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Once you take interest in the craft of crocheting and learn the basic crochet stitches, you’ll want to start your first project. For this, you need crochet hooks in the right size and ones that you are comfortable with, yarn, and a crochet pattern. There are hundreds of beautiful patterns available for you to make, from simple scarves to other projects. For a beginner, a crochet pattern may look confusing because they are written in what looks almost like a foreign language.

Crochet patterns are written by a designer. The designer gives all information about crochet hook size and yarn used. Gauge is also mentioned so that you can make and compare. Almost all patterns are written using abbreviations and terms, which save space and make them easier to read. So, the first step is to understand them and know how to do them. The choice of a single-ended crochet hook or the special Tunisian crochet hook or even a set depends on you as long as you work with the right size.  So, here is everything you need to know to read a crochet pattern.

The About Section

Start with reading the about section of the crochet pattern. The most common patterns are in US and UK terms and have major differences between them. So know which terminology you’re used to. If you have worked on US patterns before and want to try UK patterns then you need to have a quick sheet to translate the terms. It also mention the skill level so make sure to keep an eye whether it’s basic, intermediate or advanced. Going through the entire pattern will be the best recommendation to judge your skill levels for yourself.

Basic Stitch Abbreviations

Crochet is based on 7 stitches, each abbreviated with a short name. Chain stitches (CH) is the foundation of the crochet project but also used in the middle for various purposes. The single crochet stitch, abbreviated as SC creates a dense fabric. Next in height is, half double crochet Stitch (HDC). Then, comes double crochet (DC) and Treble Crochet (TR), and the very versatile stitch technique slip stitch (SL ST/ SS). Instead of the pattern designer repeating the proper name, the abbreviated forms will be used, therefore you must know the abbreviations and know how to work them correctly. Besides these common terms you will come FLO (front loop only), BLO (back loop only), and more. Also, a point to keep in mind is that the crochet stitches have different names in US and UK patterns, therefore you must know what pattern you are working on and the difference in the stitches.

U.S./Canada

U.K.

chain (ch)

chain (ch)

 

slip stitch (sl st)

slip stitch (ss)

single crochet (sc)

double crochet (dc)

half double crochet (hdc)

half treble crochet (htr)

double crochet (dc)

treble crochet (tr)

treble/triple (tr)

double treble (dtr)

double treble/double triple (dtr)

triple treble (trtr)

gauge

tension

skip (sk)

miss

yarn over (yo)

yarn over hook (yoh)

 

Parentheses and Asterisk

Like abbreviations, parentheses and asterisks are used in crochet patterns for instructions in short forms. The symbols indicate the repetition of stitch patterns or a particular instruction. You will find them particularly in the row and step-by-step instructions.

Yarn, Materials and Notions

Every crochet pattern has a section on yarn, materials and even accessories. Make sure you have the right crochet hook and yarn. If a pattern mentions- H-size hook and a particular yarn fiber. If the pattern is for a garment, the size and measurements will be mentioned. Schematics are often included which is of great help when you plan to work with your own measurements. If you want to experiment with either, you also get information to make changes.

Gauge and Tension

Gauge and tension are most important sections of a pattern. Our blog why a gauge swatch is important will guide you through. The pattern designer mentions something like 12 sts = 4?; 7 rows = 4? in double crochet using a size H hook (5mm). So to make your gauge swatch, work with your H hook and yarn. Work with double crochet stitches for a square of at least 6 inches.

When your swatch is ready, wash and block it. Once it’s dry then you need to calculate a gauge. Take a measuring tape and a knitting needle. Mark 4 inch on the crocheted gauge swatch. Calculate stitches horizontally with your knitting needle tip, you must have 12 stitches. Count vertically and you must have 7 stitches. If your count is right then you’ve got gauge. If you have more stitches and rows than the gauge, go up a hook size and if you have fewer stitches, go down a hook size. If the difference is very minor, you can go ahead with the gauge but make sure to calculate the cast on stitches and the rows or rounds.

With these sections of your crochet pattern, you are all ready to start with your crochet project. Premium crochet hooks from the Lantern Moon collection offers a smooth crafting experience. Handcrafted by skilled artisans the ebony wood hooks are pleasurable to work with as well as gift fellow makers.

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