One of the biggest struggles I hear from crocheters is that they can’t read patterns. So if this is you, you’re not alone! And I’m hear to help you learn to read them.
Sometimes crochet patterns feel like they’re written in a foreign language. You can read it over and over and think you’ve understood it, try to do what it says and then you get confused again. And if you do manage to follow it you then get stuck remembering which asterisk or bracket you’re supposed to be following! If you can relate to this then it’s the formatting that is the issue, not you!
The first big hurdle to come across when reading a pattern is knowing what all the abbreviations and stitches are. Most will include a legend for the abbreviations but not all will include the instructions for the stitches unless they have some special stitches. And to top that off they might be in US or UK terms, but rarely both so you need to decide which one it is and which one you actually know. By the time you’ve wrapped your head around the stitches you then need to put them all together to follow the instruction.
And sometimes you need to see a picture of the instruction or a video to be able to put the words right in your head. The picture could be a chart of the stitches or a photo of that step, but the chart won’t help you if you don’t know what the symbols mean! And most times a pattern you found that you love doesn’t have a video to go with it so you’re stuck again.
Knowing all this confusion and issues that people have with reading patterns is why I have designed the Hooked on Crochet Club the way I have.
First, I have designed stitch symbol images to help you remember what each crochet stitch and symbol means together. The more you see them, the easier it is for you to remember each stitch. Every pattern includes these images for the basic stitches so that you can gauge before you start if it is one that you know.
We also include instructions for all the stitches in the pattern. Not just the special stitches. And on the members website we have stitch tutorials for all the stitches we use. Plus we have both US and UK terms in all of our patterns.
To help you further we supply two projects and a square each month. The patterns for both projects include all of the stitch instructions as well as a picture guide for each round or row. And the smaller project also includes a pre-recorded video for each step where I show you exactly how to make it. The second project is based on the first, so once you learn that one and if you enjoy it you can embark on the larger one with more confidence!
And the square supplied each month has a chart, written instructions and round by round pictures. Then on the third Wednesday of the month I give a live tutorial where we can make the square together using the chart as a guide. This helps you to learn how to read charts!
Now the other bonus with my patterns is that they are written more simply. I have been writing procedures for decades and have used this skill when writing my patterns. Each step is clearly distinguished from the rest and I use bullet points and formatting to make them easier to follow. I also do my best to remove any assumed knowledge so that beginners can follow them too!
If reading crochet patterns is a skill that you want to develop, then you will want to join the Hooked on Crochet Club! The doors don’t open often so you’ll need to add your name to the waitlist, especially as I have been known to open the doors to the waitlist only.
In the interim you might also want to download a copy of my stitch symbol guide. This will help you to learn the stitches which will help you decipher the patterns. The guide comes in US and UK terms and includes written instructions for each stitch. It’s one of my most popular downloads and I know that it works!
Do you have a different struggle when it comes to reading crochet patterns? I would love to hear what it is so that I can help you with a solution. Let me know in the comments below!