Understanding Crochet Schematics


Opaline Top by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby

Have you ever thought about designing your own crochet sweater pattern? Maybe the waist, hip, bust, and sleeve measurements are giving you pause. It is a lot of numbers. I know I often tell people I was good at English not math. But don’t let those numbers overwhelm you. The trick for me is understanding the schematic.

Crochet schematics are little pictures that shows you what size the finished sweater will be when it is crocheted exactly as written and, especially important, to gauge. I adore schematics; they hold so much information in the puzzle of their lines and strings of numbers. Take a look at the Opaline Top pattern in Interweave Crochet Summer 2016.  OpalineSchematic

Let’s begin at the bottom, where there is a large measurement for the width of the sweater. This schematic shows that the front and back pieces of the top are identical with the exception of a higher neckline in the back. The width measurement is for the front and back is 15 ½ inches wide for the smallest size. So the circumference for this size is 31 inches. Let’s say you’re making the 44″ bust circumference size.

Swerve Tee Crochet Pattern

Swerve Tee by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby

Now check the rest of the measurements. This garment does not have waist shaping, but for fitted tops don’t forget to check out that measurement. Check the schematic for the length between the armhole to the hip band. In some cases this measurement is the same for all sizes, but in the Opaline Top it differs depending on size.

Now, how about the fit around the upper arm and the sleeves? On this schematic there are no actual sleeves, but the armhole opening measurement is very important.


Summer Marsala Tunic by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby

Okay, now you take it: Can you find the neckline depth? The neckline and shoulder measurements are vitally important for fit. Will the neckline fit too wide, too narrow, or just right across the shoulders?

Explore more of your favorite crochet garment schematics. You can learn a lot about designing from these depictions.

To really learn how to design crochet garments, join the incredibly talented Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby for an online course that will teach you all you need to know about fit and creating functional pieces. You will learn about different crochet fabrics, magic math calculation (love these!), and how to write the perfect pattern.

Enroll in Crochet Garment Design with Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby today and transfer your inspiration to reality.

Best wishes,


P.S. Share your tips for design in the comments.





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