While some crochet prodigies may be able to freestyle a pattern in tapestry crochet, the rest of us will need the help of a graph to create a distinct pattern or picture. A graph allows the crocheter to see the colors of each stitch in each row and also shows the crochet what the finished design looks like.
Unless otherwise noted in the pattern, a crochet graph is read from the bottom up. Each row represents a row of crochet, and each square represents a stitch. Depending on the pattern, the stitches may be single crochets or half-double crochets.
Odd-numbered rows are read from right to left, while even-numbered rows are read from left to right. This is because the pattern is turned between rows. To help keep track of your rows, it may be helpful to mark the front of your work with a stitch marker. That way whenever your stitch marker is facing you, you know you’re on an odd-numbered row.
Work your color changes as illustrated in the graph. For example, in Row 2 of the graph on the right, you would work 7 stitches in white, 1 stitch in red, then 7 stitches in white. Count both the stitches in the graph and the stitches in your project to double-check yourself.