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Working Through A Crochet Pattern

Being able to make head or tail of a crochet pattern seems to be a hard and sometimes confusing place for a lot of crocheters. So much so that many choose to either:

  • not attempt it
  • try, but give up and avoid it all costs
  • choose to have someone, a crochet teacher, talk them through it
  • find a youtube or any instructional video to again, have someone talk them through it.

But what if you really want to create that crochet project but you either do not have access to a teacher or there is no video tutorial for it?

One of the first things I teach my students is to learn to read a crochet pattern. It is an important part of the process or the art. Imagine you could drive but you have no idea what the road signs're just going to follow what the other drivers (or SURI) tells you to do. You could end up in or create all sorts of road accident drama for yourself and others.

Crochet patterns are not that difficult to follow and designers over the past few years have made it even easier with very detailed instructions and sometimes photo tutorials.

The important thing to remember is to work through the pattern step at a time

Generally the pattern is broken up into sections as follows:

  • a picture and description of the design
  • the terminology that the pattern was designed in (US or UK) see my tutorial on this here:
  • Difficulty Level
  • a list of the materials needed
  • Abbreviations: a list of the stitches used and at times
  • Stitch Guide: How to create the stitches. This is found in most patterns
  • Measurement of the finished item
  • Gauge or tension swatch instructions
  • Special notes (also called pattern notes): these sometimes include special instructions for a section or sections of the design
  • Instructions
  • Progress Pictures (sometimes included)

Flat projects i.e projects that are NOT round are worked in rows whilst circular projects are worked in rounds. 

Work through each row on its own merit. Understand what it is you are doing for THAT row. Don't worry about the next or subsequent rows as you will get yourself into a tizz. Sometimes a row is a foundation or setup row for an element that will grow with each subsequent row. Sometimes a row is repeated in order to create an effect. Sometimes there are pattern repeats within a row; these are normally indicated with * * OR ( ) OR [ ] OR { }.....instructions for pattern repeats are sometimes found in special notes section of the pattern, right at the start.

It is important to learn to read the pattern as it opens up all sorts of possibilities of crochet projects, for you.

The possibilities really are endless, once you are able to work your way through a crochet pattern.

For more details on this subject please see my full tutorial on:

How To Read A Crochet Pattern

Alternatively you could join me for some hands-on, practical instruction on How To Read A Crochet Pattern


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