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If you are new to crochet then getting to grips with your first pattern can seem rather intimidating, with all those complex instructions and indecipherable abbreviations! Not to worry, because at Deramores we strive to make yarn and crafting as accessible as possible and have put together this step-by-step guide on reading, understanding and following a crochet pattern.

For more help with the basics of crochet, head on over to our YouTube channel a take a look at some of our demonstration videos!

The Basics

Before you can crochet, you will need hooks, yarn and potentially other embellishments, all of which are listed in the pattern; including hook sizes, the shade and weight of yarn and any other accessories that may be required. Some patterns will also include a size chart, either highlighting the different sizes described in the pattern or the overall size of the finished article.

Next, tension. Tension is the number of stitches and rows which can be crocheted using your chosen yarn in a 10cm by 10cm square; you will need to match this to ensure that your garment is the correct size. It is also helpful for selecting an alternative yarn for the pattern, as any substitute will have to match this tension.

Abbreviations

Abbreviations are perhaps the most intimidating part of a pattern to a beginner, but not to worry, patterns will include a legend which lists and translates the terms. Here are some examples of common crochet abbreviations and their meaning;

Ch

Chain

Dc

Double Crochet

Sp

Space

Tr

Treble Crochet

St(s)

Stitches

Dtr

Double Treble Crochet

Yo

Yarn Over

Dc2tog

Double crochet two stitches together

 

As well as these and other abbreviations, crochet patterns often make use of symbols. Asterisks are commonly used to indicate repeats in the pattern, while brackets and parenthesis will tell you how many times to work a certain step.

How to start

You have the yarn, the hooks and you have familiarised yourself with the abbreviations, let’s crochet.

The first thing you must do is to make a slip knot on your hook; this will be the foundation of your chain. The number of chains you need will be specified just before the first row. The following video demonstrates how to do this:

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Let’s Crochet!

Using the Chevron Wall Hanging by Jo Janes in Deramores Studio Chunky as an example, let’s work through the first few rows of a crochet pattern together;

Chain and Double Crochet

You will notice that two stitches make up the bulk of this pattern, chain and double crochet (known as single crochet in US terms). 

We mentioned and demonstrated the chain stitch briefly above, but this stitch forms the basis of all crochet. Nearly every pattern will begin with a chain, also fittingly called a foundation chain.

Double crochet is perhaps the most common stitch in crochet and makes up many a garment and accessory. For a helpful demonstration, look no further than our YouTube tutorial below;

 

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  1. Foundation Row (WS): Using Yarn A Ch50.

After making a slip knot, as outlined above, make 50 chain stitches.

  1. 2dc in 2nd ch from hook, *1dc in each of next 7ch, sk next ch, 1dc in each of next 7ch, 3dc in next ch. Repeat from * to end working 2dc in last ch. Turn.

 

Count 2 chains away from the hook and work 2 double crochets into that chain. Next, in the following 7 chains, work in a double crochet. Skip the next chain, work a double crochet into the following 7 chains and finally work 3 double crochets into the next chain. Remember what we said about asterisks above? Repeat the pattern from the first * to the end but on the last repeat you are ending with just 2 double crochet in the last chain, instead of 3dc. Then turn your work to the right side.

 

  1. Row 1 (RS): Ch1 (does not count as a st throughout), working in blo, 2dc in 1st dc *1dc in each of next 7dc, sk 2dc, 1dc in each of next 7dc, 3dc in next dc. Rep from * to end working 2dc in last dc. Turn.

 

Working on the opposite side, make one chain (the text in brackets informs you that this chain does not count as a stitch – it is a turning chain), and then working in back loop only (this is the loop at the top of the stitch that is furthest away from you), create 2 double crochets in the first double crochet then follow this with 1 double crochet in each of the next 7 double crochets. Skip 2 double crochets, then double crochet in each of the next 7 double crochets, followed by 3 double crochet in the next double crochet. Repeat from * to the end but on the last repeat you are ending with just 2 double crochet in the last chain, instead of 3dc. Turn your work back to the wrong side.

 

  1. Continue to follow the instructions on the pattern until row 4, leaving a tail as directed.

 

Finishing up

Once you have finished the main stitches, it is time to add the finishing touches. Most patterns will have a finishing, or making up section, where the final details are added to bring the whole piece together.

In this pattern, a fringe and a dowel are needed to finish up this wall hanging; the pattern outlines any extra materials or steps needed in order to complete this.

 

We hope you found this tutorial helpful and if you have any further crochet questions or queries, be sure to check out our Community Hub for more craft resources or get in touch via Live Chat or by calling 0845 519 4573 or 01733 777 345 between 7.30am and 5.30pm UK standard time. 

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