How to Draw a Crochet Stitch Diagram

Crochet stitch diagrams are a great, useful tool for following patterns. Particularly when the pattern rows are intricate or the text is long and difficult to follow. But even for simple patterns, a diagram can help show the shape and construction of the piece before you even pick up hook and yarn.

Not every pattern comes with a diagram, however. They are expensive and time-consuming to produce, and require special digital tools and the skill to use them. However, if you come across a pattern that you’d love to make, you can create your own diagram with trusty pencil and paper.

My favorite tools for working up my own diagrams are graph paper, and a nice fine-point mechanical pencil. The graph paper helps keep my rows evenly drawn, and makes it easy to count the number of beginning chains given in the pattern.

For a sample here, I’m drawing the diagram for the Ginger Scarf by Beth Major, from the 2014 issue of Crochetscene. I’ve been itching to make this since it arrived in the office, and it’s an excellent pattern to use as a diagram sample.

I begin with the beginning chain, drawn across a lower row of the paper.

I follow the pattern, drawing as I go, building the rows upon each other as evenly as I can. It is also important to remember to number the rows, so they can be easily identified.

When I have the pattern drawn, and I am happy with the layout, I get a few colored pens, and go over the lines. This will keep the pattern from smudging as you carry it around, and will also help to define the different rows, so they are easier to see and follow.

Once I have my handy, portable diagram, I’m ready to pick up my yarn and start stitching! I love making diagrams for patterns. I often find the diagram to be as beautiful as the crocheted fabric itself. I hope you find that you enjoy sketching diagrams—and enjoy the Ginger scarf!

If you're looking for some help on how to read stitch diagrams, check out the downloadable webinar featuring Dora Ohrenstein.

Happy crocheting! 




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