Image Overlay Crochet (IOC) Documents and Masterclasses Overview

Image Overlay Documents and Masterclasses for Makers and Designers

Many of the Black Sheep Crochet projects, for example all Wrapped in Jamie squares, many Heirloom squares and some Afghan squares, are designed in ‘Image Overlay Crochet’ technique.

What on earth is Image Overlay Crochet or IOC or ‘Petranese’?

You can find a detailed description about the differences between Traditional overlay crochet and Image Overlay Crochet as well as the ‘Petranese’ terminology here.

‘Petranese’ - Image Overlay Crochet Terminology

When I started to write down the patterns for the Wrapped in Jamie CAL designs, there was no existing easy system that I knew of to describe the positioning of these kinds of overlay stitches. I have therefore created a special way of abbreviating the special stitches, using the familiar abbreviations along with mathematical symbols and numbers to make the descriptions shorter. 

One of my Facebook Wrapped in Jamie CAL clan members invented the term ‘Petranese’ for this specific Image Overlay Crochet terminology and it was quickly adopted by everyone. It became a commonly known description for the system, so I kept the name in order to distinguish that this is my specific style of writing IOC terminology. However, the aim is to use this system globally, which is why the official reference will be “IOC” terminology. 

At first glance, IOC may look complicated but it really is not.

You will most likely already know most of the stitches used and I will explain how to read the IOC abbreviations in the documents below. Once you get used to the abbreviations, you will find them easy to read and to follow, giving you a lot of information that otherwise would have to be described in a lengthy and wordy manner. I hope you find this system as useful as thousands of users so far.

Getting started with IOC

Think of IOC is a kind of shorthand for the crochet community, just like the commonly known crochet abbreviations (sc, dc, tr…), only a slight bit more ‘complete’.

The added extra information that makes IOC more complete has evolved from the necessity of stitch placement descriptions and information on how to work certain special stitches used in Image Overlay Crochet, which go beyond the commonly known and required terms and their abbreviations used in other crochet forms. 

While there are not exactly new crochet stitches in Image Overlay Crochet, the ones most people are already familiar with are regularly used with different intentions and results in comparison to a more traditional crochet style. Just like Mosaic or Filet crochet has had a come back and is recognised as a specific crochet style, Image Overlay Crochet has some features that justify for it to be classified as its own category.

Even though I am claiming the copyright to the pattern writing style (abbreviations, visuals, chart symbols), my wish is for the IOC terminology to be used widely (and wildly). To make it easier for makers and designers alike while maintaining a common and unified style, I am making the resources available to the whole crochet community

With that in mind I have created the Image Overlay Crochet ‘Petranese’ terminology explained documents for makers as outlined below. 

Our aim using the IOC terminology is to keep it ‘simple‘, unified and easy to translate into other languages. The less we need to replace in the description, the easier the terminology can be used in translations.

In order to maintain the integrity of the IOC system, we would like to ensure a standard (in engineering we would call this ‘norms’) for using the terminology, just like the standards provided by the Craft Yarn Council for crochet and knitting. Therefore we offer the documents explaining the basics, together stitches, anchoring, charting, and visuals to everyone for free.

1 - Basics and Stitch Abbreviations

In this document we will lay the foundation for making or designing IOC patterns:  Image Overlay Crochet (IOC) Terminology / ‘Petranese’. Born out of the need to make stitch placement descriptions easy to read, a new way of terminology has evolved.

We will have a look at 

  • basic crochet terminology (table), 
  • abbreviations and punctuation (table),  
  • basic stitches you should be familiar with (and how to work them – table with brief yet complete instructions),
  • the difference between Overlay Crochet and Image Overlay Crochet (IOC) ‘Petranese’,
  • correct counting of stitches and rounds for IOC,
  • padding stitches (what they are, how to work them, why you want to use them and when not),
  • finding free front loops,
  • stitch description abbreviations (type, hook insertion, crossing over and under, choosing legs to work around – photo tutorial), and
  • stitch placement abbreviations (horizontal and vertical placement, variations, anchoring – photo tutorial)

You will have an advantage if you are an experienced crocheter. However, the tutorials and the instructions as well as extra resources are written to allow even an adventurous beginner to make an IOC design. 

2 - Together Stitches and Anchoring

Together Stitches are very often the ‘bread and butter’ in a design. The way they are anchored also plays a vital role in the process of ‘writing stories in yarn’. In this document we cover 

  • the purpose of together stitches,
  • three types of together stitches, 
  • different methods of anchoring together stitches,
  • combining different types of together stitches with different methods of anchoring, 
  • and how to work the different variations and of together stitches

3 – IOC Charting

This document is all about the chart: 

  • why we are using a different crochet chart for IOC designs, 
  • how to read an IOC chart and its legend, 
  • how to work from the chart OR use the chart in conjunction with the written pattern

4 – Visuals

IOC patterns by Black Sheep Crochet have an added feature to help make reading a written pattern easier and quicker: Visuals. 

