How to read a tapestry crochet chart
What is a tapestry crochet chart?
A tapestry crochet chart is a graphical representation of a tapestry crochet pattern. Tapestry crochet uses different coloured yarns to create a colourwork pattern on a crocheted item. Each stitch is made with one of the different coloured yarns and a tapestry crochet chart simply shows you which colour to use for each stitch.
It is common for tapestry crochet patterns to include a chart as well as written instructions. The written instructions include the detail of which stitches to make and where. They sometimes also include which colour yarn to use for each stitch, but not always. The chart indicates which colour yarn to use for each stitch.
Once you’ve got to grips with how a particular pattern is to be made, many people find it easier to follow a chart with its visual representation of which colour yarn to use where, rather than the written instructions. However, the choice is yours and it’s often very nice to have both versions to use as a cross-check that you are doing things correctly.
How do you read a tapestry crochet chart?
Each space on a tapestry crochet chart represents one stitch. They could be sc, hdc, or dc stitches (US terms), for example. The pattern will specify which kind they are and it is important to check before you start crocheting.
In some cases, the type of stitch might vary from row to row or round to round. If that’s the case, it will also be noted in the pattern .
For repeating patterns, which are pretty common in tapestry crochet, a chart will not represent the whole finished article. Rather, the chart will show just the repeated part of the pattern.
You may, for example, need to repeat the part illustrated by the chart a few times to make a complete row, and then make several repetitions of those rows to make a complete item. Again, this will be specified in the pattern.
If the project you are making involves motifs, such as square or hexagonal motifs, then the chart would typically just show one side of the motif, and would need to be repeated four or six times to make a whole square or hexagon. An example like this is shown below.
On the left, the upper image is the tapestry crochet chart for one side of my Midnight Pinwheel square. Each rectangle represents one dc stitch (tr in UK terms). The white rectangles represent stitches made with a first colour yarn, and the grey rectangles represent stitches made with a second colour yarn.
When this chart is followed, it creates solid granny squares with a “pinwheel” pattern on them, as shown in the bottom photo.
If you’d like to have a go at this pattern, you can get the free pattern from my Ravelry store here:
Some tapestry crochet patterns with charts
Find out more
If you’ve not tried tapestry crochet before and would like to find how exactly how to do it, check out my tutorials here:
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