How to Follow Stitch Diagrams for Crocheted Motif Garments
Two weeks ago, we scratched the surface of working with stitch diagrams, which is essentially a picture of a crochet pattern. In a stitch diagram, each stitch is represented by a character. The characters are arranged so that you can see the order of the stitches, each stitch's relation to the stitches around it, and how the stitches work together to create the finished product. Stitch diagrams are a fabulous tool for edgings, stitch patterns, and motifs.
Last time we looked at a stitch pattern for the Beach Sarong from Interweave Crochet's summer issue. For the sarong, the stitch diagram was worked in rows. Today's stitch diagram is worked in rounds to create motifs. The Maggie Wrap Top from Robyn Chachula's book Blueprint Crochet: Modern Designs for the Visual Crocheter is made up of motifs and partial motifs that are joined as you go. We'll take a closer look at the diagram for a motif and a joining motif. You can download the Maggie Wrap Top for free here,
Robyn Chachula is a master of motif-based designs. Her patterns come with several diagrams that clearly illustrate each motif, and they repeat a part of the motif in a diagram that shows how to join the motifs. In the pattern, you will find each motif color-coded so that every other round is blue, making it easier to track which round you are on. In the Granny Motif diagram at right, you can see the basics of the motif: you begin at the center, where a number in a circle shows you how many chains to make (9 for this motif). You join with a slip stitch, then work a single crochet in each chain (those are the little plus signs). The diagrams have a key that shows you what stitch each symbol represents. Work from the center out, with each round growing in size.
In the Joining Two Grannies diagram, the bottom motif is complete and ready to be joined. The inner part of the motif is blank, so you are not distracted by stitches that don't concern the joining motif. You only need to know where to join on the outer round (the little blue dots on the bottom motif). The outer blue round on the top motif is the round you work, joining the complete motif on one side.
The pattern includes diagrams for joining two motifs, then four motifs. A large schematic illustrates the arrangement of motifs for the complete garment.
The pattern is also written out in words, in case the diagrams make you dizzy. But even if you prefer to follow the written directions, the diagram can help you visualize the final motif more clearly.
If you like the Maggie Wrap Top, check out Blueprint Crochet, which has four more motif-based patterns to offer.