Crochet patterns come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and levels of intricacy. Whether just beginning this fun leisure activity, or a weathered pro to the art, you can find thousands of crochet patterns waiting to be explored. Crochet patterns range from baby clothing and blankets to afghans, curtains, linens, even beach attire! For almost anything you are trying to make, there is a crochet pattern out there.
Reading crochet patterns can be slightly confusing to those just starting out, but within a few minutes, all the seemingly nonsensical markings will become clear. It is really just a question of memorizing the abbreviations used in these patterns. Because crochet instructions have to be specific, down to the last stitch, abbreviations make it easier to explain the pattern without taking up pages. The abbreviations used in almost all crochet patterns are listed in the link below. Review the chart there once or twice. Then pick up your own crochet pattern, and try to apply what you've just learned.
The abbreviations themselves are not complicated, and are usually quickly grasped. After only a few tries, the letters will 'disappear', and you will be easily reading the pattern itself fluently.
Crochet patterns contain a few symbols that you should familiarize yourself with, as well. Brackets, parentheses, and asterisks all act to group together a set of instructions. For example, let us assume the crochet pattern wants you to do a single crochet, skip two stitches, and then a double crochet, and it wants you to do this three times. The pattern will be written as follows: *sc, sk2, dc** 3x (or three times). Don't be confused by the double asterisk. Usually a crochet pattern will tell you to repeat from * to ** (i.e. start the repeat from * and continue repeating until the **).
If the group is set in brackets, the pattern is telling you to repeat this set of instructions throughout the entire row (unless otherwise specified). Parentheses are usually used to group a repetition within an already bracketed set of instructions. In other words, the pattern wants you to repeat a specific stitch or set of stitches within a set of stitches being repeated. These instructions can get complicated the more repetition is called for, so read carefully, and review periodically to ensure that you are on track with your pattern.
Follow these basic instructions, don't be embarrassed to go over charts or symbols that are simply evading you, and soon crochet patterns will become second nature. Remember to start simple, and work your way up the intricate crochet pattern ladder. And, as always, enjoy! For some fun and unique crochet patterns and ideas, visit your local crafts store or library.
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| November 20, 2018
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