These visuals are to IOC what shorthand is to writing. 

When working with repetitions, visuals 

  • help the maker to follow longer written descriptions more easily, 
  • give an ‘at a glance’ of the pattern round/row,  
  • provide an instant impression of the rhythm of a pattern round/row, and 
  • if used in conjunction with the written pattern and the chart – offer an extra layer of pattern readability 

They have become a much appreciated tool among IOC pattern makers. In this document you will learn how to read visuals and how to use them to read the pattern and, consequently, crochet rounds faster.

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Image Overlay Crochet Comm - Unity

Thanks to these documents, you can rest assured that as a crocheter of a pattern by an official IOC designer,  once you have familiarised yourself with the terminology, you 

  • can easily read any IOC pattern, no matter who wrote it, 
  • receive a copy of the latest Image Overlay Crochet terminology explained document with every pattern purchase or free pattern, and
  • have access to our growing library of IOC / ‘Petranese’ explained tutorials for basic techniques and special stitches

When you purchase or download a free IOC pattern, it will contain links to video tutorials of the most common and the most unusual or potentially challenging special stitches and techniques.

You also receive an invitation to attend a workshop by an experienced IOC designer (via Zoom or similar applications – starting with the release of Season 2 of the Wrapped in Jamie CAL; release date tba) that guides you through all the basics of IOC terminology where you also have the opportunity to ask further questions for clarification if required. 

As our IOC community grows, these resources will be available in several languages, starting with English, Czech and German.

Going Beyond the Basics

We find, however, that for designers, testers, editors and charters or those who are simply interested in the methodology and want to dive deeper, an extra layer of depth is required to take full advantage of what IOC has to offer.

The following documents are designed to support those who want to take their skills further. They are supporting documents for and available as part of the corresponding Masterclasses only.

5 – Stitch Library – Simple Stitches

The way stitches are worked differently in comparison to traditional crochet styles is what makes Image Overlay Crochet so unique. In this document we

  • cover all the basic stitches that you are most likely familiar with from your regular crochet,
  • explore how to incorporate them differently in Image OVerlay Crochet and ‘translate’ them into IOC terminology,
  • look at a number of patterns made from simple stitches and
  • dive deeper into writing stitch abbreviations.

6 – Stitch Library – Complex Stitches

Once you have explored the possibilities of using simple stitches in your design, you are ready to move on to more adventurous creations, should you choose to do so.

In this document we explore 

  • using stitches from the opposite side, 
  • integrating over and under stitches,
  • working around only one leg,
  • adding asymmetrical together stitches and
  • incorporating decorative features
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Masterclasses

Masterclasses will be offered for the same topics as outlined in the respective documents with the bonus of additional information and resources, including

  • access to our special libraries:
    • visuals library – visual template table plus instructions how to adjust or create new visuals for your own or other people’s patterns
    • simple stitches library and (digital) cards – a compilation of the most commonly used simple stitches in IOC and how to incorporate them in a design,
    • complex stitches library and (digital) cards – how to create new stitches and tackle tricky designs
  • free sample practice swatches that we will go through step-by-step via Zoom (or similar) or in face-to-face classes
  • design templates for squares and borders
  • charting support
  • introduction to IOC crochet design  and how to translate stories into patterns
  • and more as outlined below 

The number of participants in Masterclasses is limited to ensure the efficiency and quality of the training can be maintained, therefore registration is required.

Masterclass Outline

1 - Basics and Stitch Abbreviations Masterclass

Basic Document Content 

  • basic crochet terminology, 
  • abbreviations and punctuation,  
  • basic stitches you should be familiar with (and how to work them),
  • the difference between Overlay Crochet and Image Overlay Crochet (IOC) ‘Petranese’,
  • correct counting of stitches and rounds for IOC,
  • padding stitches (what they are, how to work them, why you want to use them and when not),
  • finding free front loops,
  • stitch description abbreviations (type, hook insertion, crossing over and under, choosing legs to work around), and
  • stitch placement abbreviations (horizontal and vertical placement, variations, anchoring)

PLUS Masterclass only Content

In the Masterclass we go over the same topic as in the document, but you will have the opportunity to ask specific questions about stitches that you find challenging.

We will practise the topics of the documents live and you will receive an exclusive swatch pattern to practise what you learned.

