HOW TO: Read a Crochet Pattern – Part 1

– all terms you need to know to read a crochet pattern

read a crochet pattern

To read a crochet pattern can be really overwhelming & confusing in the beginning. Even if you have finished a couple of projects you still might wonder what some of the details really means. However the more “complex” or detailed a crochet pattern is, the better. In my opinion this gives the best results & makes it easier for the reader to understand it.

In this blog series I’m going to teach you & explain all of the important segments of a crochet pattern. I’m going to explain in the order that my own crochet patterns are written. If you want, you can test a crochet pattern by following the FREE crochet pattern available with the email subscription signup – or use one of the crochet patterns you have purchased from me.

This is the first of 3 parts giving you all the knowledge you will need. I’m excited & I hope you are too!


Skill level:

This is often listed in the beginning of a crochet pattern. This will give you a indication of how difficult the crochet pattern is. With this information you can decide if the crochet pattern fits your crochet experience. I’m usually using the Craft Yarn Councils standards when it comes to deciding skill levels on my projects.


This is the Craft Yarn Councils explanation on skill levels (copied from their page):

1 beginner Beginner Projects for first-time crocheters using basic stitches.
Minimal shaping.
2 easy Easy Projects using yarn with basic stitches, repetitive stitch patterns, simple color changes, and simple shaping and finishing.
3 intermediate Intermediate Projects using a variety of techniques, such as basic lace patterns or color patterns, mid-level shaping and finishing.
4 experienced Experienced Projects with intricate stitch patterns, techniques and dimension, such as non-repeating patterns, multi-color techniques, fine threads, small hooks, detailed shaping and refined finishing.


Skill levels might be given with other symbols & levels, but this is one of the common used ways to decide skill levels for a crochet project.


Size & measurement:

The information you will find here is measurements for the crochet project & a list of the sizes that you will be able to make with the crochet pattern you have.

The measurements are often given in either inches or cm. In my patterns you will usually have both available. If it is not obvious how you should measure, this will also be explained in a good crochet pattern.
My crochet patterns are often listed with sizes in parenthesis like this: S (M) L (XL). This means that the number of stitches needed for each size also will be listed in the same way in the “Instruction”. It will look like this: 6(8)10(12).



Gauge is how many stitches & rows you will fit within a measurement. This is important to make sure your crochet project gets the correct tension & the result will have the correct size. For my crochet patterns I always strive to make sure that both metric measurements & inches are given for the gauge.


I often write the gauge like this:

?? st x ?? rows per inch

?? st x ?? rows per cm

This means that you should fit the given number of stitches (horizontal)  & rows  (vertically) within 1 inch or 1 cm.  If the gauge is given in this way, it is often best to multiply the numbers given by 10 when you measure the gauge. This makes for a more correct result.


If the stitch for the gauge is not mentioned/specified it means that the gauge is given for the most used stitch in the crochet pattern. If I have one or more prominent stitches the gauge will be specified for all those stitches.


Single crochet:

1 st x 1 rows per inch

2,5 st x 2,5 rows per cm



2 st x 2 rows per inch

5 st x 5 rows per cm


Gauge can also be given like this (or in other similar ways):

?? stitches of ??stitch = ?? inch

?? rows of ??stitch =  ?? inch


?? stitches of ??stitch = ?? cm

?? rows of ??stitch =  ?? cm


An example:

5 stithes of “single crochet” = 5 inches

5 rows of “single crochet” = 5 inches


2,5 stitches of “single crochet” = 2,5 cm

2,5 rows of “single crochet” = 2,5 cm


As you can see gauge is written in many ways, if you are a beginner & are making something where the size doesn’t matter you can just skip this for now. But is really important to understand before you start crocheting any clothes or something where the measurements are important.


What’s next?

Now you can read next part of this blog series.

I will also recommend that you test how you go when you read a crochet pattern & see if you understand.

Any questions? Let me know – email or comment.

read a crochet pattern


HOW TO: read a crochet pattern – part 1 (this post) – skill level, size & measurement, & gauge.

HOW TO: read a crochet pattern – part 2 – materials, abbreviations, stitch explanations & charts.

HOW TO: read a crochet pattern – part 3 – diagram, notes, instruction, finishing & care instructions.