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How To Read Crochet Patterns

If you're interested in learning how to crochet, one of the most important skills you need to acquire is reading crochet patterns. Whether you're looking to create beautiful afghans, scarves, hats, or anything else, being able to read and understand crochet patterns is crucial to your success as a crafter. In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about how to read crochet patterns, including the different types of patterns, abbreviations, symbols, and more!

What Are Crochet Patterns?

Crochet patterns are written instructions that guide you through the process of creating a specific crochet project. These patterns typically include a list of materials you'll need, a set of instructions for each row or round, and sometimes a diagram or chart to help you visualize the stitches. Some patterns are written in simple language, while others use a combination of abbreviations and symbols to describe the stitches.

Crochet Pattern Types

There are two main types of crochet patterns: written patterns and charted patterns. Written patterns use a combination of plain language and abbreviations to describe the stitches you need to make. Charted patterns, on the other hand, use symbols and diagrams to illustrate the stitches, which can make them easier to read for visual learners.

Abbreviations in Crochet Patterns

Crochet patterns use a variety of abbreviations to describe the stitches. These abbreviations can sometimes be confusing for beginners, but they're essential to learn if you want to read and understand crochet patterns. Some common abbreviations you might see in crochet patterns include:

  • sc: single crochet
  • dc: double crochet
  • ch: chain stitch
  • sl st: slip stitch
  • tr: treble crochet

How to Read Crochet Patterns: Step-by-Step

Now that you know the basics of crochet patterns, let's take a look at a step-by-step guide on how to read them:

Step 1: Choose a Pattern

The first step in reading a crochet pattern is choosing the right pattern for your skill level and interests. Make sure you read the entire pattern before you begin to crochet so that you understand what the finished product will look like and whether you have all the materials you need to complete the project.

Step 2: Check Your Gauge

Before you begin crocheting, it's important to check your gauge to make sure your stitches are the same size as the ones in the pattern. This will ensure that your finished project matches the dimensions of the pattern. Most patterns include a gauge swatch and may specify the type of yarn, hook size, and number of stitches you should use to create the gauge swatch.

Step 3: Understand the Instructions

Once you've chosen your pattern and checked your gauge, it's time to get started! Make sure you read the instructions for each row or round carefully. If you're having trouble understanding the instructions, try reading them out loud, or even writing them down in your own words to help you make sense of them.

Step 4: Use a Chart (If Available)

If the pattern includes a chart, use it to help you visualize the stitches. Charts can be especially helpful for complex patterns or if you're a visual learner.

Step 5: Finish the Project

Once you've followed the instructions for each row or round, you should have a finished crochet project! Make sure you finish off your project by weaving in any loose ends and blocking the finished piece if necessary.

Understanding Crochet Pattern Symbols

Basic Symbols

Crochet patterns often use symbols to represent the different stitches. Some common symbols you might see in a crochet pattern include:

  • a dot (.) for a slip stitch
  • a small x for a single crochet stitch
  • a small v for a double crochet stitch
  • a large V for a treble crochet stitch

Special Symbols

Crochet patterns may also use special symbols to denote unique stitches or techniques. Some common special symbols you might see in a crochet pattern include:

  • * or ** to indicate repeating sections of the pattern
  • [ ] or ( ) to group stitches together
  • t, h, ss, or sc2tog to indicate different decreases
  • bptr, fptr, or bpdc to indicate different post stitches

How to Fix Mistakes in Crochet Patterns

Even the most experienced crocheters make mistakes from time to time. The good news is that mistakes in crochet patterns are usually easy to fix! If you notice an error in your pattern, the first thing you should do is double-check the instructions to make sure you understand them correctly. If you're still stuck, try searching for online tutorials or videos that can help you understand the stitch or technique you're struggling with.

Common Mistakes in Crochet Patterns

Some common mistakes you might make when reading a crochet pattern include:

  • Skipping a stitch or repeating a stitch by accident
  • Working in the wrong row or round
  • Using the wrong stitch or hook size

Fixing Mistakes in Crochet Patterns

If you notice a mistake in your pattern, it's important to fix it as soon as possible to prevent it from snowballing into a larger problem. Try the following techniques to fix mistakes in crochet patterns:

  • Backtrack to the mistake: If the mistake is only a few stitches back, you might be able to simply unravel your work and redo the stitches correctly.
  • Frogging: If the mistake is larger, you might need to frog your work (i.e., unravel your crochet project entirely) and start over.
  • Crochet over the mistake: If the mistake is small and not noticeable, you can try to crochet over it without pulling out any stitches.


Learning how to read crochet patterns is a valuable skill for anyone interested in the world of crochet. By understanding the different types of patterns, abbreviations, and symbols, you can tackle any project with confidence and precision. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced crocheter, the key to success is practice and patience. With time and practice, you'll be crocheting like a pro in no time!

How to Read Crochet Patterns


  • "How to Read Crochet Patterns - thefashiontamer.com"
  • "How to Read Crochet Charts - YouTube"
  • "How to Read Crochet Patterns | AllFreeCrochet.com"
  • "Here’s What You Need to Read Any Crochet Pattern | Craftsy"