The Perfect Crochet Blueprint

Sep 2, 2013

In order to understand how crochet garments are created, it is important to see the stitches. A detailed stitch diagram will give you a better picture of how increases and decreases are worked and how stitches combine to create an intricate lace design. The popularity of stitch diagrams has prompted more crochet books and magazines to include them.

Clover Coat (Blueprint Crochet Sweaters)  

The author of Blueprint Crochet, Baby Blueprint Crochet, and Blueprint Crochet Sweaters, Robyn is the queen of creating diagramed crochet garments. The ability to visually see the stitches makes even complicated stitch patterns and shaping accessible. And each of Robyn's patterns includes both stitch diagrams and written instructions.

Here is Robyn with a basic overview of stitch diagrams:

The Symbols

The key to understanding crochet symbols is that each symbol represents a crochet stitch. I like to think of them as little stick diagrams of the actual stitch. Let's start with the smallest stitch, the chain, by looking at the crochet symbol key. The symbol for a chain is an oval. Why an oval? Well, think about making a chain stitch; it's a simple loop pulled through another loop. That loop, which is our chain stitch, looks a lot like an oval, doesn't it? The international crochet symbols try to mimic the actual stitch as much as possible.

Stella Jacket (Baby Blueprint Crochet)  

Let's look at a few more, you'll soon see that reading crochet symbols becomes quite intuitive. Appearing next in the stitch key is the slip stitch, which is a filled dot-the symbol is small, almost invisible, just like the stitch. Moving on, the single crochet is a squat cross, again just like the stitch. The half double crochet is slightly taller than the single crochet. The double crochet is taller than the half double and has an extra cross in its middle. From the double crochet up, the little crosses tell you how many yarnovers you have before you insert your hook. Go ahead; make a double crochet. Now, look at your stitch. Do you see the little horizontal line in the middle of the stitch? That is why the double crochet symbol has that little bar in the middle of its post. The rest of the symbols fall in line with the same reasoning. If the stitch is short, the symbol will be short; if the stitch puffs out (like a cluster stitch), the symbol will as well.

  Harvest Cowl Shift (Blueprint Crochet Sweater)

Don't worry. You won't have to memorize the symbols.

-- Robyn Chachula

Courtney Corset Top (Blueprint Crochet)  

Are you ready to jump into stitch diagrams and a variety of stunning garments? Now you can order all three of Robyn's books for one limited time price. Learn how to read stitch diagrams and create baby garments, motif and lace sweater and cardigans in a top down, side to side, and bottom up constructions. Take advantage of this special discount price today and order the Blueprint Crochet kit.

Best wishes,

P.S. Do you prefer stitch diagrams or written instructions?



Featured Product

Blueprint Crochet Book Digital Kit

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This exclusive kit contains all three of Robyn Chachula's popular Blueprint Crochet books, for 53 patterns for women and children.


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+ Add a comment


Vivencia wrote
on Sep 2, 2013 5:53 PM

I prefer written instructions than diagram.

Vivencia wrote
on Sep 2, 2013 5:53 PM

I prefer written instructions than diagram.

on Sep 3, 2013 1:26 AM


I am Peggy, and I live in Athens, Greece.

Being an experienced crocheter, it is amazing to discover an incredible new world of crocheting through your site and informative emails! Thank you !

Regarding crocheting based on stitch diagrams, I would like to point out that it is the most convenient (once you get "close" to it) way of instructions and how-to-do the stitches. It is an "international language" !!!

So, I would deeply appreciate if you could advise some sites that avail crochet samples in diagrams.

Thanking you again,


JoanBall wrote
on Sep 3, 2013 3:38 AM

I prefer written instructions



conradltd wrote
on Sep 3, 2013 5:03 AM

I have to have the diagram. Just words is worthless.

trudybrown wrote
on Sep 3, 2013 8:03 AM

I prefer written instructions.  These instructions are easier to mark when stopping a project in the middle of a row.



GygyP wrote
on Sep 3, 2013 8:22 AM

I prefer written instructions than diagram.

Mais, après un certain temps je crois que j'en

viendrai à utiliser les symboles


tondastewart wrote
on Sep 3, 2013 8:48 AM

I have walked away from patterns done only in symbols.  I learned to crochet from my grandmother and from written text mostly self taught gramma taught me the basics, if, I had learned from the beginning I am sure symbols would put me over the moon so if a given pattern is only in symbol format I lose out as I don't want to spend all my creating time looking at the key of the pattern.

Lorin2011 wrote
on Sep 3, 2013 3:31 PM

I prefer the diagram. I like to see how the pattern lays out.Many written instructions are incorrect, and it is difficult to know where the pattern went awry. With a diagram, that problem is solved.

mphuggart wrote
on Sep 3, 2013 4:32 PM

I have always used written instructions but there have been many times that the pattern was incorrect.  Having the diagram makes sense and I have worked one or two over the 40 + years I have been crocheting.  I am willing to try again so I have ordered all three books.  However, I ordered them individually because they were a lot less expensive that the "kit".  And I did order the hard copies as they, again were a lot less than the "digital kit".  Were you providing something extra in the kit that wasn't mentioned?

mcbryan wrote
on Sep 4, 2013 7:51 AM

Although well-written instructions are becoming a thing of the past, they are still way better than diagrams.

sue1951 wrote
on Sep 4, 2013 11:58 AM

I have a question, does it make any differance if you turn your piece befor or after the turning chane?  Is there a right or wrong way or does it even matter?

Toni Rexroat wrote
on Sep 4, 2013 12:19 PM

sue1951, designers vary greatly on turning a project before or after a turning chain. I haven't seen that it makes a difference in the look of the project or makes it easier or more difficult to work the pattern. I turn before working the turning chain, but for me that is habit.

novebarne wrote
on Sep 4, 2013 4:43 PM

I much prefer stitch diagrams. They are so much easier to read and figure out. I wish all crochet  patterns were in diagram format.

(but, oddly enough, I prefer written knitting instructions over charted knitting instructions)

So : Crochet Pattern-prefer charted/diagram    Knitting Pattern-prefer written.

DeanaP wrote
on Sep 6, 2013 6:03 PM

Once I learned to use crochet stitch diagrams, there is no turning back.  They are so much easier to follow than all those rambling words, asterisks and parenthesis.

tmyusuf wrote
on Jul 9, 2015 2:46 AM

Where is the diagram