How to Read a Crochet Pattern

Learn how to read a crochet pattern in a day! In this post I will teach you everything there is to know about reading crochet patterns!

You’ve learned the basics of crochet and now you are ready to learn how to read a crochet pattern! Believe me your crochet journey is about to get a lot more interesting! Below, I will show you a quick and easy way to learn how to read a crochet pattern.

It’s definitely a skill that will help you in so many ways in the future. Once you’ve learned how to read a crochet pattern, you will be able to make just about anything! Learn new crochet techniques and stitches in a matter of no time! Read the whole post through and then practice with the easy beginner-friendly patterns I linked below. You can do this!! 🙂

a photo of crochet hooks and yarn

Before you start, let’s go over some basics:

To learn how to read a crochet pattern, you need to know some of the basics. Crochet patterns are written using abbreviations. This helps the designer to create a shorter pattern without having to write out every sentence. Believe me if we had to do that, it would not only take forever to write, but forever to read too!

Below you will find a summary of the crochet abbreviations master list.

Here we have a list of crochet abbreviations used in patterns by yarn industry designers and publishers. Remember that all designers and publishers are different in their own way, respectively, and may use special abbreviations in a pattern, which you might not find on this list. Usually, a definition of special abbreviations is given at the beginning of a book or in the notes section of a written pattern.

These definitions below are all in U.S crochet terminology, as are all the patterns on my blog. So if you see these abbreviations in a crochet pattern, you can always come back to this post if you are not sure what a specific abbreviation means.

AbbreviationDescription
AltAlternate
ApproxApproximately
BegBeginning
BetBetween
Bl or BLOBack Loop Only
BoBobble
BpBack Post
BpdcBack Post Double Crochet
BpdtrBack Post Treble Crochet
BphdcBack Post Half Double Crochet
BpscBack Post Single Crochet
BptrBack Post Treble Crochet
CCContrasting Color
ChChain Stitch
Ch-Refer to chain or pace prev made, e.g., ch1 – space
Ch-spChain Space
CLCluster
ContContinue
DcDouble Crochet
Dc2togDouble Crochet 2 Stitches Together
DecDecrease
DtrDouble Treble Crochet
EdcExtended Double Crochet
EhdcExtended Half Double Crochet
EscExtended Single Crochet
EtrExtended Treble Crochet
FL or FLOfront loop or front loop only
folfollowing
FPfront post
FPdcfront post double crochet
FPdtrfront post double treble crochet
FPhdcfront post half double crochet
FPscfront post single crochet
FPtrfront post treble crochet
hdchalf double crochet
AbbreviationDescription
hdc2togHalf double crochet 2 stitches together
incIncrease
lpLoop
mMarker
hdc2togHalf double crochet 2 stitches together
incIncrease
lpLoop
mMarker
MCMain color
pat or pattPattern
pcPopcorn stitch
pmPlace marker
prevPrevious
ps or puffPuff stitch
remRemaining
repRepeat
rndRound
RSRight side
scSingle crochet
sc2togSingle crochet 2 together
shShell
skSkip
sl stSlip stitch
sm or sl mSlip marker
spSpace
stStitch
tblThrough back loop
tch or t-chTurning chain
togTogether
trTreble
tr2togTreble 2 stitches together
trtrTriple treble crochdet
WSWrong side
yoYarn over
yohYarn over hook

The next thing you need to know, what does the comma represent:

So when we write a pattern, the comma in between the stitches are to show you what you need to do in each stitch or chain of your work. For example:

The pattern calls for the following row: ch1,1sc,1sc,1sc, ch1 and turn.

At the beginning of this row you will have to chain 1, then you will work 1 x single crochet in the first stitch, 1 x single crochet in the next stitch and the 1 x single crochet in the last stitch. And then at the end of the row you will chain 1 and turn your work.

Parentheses, Asterisks, and Brackets

We use parentheses, asterisks and brackets in crochet patterns to make it easy for you to read and to show if and when there are repeats in the pattern. Here we have another table to help you understand this:

TermDescription
*repeat the instructions following the single asterisk as directed
**repeat instructions between asterisks as many times as directed or repeat at specified locations
{}work instructions within brackets as many times as directed
[]work instructions within brackets as many times as directed
()work instructions within parentheses as many times as directed or work a group of stitches all in the same stitch or space

The pattern calls for the following: ch1,*1sc, 1hdc rep from * to end of row. (6)

The asterisk * means you need to repeat the instructions following the single asterisk as directed. Thus for this row you will work 1 x single crochet in the first stitch, 1 x half double crochet in the second stitch – then repeat again – 1 x single crochet in the third stitch, 1 x half double crochet in the forth stitch, etc. until you reach the end of the row. Between the brackets you will see the amount of stitches you will have at the end of the row.

The double asterisk and brackets can be used in similar ways. For example:

If a pattern calls for: ch1, *sc, inc* x 6, sl st into first st of round. (18)

For this example you will be working in the round. You will begin with a chain 1 and now work 1 x single crochet in the first stitch, then increase (which will be two single crochets in the same stitch) in the second stitch – now you need to repeat what is between the ** double asterisk six more times until you reach the first stitch of the round where you will then slip stitch into the first stitch of the round. Between the brackets you will see the amount of stitches you will have at the end of the row.

This can also be done when you are working in rows.

Okay, you know the basics – What’s next to learn how to read a crochet pattern?

Now, all you need to do is practice!

Below are two super easy crochet patters for you to practice on.

As soon as you are comfortable with reading these crochet patterns, feel free to try my other easy crochet projects that are beginner-friendly!

a woman sitting in a forest wearing a crochet ear warmer piece

This super easy ear warmer uses only two basic crochet stitches!

a photo of three mugs that have crochet mug cozies around them

Here is a beginner-friendly mug cozy that only uses the single crochet! It works up super fast too!

After you’ve mastered how to read a crochet pattern:

Be sure to check out some of the easy patterns I have available on my blog like:

All of my patterns are absolutely FREE of course!! 🙂

And that’s all there is to it!

If you have any questions on how to read a crochet pattern, please feel free to leave a comment down below and I will answer immediately! 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I’m sure you will master how to read a crochet pattern in no time!

Feel free to share this tutorial on all social media platforms and be sure to tag me in your projects!

Until the next tutorial!

-Nadine 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. Hi, your volume doesn’t work on your videos. I’ve checked my computer and all is well. Do you know what the issue could be?
    Thanks!!

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