The free loop is the loop left over from when you only crochet into the back loop on the row below. You should be able to turn the work over and see this loop left there.
The row below meaning the one you just worked and are now done with and you have started a new row.
Thank you for explaining this part...you just made things so much clearer!
Like sc sc bl f all on different rows would equal one square of a chart that you want?? (I hope this makes sense).. Thanks.
Thats the basic formula for the image to appear and then the back ground formula is bl, f, sc sc
Sometimes it just takes playing with the graph to get the understanding. I would try this small one out as it can be crocheted pretty fast and then once you do venture into your own graph just keep trying it a row at a time and looking, if it looks like its becoming too elongated just delete a row or so.
Whoo-hoo! The secret formula! I am trying this as soon as I get some swaps knocked out of the way. Thanks again!