A crochet pattern is a set of instructions that help you with making the project. Think of it as a map that will lead to the destination; the destination being your completed project. Learning to read and understand crochet patterns is very important, as once you’ve learned the basic crochet stitches you can get to the fun part of creating your favorite projects!

So, before you get the itching to get your hands on your crochet hook and yarn, let’s take you through the steps to learn everything about a crochet pattern. Crochet has its own language, one describing the stitches, terms and techniques. A subset of crochet, the unique Tunisian crochet has its own terms, techniques and language. But, here in this blog, we’ll discuss the traditional crochet and how to read the patterns.

Skill Level

All crochet patterns describe the skill level of the design.

Basic Crochet Stitch Abbreviations

To make it easy to read patterns the common crochet stitches are mentioned in abbreviations.

UK Abbreviation

UK Name

US Abbreviation

US Name

Sl st

Slip stitch

Sl st

Slip stitch






Double crochet


Single crochet


Half treble crochet


Half double crochet


Treble crochet


Double crochet


Double treble


Triple crochet


Raised treble front


Front Post double crochet


Raised treble back


Back Post double crochet

These are the most common stitch abbreviations. Many crochet patterns will remind you of the stitch names they use within the pattern, so don’t worry if you don’t have them all memorized. Just, keep in mind the UK crochet terms are different from the US terms.

Yarn, Tools, and Accessories

Every crochet pattern will have a section that will mention

  • Crochet Hook: The size of the crochet hook is generally mentioned. You can choose the crochet hook (materials, brand, etc.) according to your comfort but not in terms of size or else you’ll have a different outcome than the pattern designer. Even a small difference in crochet hook size will have a big difference in your project.
  • Yarn: The yarn fiber, weight and amount will be mentioned. For example 50 yards of extra-soft, bulky-weight blanket yarn. Many times you will be suggested different color yarns or will be left to your own choice.

A small list of accessories you’ll need for the project.

  • Wool needle
  • Stitch markers
  • Tape measure

Sizes and Measurements

Crochet patterns will mention the finished size that you should expect your project to be. For example, a baby blanket pattern might read: “Finished size: 40 x 45 inches.” Other options are also mentioned for adult-size and more.


The most important section discussed in a crochet pattern is the “gauge”. Crocheting a gauge swatch is very important. Every crocheter is different. The way the pattern designer made the project may be very different from you or others so always make a swatch with the hook and yarn mentioned.

You will find a Gauge like this “7 sts and 7 rows per 4″. This means that in a 4-inch square, you should have 7 stitches and 7 rows. If you find your gauge swatch is different from the pattern, you may need to use a slightly larger or smaller hook. Also for patterns that are worked in the round, it's always recommended to crochet a swatch like mentioned in the pattern or the way you would make your project.

Now that you have gone through how to read a crochet pattern, let’s get started. Browse patterns for a basic hat or even a scarf. Once you’ve the pattern in hand, first read through the entire pattern to understand all the factors mentioned.