2 - Together Stitches and Anchoring Masterclass

Basic Document Content

  • the purpose of together stitches,
  • three types of together stitches, 
  • different methods of anchoring together stitches,
  • combining different types of together stitches with different methods of anchoring, 
  • and how to work the different variations of together stitches

PLUS Masterclass only Content

  • live step-by-step exploration of Together Stitches and Anchoring Methods
  • exclusive sample pattern to combine with that from Masterclass 1 or use as a stand-alone pattern for a project

3 - Charts

Basic Document Content

  • why we are using a different crochet chart for IOC designs, and
  • how to read an IOC chart and its legend 

PLUS Masterclass only Content

  • reusable WiJ-compatible-sized chart template (PDF)
  • how to translate the chart into a written pattern (and vice versa), and
  • how to get started creating your own chart aka your first IOC design (for yourself to enjoy only or to share with others), 
  • including a set of symbols from the chart legend library for you to play with. 

4 - Visuals

Basic Document Content

  • how to read visuals
  • how to use visuals to read a pattern and crochet faster

PLUS Masterclass only Content

  •  access to the visuals library
  • how to adjust and create new visuals
  • how to add visuals to your pattern to make it stand out.

5 – Stitch Library – Simple Stitches

Masterclass only Content

The way stitches are worked differently in comparison to traditional crochet styles is what makes Image Overlay Crochet so unique. In this document we

  • cover all the basic stitches that you are most likely familiar with from your regular crochet,
  • explore how to incorporate them differently in Image OVerlay Crochet and ‘translate’ them into IOC terminology,
  • look at a number of patterns made from simple stitches and
  • dive deeper into writing stitch abbreviations.

Workshop 6 – Stitch Library – Complex Stitches

Once you have explored the possibilities of using simple stitches in your design, you are ready to move on to more adventurous creations, should you choose to do so.

In Workshop 6 we will be 

  • using stitches from the opposite side, 
  • integrating over and under stitches,
  • working around only one leg,
  • adding asymmetrical together stitches and
  • incorporating decorative features

7 – IOC Mastery

Workshop 7 is where you get to play full out. We explore 

  • how we can draw inspiration from stories, nature, or day-to-day live to spike up our designs,
  • how to map out larger designs, 
  • thinking beyond the obvious, and
  • the best way to deal with tricky design features

At Mastery level, you have 

  • the complete stitch library at your disposal to play with,
  • the confidence and skills to create your own IOC stitches,
  • the support of the IOC designer community to edit your IOC design, 
  • connections to a group of testers who are experienced with IOC terminology, and VIP exclusive access to virtual and physical retreats for IOC designers

Level Up - Becoming an IOC Tester, Editor, Charter or Designer

  • Are you comfortable with IOC terminology but you find it fascinating and want to learn more and dive deeper?
  • Have you ever dreamt or thought of becoming a crochet designer but didn’t know where to start?
  • Got an eagle eye for details, a desire for conformity, maybe a bit of OCD (in a good way), outstanding grammar knowledge and the determination to edit a pattern towards excellence?

If any of the above applies to you, you bring the perfect pre-requisite to become a founding member of IOC community where testers, editors, charters and designer come together to support and look out for each other to enrich the crochet world with beautiful and intricate patterns that are well written to tell the story of a special person, movie or book character in yarn.

Please join our special Facebook group Image Overlay Crochet (IOC) Designers and Makers Community if you want to be kept updated about new workshops and masterclasses for IOC.

IOC system contributors and collaborators

The aim of Black Sheep Crochet in regards to Image Overlay Crochet is to have a universal system so that it can be integrated into the crochet world where makers or designers only need to learn it once and where translations can be made easy. 

Contributor

As a Tester, Editor, Charter of Designer of IOC patterns, you are invited to become an IOC contributor.

This means new stitches or specific IOC-relevant techniques that you come up with and that you want to add to the library will be included with credits given to you. 

Collaborators

To go a step further, you could become an official collaborator. 

Benefits of being an official collaborator include:

  • permission to use the PDF version of this document as part of your IOC system based pattern design
  • exclusive permission to translate this document into your language (if it is other than English and not already translated into that language)*
  • a contributor banner for your website
  • ‘behind the scenes’ access for your English or German IOC based pattern design process
  • editing support for your English or German IOC based pattern
  • being part of a growing team of ‘Image Overlay Crochet’ designers

*If a translation in your language already exists, you are invited to connect with your fellow designer and/or to connect with designers using the same mother tongue to enable dialogue.

So this is the current plan in regards to the documents, masterclasses, contributor and collaborator options.

What are your thoughts? How would you like to be involved in Image Overlay Crochet? Send me a message or leave a comment in the facebook group

I look forward to connecting with you in a class or maybe even face-to-face. 

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