How to Mosaic Crochet: I have already talked about How to Read Mosaic Knitting Charts. So today, let’s do the same for crochet.
In Mosaic Knitting vs Mosaic Crochet, I showed you the differences between the two outputs. And I already talked about the confusion over what is mosaic crochet. And because there is some confusion, let me be clear here as to what I mean when I say Mosaic Crochet.
My Definition of Mosaic Crochet
To me, Mosaic Crochet is .. the equivalent of Mosaic Knitting, in crochet form.
Basically that means, one should be able to crochet off a Mosaic Knitting chart. Barbara Walker, the clever lady who first coined the term “Mosaic Knitting” has a whole collection of charted patterns. You can also create your own of course. And without doubt, knowing how to work off a visual chart is much, much easier than working off rows and rows of text.
Another significant feature and attraction of Mosaic Knitting and Mosaic Crochet, is that you can work in colours without having to change colours mid-row.
I really dislike reading text-only instructions. And I really like working off visual charts. So that is what we are going to do here.
How to Read Mosaic Crochet Charts
Note: I am going to use a Barbara Walker Mosaic Knitting chart (the same chart used in How to Read Mosaic Knitting Charts), but now we will be crocheting.
Foundation Row: R0 (zero)
Tip: you can also do the foundation row with a row of Foundationless Single Crochet
If the starting square is black, then the foundation row (R0) will be in white.
R1 & all odd rows (RS) – read from right to left
R2 & all even rows (WS) – read from left to right (But really, you won’t need to read on even rows. As I will shortly explain)
A Sq-Row is a Row of Squares – representing 2 rows of work.
A sq-row is a Row of Squares. And each sq-row represents 2 rows (worked in one colour). (R1&2; R3&4; R5&6; etc.)
Identifying Which Colour per Sq-Row
The right-most square of each row of squares identifies the colour you will be working with.
Tip: I don’t have to say you can substitute the B/W shown with any colours of your choice, right? And that you can change that duo colour combination at any row. I am sure you realise that already, right?
Reading the Sq-Rows
Let’s start reading the chart. Starting at the bottom-right of the chart.
- Black Sq-Row (R1&2):
R1: Whenever you see a black square, you sc (single crochet).
When you see a white square, you ch (chain).
Note: When chaining (to prevent puckering) –
1 sq = 2 ch
2 sq = 3 ch
3 sq = 4 ch, etc.
- R2: Then on the next (even) row (still in black), you do exactly the same. You sc every black stitch and chain (the same number of chains) as per previous row.
The next part will seem a bit complicated. But stay strong! I promise you that the written text only looks more complicated. But when you do it, it will be much easier. So I strongly suggest you actually crochet along and it will become much clearer. And easier!
- White Sq-Row (R3&4):
R3: On the chart, whenever you see a white square over black [White/Black], you sc.
But on the chart when you see a white sq over a white sq [White/White] (it will actually be over black chains on your work) you drop-dc down 2 rows (into the row of the same colour as the working yarn) and IN FRONT OF the chains below.
- R4: Then on the next (even) row (still in white), you do exactly the same. but in sc & chains. You sc every white stitch and chain (the same number of chains) as per previous row.
Note: you will have noted I am sure that on all the even rows, you don’t need to refer to the chart at all. Just follow the colours as per previous row.
Hereafter, for every sq-row, you just need to follow the same procedure as you did in R3&4.
And that’s all there is to Reading Mosaic Crochet/Knitting charts!
Tips & Observations on Mosaic Crochet
- Every even row is pretty much a repeat/duplicate of the previous row. So that might be a good time to count your stitches to make sure your number of stitches are still correct. It can be quite easy to lose/add a stitch on the previous row accidentally.
- Though I hate to say it, as I prefer crochet over knitting at most times, reading the charts for crochet is much harder than it is for knitting.
Harder to read Chart for Crochet
When using these charts for Mosaic Knitting, it is very easy. You basically keep your eye along one (odd) row as you knit. Say, for R7, you just focus on that one sq-row.
However when you are reading the chart for Crochet, you need to focus on TWO sq-rows :- Row7 that you are working on, AND the previous sq-row.
That is because you have to concentrate on where to do the drop-dc stitches (I have marked them with pink vertical lines below).
And on the even rows, it is also easy to see how many slip-stitches you have (made on the previous Knit row). But it is harder to see how many chains you Crocheted in the previous row.
Nonetheless, once you get used to reading these charts for Crochet, you will find, as I have, that it does get easier. I promise!
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I received this feedback from a lovely reader, Darlene, who was not able to use the comments box from her tablet. Darlene has given me permission to post her comments here and I do so coz it mades me so happy whenever I hear that what I blog is of use to someone. Thanks Darlene!
“Thank you so very much for your article/tutorial for mosaic crochet charts! I had found a wonderful pattern to make as a gift, but could not make heads or tails out of the chart. Your tutorial was so well written and easy to follow, I was not only able to figure out how to read the chart, but now I can work directly from the chart itself (without needing to write everything out first)! Not only that, but thanks to you, I can confidently work from knit mosaic charts as well – which is really awesome, since there are really so few mosaic patterns written for crochet. This has totally opened up a whole world of possibilities, and I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to write this tutorial! Love and blessings to you and yours, Darlene