How to Easily Read a Crochet Pattern

Reading a crochet pattern can sometimes be a daunting task, and its difficulty mostly depends on the person who has written it. But do not worry! In this post I will help you understand how to read any crochet pattern, even ones written in a different language!

Not all patterns are the same, as the creator chooses how to explain his work. However, the structure is usually very similar between patterns.
The difference tends to be how the body of the pattern is written, with more or less words to describe how the work is done.

Crochet patterns usually fall in one of these two categories:
A diagram with symbols that refer to each stitch and drawings of the shape of the work
A written pattern using standard or non-standard abbreviations that define the stitches.
Following the indications of a diagram pattern is really easy if the design is simple. However, if the work is complex it becomes quite difficult to draw it and even more to read it. This option is fine for classic flat crochet work, but it is not very suitable for writing the pattern of an amigurumi.
Kawaii Monkey Crochet Amigurumi over white background
In a written pattern the first thing we have to look at is its structure and if it has a legend or abbreviations. This will help us to better identify the stitches used.

In many magazines, especially old ones, the pattern is written in a single paragraph separated by dots or commas and is usually not very well explained. In these cases I recommend reading as much as possible before starting and using lap markers in case you have to undo some sections.

Other patterns, however, are very well structured, separated by rows in line breaks and counting the number of stitches in each row. The readability improves a lot and it is much easier to keep track of the work you have done. It is still recommended to use markers to avoid any confusion.
All the patterns that you can find in the Artisan Geeks store are designed this way to help you step by step, with detailed explanations so that you don’t miss anything!

Below is an example of a structured pattern with a brief description of each of the areas.
Once you understand this, reading a well-structured pattern in another language is relatively easy since all you have to do is to establish the equivalence of the abbreviations.

Here is a simple conversion table with a few different languages:
crochet stitch equivalence chart us spa uk
That is it! Now you can easily read any crochet pattern you can find.
To test your abilities, here is a link to download a free pattern to make a hedgehog pincushion:
I hope this has been helpful. If you need clarifications please leave a comment below or use our contact form.

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