How to Read Crochet Patterns

All crochet patterns use the same basic format. They give you the information on how to crochet the pattern, which includes the gauge, types of crochet stitches, and number of rows or rounds.

ultimate list of crochet pattern abbreviations

Pattern Abbreviations

Some patterns use a visual chart that is a drawing of the final pattern with symbols for the stitches used. The crochet pattern book should explain the symbols it uses. Otherwise, here are the common pattern abbreviations:

[], (), or *
repeat
beg
beginning
bet
between
BL
back loop
b or bo
bobble
BPdc
back post double crochet
CC
contrasting color
ch
chain stitch
ch-sp
chain space
CL
cluster
cont
continue
dc
double crochet
dc2tog
double crochet two together
dec
decrease
dtr
double treble
FL
front loop
foll
following
FP
front post
hdc
half double crochet
hk
hook
inc
increase
lp(s)
loop(s)
MC
main color
p
picot
pc
popcorn
rem
remaining
rep
repeat(s)
rnd(s)
round(s)
RS
right side
sc
single crochet
sc2tog
single crochet two together
sk
skip
sl st
slip stitch
sp(s)
space(s)
st(s)
stitch(es)
tch or t-ch
turning chain
tbl
through back loop
tog
together
tr
treble crochet
trtr
triple treble crochet
WS
wrong side
yo
yarn over

Still confused? Take a look at the crochet terms. Most books contain a glossary at the beginning or end that describes how to make the different stitches and explains any special abbreviations used for fancy stitches in the pattern.

Yarn Gauge

It's very important to match the yarn gauge for how many stitches and rows fit within a certain measurement. You need to match the requirements for your finished project to turn out the same size as the pattern describes.

Crochet a sample square swatch using the yarn weight and size hook suggested in the pattern. If your sample is different from the gauge, make adjustments and try again.

Gauge Problems with Crochet Patterns

Less stitches and rows than the gauge (too big)
Try using a smaller crochet hook. You may also need to use a lighter weight yarn.

More stitches and rows than the gauge (too small)
Try using a larger crochet hook. You might also need to use a thicker yarn.

It's more much important to match the pattern gauge than the size hook and yarn. I have an entire set of every size crochet hook, so it's easy for me to make adjustments by changing hook size.




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