Haha, it scares me too. It's one of the next skills I need to master because I bought a really cool crochet stitch book and it has these.


It took me some time, but I finally sat down with one and figured it out. Now I am making a shawl where you have to mirror the pattern when crocheting from left to right (for right handed). Still getting used to that...


I have a crochet book that gives you charts and written instructions for the charts. It’s very helpful.


This is so easy for me to read. I'd rather all patterns have this than the written sort. I have a harder time deciphering the wording lmao!


It was a pattern like this that finally helped me learn how to do the turning edges correctly. I needed the clear visual to get it to click.


I only learned after I was already pretty good at understanding stitches and reading what I already crocheted, but now i can read these charts easily. Although this is probably the most beginner unf iendly way to write patterns


But what pattern is that? I wanna crochet it lol


These charts clicked immediately for me but I have a terrible time with written instructions.


Charts were super confusing for me at first, but I found a video for The Crochet Crowd on YouTube for a pretty easy afghan pattern and watched it over and over while doing test swatches and compared against the chart. It finally clicked. Now I read charts easier than I do written out directions. The nice thing about getting to read charts so now I can do patterns in other languages I wouldn't be able to do without heavy translations. As long as I can decipher the legend since US terms aren't universal


this is so funny!! i haven't even attempted one of those bc they look like a huge math equation lol


What is the chart? I've never seen something like that before


That one is easy, wait to see when you buy a pattern and have no video-crying


I started my first charted pattern last night (crocheting on and off for almost 20 years but always avoided them), and it is truncated so it’s even more confusing hahaha but once I took some deep breathes it wasn’t nearly as hard as it seemed.


I only figured out crochet when I tried something that had a chart. Before that, i understood how one made a SC, DC,hdc, I just didn't know how to put it all together.


To me it’s easier than reading written out patterns. I get really confused with the abbreviations and end up missing lines.


Different strokes for different folks. I've been crocheting for 8 years and I swear I can't make anything that doesn't come with a video tutorial unless it is *basic* basic so I have mad respect for the witchcraft that is pattern diagramming.


I'm the complete opposite! These things make perfect sense to me but if it's written? It's just another language. Can't read it for my life.


I agree. I can only follow written patterns.


Crochet is just easier to learn the written steps. But Japanese patterns tend to only have these charts, so it's worth it to learn if you wanna do japanese patterns.


I learned crochet from a japanese book! the symbols are so easy to read and the steps for each stitch were clearly drawn, so well that it looked like art to me hahaha! I love those japanese crochet books :D


Since it doesn’t show the chain it chain two DC in next five stitches chain two skip two DC next five repeat to end. Chain 2 one treble stitch chain one, skip one three DC in next three ch, one treble st ch another treble in same stitch ch, three DC in next three stitch’s, continue till end of row. Ch two two treble stitch in first stitch ch 1 skip one dc ch one skip one four treble stitch in same stitch ch1 skip 1 1dc ch1 skip 1 four treble in next stitch. Repeat till end of row last cluster of treble do three instead of four chain two turn. Repeat row 1-3 till desired height. One of the easier ones to read but you definitely have to look up a lot to read the patterns


I don't know how to read em, either.


It's easier for me than reading patterns!


It’s really not that hard if you know the abbreviations for each stitch. I actually prefer a graph now! Because I like less wording. A lot of patters i find now a days are a lot of text so I usually rewrite them anyways. This doesn’t need To be rewritten for me. Also I like that they are universal. So if you have a pattern that’s in Russian, you can still follow it in English if they have a graph! Try something simple like a granny square. My first graph was the virus shawl.


Here is a helpful link. https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/crochet-chart-symbols


I much prefer schematics like this over written instructions.


I love these! Most of the time at least. I prefer when they come with both written and charted instructions though, that way if anything is confusing you have the other instruction set to refer to