Learn to Crochet - Reading a Crochet Pattern
In order to follow crochet instructions, you should know how to make the basic stitches and be familiar with basic procedures for making crochet fabric. You should also be familiar with the abbreviations for basic crochet stitches.
Learn to Crochet - Crochet Abbreviations
Listed below are standard abbreviations and symbols that you may find in crochet patterns on redheart.com. If a pattern contains unusual combinations of stitches, these will be explained in the Special Abbreviations section at the beginning of the pattern.
Learn to Crochet - Seams
Various methods can be used to join pieces of crochet and, again, the use of the finished item often dictates the assembly method. Sewn seams can be invisible or decorative. Below are a few suggestions for joining pieces of crochet.
Learn to Crochet - Blocking Crochet
Many yarns benefit from light blocking; some yarns demand it. If you've crocheted a delicate lace doily in fine cotton, you'll need to block it heavily to straighten the sides and align the stitches in order to see the beautiful lace pattern.
Learn to Crochet - Weave in Ends
Weave in ends securely before blocking pieces or sewing seams. Securely woven ends will not come loose with wear or washing. There are several methods for weaving in ends—use whichever one works best for you.
Learn to Crochet - Finishing
Finishing methods for crochet depend largely on the end purpose of the crochet (pillow, afghan, garment) and the yarn you use to create the piece.
Learn to Crochet - Right Side and Wrong Side Rows
Where the work is turned after each row, only alternate rows are worked with the right side of the work facing. These "right side rows" are printed in black on stitch diagrams and read from right to left. Wrong side rows are printed in a different color (usually blue) and read from left to right. Row numbers are shown at the side of the diagrams at the beginning of the row.
Learn to Crochet - Basic Symbols Used In Diagrams
The number of strokes crossing the stems of stitches longer than a half double crochet represents the number of times the yarn is wrapped over the hook before the hook is inserted into the work.
Learn to Crochet - Crochet Diagrams
Diagrams are read exactly as the crochet is worked. Each stitch is represented by a symbol that has been drawn to resemble its crocheted equivalent. The position of the symbol shows where the stitch should be placed and worked.
Learn to Crochet - Working in Rounds
Most motifs are not worked in rows but are worked in rounds from the center out. Unless otherwise stated in the pattern instructions, do not turn the work between rounds but continue with the same side facing and treat this as the right side of the fabric. The center ring is usually formed by a number of chains joined together with a slip stitch to form a ring.
Learn to Crochet - Puff Stitches
These are similar to bobbles but are worked, using half double crochet, into the same stitch or space. However, because of the way a half double crochet stitch is constructed, it cannot be worked until one loop remains on the hook. The puff stitch is not closed until the required number of stitches have been worked.
Learn to Crochet - Popcorns
Popcorns are groups of complete stitches usually worked into the same place, folded and closed at the top. They can be worked in half double crochet, double crochet or longer stitches. An extra chain can be worked to close and secure the top of the popcorn.
Learn to Crochet - Bobbles
When a cluster is worked into one stitch, it forms a bobble. Bobbles can be worked in double crochet or longer stitches.
Learn to Crochet - Clusters
Any combination of stitches may be joined into a cluster by leaving the last loop of each stitch on the hook until they are worked off together at the end. Working stitches together in this way can also be a method of decreasing.
Learn to Crochet - Groups or Shells
Shells and groups consist of several complete stitches worked into the same place. They can be worked as part of a stitch pattern or as a method of increasing. Groups and shells can be worked in half double crochet, double crochet or longer stitches.
Learn to Crochet - Stitch Variations
Most crochet stitch patterns, no matter how complex they seem, are made using combinations of basic stitches. Different effects can be created by small variations in the stitch making procedure or by varying the position and manner of inserting the hook into the fabric.
Learn to Crochet - Joining in New Yarn
When joining in new yarn or changing color, continue in the working yarn until two loops of the last stitch remain in the working yarn or color.
Learn to Crochet - Fasten Off
To fasten off the yarn permanently, cut the yarn leaving an 8" end (longer if you need to sew pieces together). Pull the end of the yarn through the loop on the hook and pull gently to tighten.