I am back in love with crochet and have been working on some simple Afghan squares to (eventually), make a cheerful throw for our caravan.

The dog helping with my crochet

Unfortunately, because I took the square pattern from an old American book, the instructions are written, of course, in US terms, and this can be confusing to a UK crocheter. Well it is to me anyway!

There are no charts in the book, and I decided it would be easiest to chart the pattern rather than rewrite it in UK terms. I thought I had a crochet charting programme included in Stitchmastery, so you can imagine my disappointment when, sitting in our caravan with no WiFi but a laptop open and raring to go, I discovered I was mistaken. No crochet option; I had got confused with the online site Stitch Fiddle which does offer crochet charts. By the way, to any fellow users of Stitchmastery, it looks like there is an update available, I must install that when I get home.

After a (very brief) search on my phone (yes this time when camping we have a phone signal), I found Lilla Bjorn’s site which led me to Stitchwork’s Crochet Charts software.

Crochet Charts is an Open Source programme, so I could check it out for free there and then. Downloaded onto my phone and zapped across to the laptop on a usb drive, the programme installed straight away without any hassle. I was impressed so far!

It’s so wonderful that generous and committed people have written this software for Open Source use, and I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all concerned. I can’t write code, and an very impressed by people who can. As an aside, my son is a programmer but asking him to teach me is not likely to be very productive, so maybe I will try to learn myself. Any advice on this welcomed, am I being optimistic thinking this might be possible?

OK, back to the tale in hand. After some practise with the software I managed to get a chart drawn up. I was a bit confused by not being able to find the ‘wedge’ feature, as described in the Help file, but have just found out on the Ravelry group that this feature has been superceded in the new (1.2) version by a circular grid. I’d found the circular grid, but thought I was missing something else. If I turn the grid on and off its easy to line the stitches up into a nice increasing circle.

Searching online to find out about the ‘wedge’ feature led me to Edie Eckman’s site where she discusses crochet charting software. I have several of her books which I like very much, so felt her advice would be pretty sound. She mentions a few other options, and it’s definitely worth visiting her site for more information.

If I need to make any new stitch icons I will use Affinity Designer. It’s a lower cost alternative to Illustrator for working with vector graphics which I used for creating the diagrams in my recent book, Translating Between Hand and Machine Knitting.

Back to my laptop now for more charting.

Links to sites mentioned in this post:


Lilla Bjorn’s site

Stitch Fiddle

Ravelry Group for Crochet Charts

Edie Eckman’s site

Stitchmastery Knitting Chart Editor