I just finished a live video on YouTube where I showed you how I create my charts!
I go over the interlocking crochet charts and the overlay mosaic crochet charts. I even show you the computer program I use.
I hope you will find it informative and helpful if you’re trying to create your own charts. And if you’d prefer to just buy ones that I design, that’s ok with me too! haha!
Honestly, I believe there is room in this world for everyone’s art! Everyone needs to be creative, just like we need food and air and water. Some people like to create with dirt and growing green things, others use canvas and paints; I use a computer and yarn.
This blog post does not have the same information as the YouTube video. I have simply added a few photos and a downloadable empty chart that you are free to use.
This is the chart I drew live. It is on a very tiny paper. The grid is 21 x 21 which makes it a 10-window square.
If you’d like to try designing your own, you can download this empty 20-window square. The border lines and the mesh dots are already on there. Technically there are other ways of doing the border lines that allows you to lock the layers together (or not, that is an option too!) but this is how I start all of my patterns. This chart size is 41 x 41. I cut it to get the small grid we used in the live video.
Remember, the mesh dots are not changeable. The white squares are where you can decide if it is going to be blue (the Main Color, the first color, the larger layer) or pink (the inner layer, the Accent Color). Each white square must be filled in – but in my mind they default to pink.
Obviously you can use any yarn color you want, this is just how I have my charts set up when I create a new design.
Using the Chart
After you’ve drawn the chart you’ll need to be able to read it. Please see my tutorials:
Overlay Mosaic Crochet
You don’t have to start with mesh dots on your chart if you’re doing overlay mosaic crochet. I start with the mesh dots because all of my patterns are for both techniques. I despeckle the chart for the mosaic version (older patterns were not despeckled) but you can also start fresh if you’d prefer. I drew this very exciting chart on the live video (that’s sarcasm).
You alternate colors for each row, and if you imagine the “blank canvas” as many rows of SC in BLO (Single Crochet in the Back Loop Only), you can then add a dropped DC (double crochet, US terms) to create the design. You cannot crochet your dropped DC into the other color’s DC. X’s go at the top of each DC.
This is a very basic explanation of how to create a chart, but if you get familiar with the stitches I think this is actually all the information you need! If it doesn’t make sense, don’t worry, maybe our brains just work a bit differently and someone else will explain it in a way that makes sense to you.
Try, try, try again!
Inevitably, someone will ask what program I use. It’s not a secret, I have mentioned it a few times. I prefer to use Winstitch. I started with graph paper and a pen, tried excel and Stitch Fiddle, but I am comfortable with Winstitch now and don’t want to learn any more programs.
Winstitch is a cross stitch program. It starts with a grid. I created a motif of the blue and pink dots that I use multiple times for every pattern. The computer program gives me the stitch counts – quick, and no human error! But the exported information is not what I’d consider usable for a pattern, so I created over 900 pages of Microsoft Word macros and I copy and paste the information from the Winstitch export into Word and then do a bunch of editing to make a pattern for sale.
Winstitch also does not “do” mosaic crochet. But I create a bunch of files and copy and paste things together to get the stitch counts. For my more recent patterns I adjust the charts to remove the mesh dots before creating the mosaic pattern.
If you’re going to try creating your own patterns for sale, please remember that you can’t use copyrighted or trademarked material. People expect to see a key or some sort of explanation as to how they are to use whatever information you are giving them. And page numbers plus the pattern name in the header can really help make your pattern more user-friendly.
A few months ago I offered my pattern keys to anyone. You can use them as a starting place and edit as you see fit. Copy and paste them from this post I wrote about Copyright. I would suggest you also include some sort of copyright statement in your patterns. Again, you can use my statement, just make sure you edit it to have your name instead of mine!