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5/25/11: Forming Your Own Stitch Dictionary–Part 2

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Yesterday, I showed you how I usually put together a stitch pattern using only a written knit/crochet pattern as a basis. Now I will show you how to do the same thing but this time with a stitch diagram.

But before we go any further, let me explain the meanings of the terms I am using so you won’t get confused. I was using these terms yesterday and I really perplexed my sister, Catherine!

1. Q: What is a knit/crochet pattern? A: It is a set of instructions that is used to make a knitted/crocheted article, like a sweater or afghan.
2. Q: What is a stitch pattern? A: Directions that show you how to make a specific sequence of stitches that can be used in a crochet or knitting project. Famous stitch patterns include ribbing, ripple stitch, seed stitch, etc.
3. Q: What is a stitch diagram? A: It is like a blueprint of knitting or crochet. Instead of reading a written pattern, you follow a drawn diagram that uses symbols to represent the stitches. A stitch diagram also has the added benefits of being visual. You can picture in your mind what the finished stitch pattern will look like even before you cast-on or chain!

Stitch diagram of a stitch pattern:

OK, with all that straightened out, let’s get to forming a stitch pattern via a stitch diagram.

But first, let me find a good example. While flipping through the same Crochet Today issue I mentioned yesterday, I came across one of my favorite designs, the Springtime Trench designed by Melissa Leapman. It is a truly stunning piece and the stitch pattern is surely something I would like to use in other pieces. It is a sturdy, solid stitch pattern that looks complicated but only uses two crochet stitches: double crochet and single crochet.

Using a Stitch Diagram to Find a Stitch Pattern:

1. First find if the knit/crochet pattern has a diagram. Good, the Springtime Trench does. Here it is:

2. Start counting the number of chains formed and how many were skipped at the beginning (if at all). For my trench pattern I see 13 chains and 2 skipped chains. So that means 11 stitches were formed.

3. With the information I just discovered, I can figure out the multiple for the pattern. I shall write it as follows: Work in Multiples of 2 plus 1. How did I figure this? Since I have to work with an odd number of chains (13) I need to find the multiple of the even number below 13. 12 happens to be this number and 2 is a multiple of 12. In order to make sure that I always crochet the right number of chains, I need to add 1 extra chain to the multiple of 2.

4. Now I need to examine the rest of the stitch diagram and try to find one full repeat. In the case of my trench pattern, Rows 2 and 3 is one full repeat.

With my multiple and full repeat established, I now have a new stitch pattern to add to my Stitch Dictionary. Now I only need to give it a name to keep it organized. How about Spring Stitch. .  . That sounds good to me!

Did I cover everything well in this two part series on how to pull a stitch pattern from a knit/crochet pattern? Have any questions or ideas? Please share!

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