How to Read Crochet Symbols - dummies

How to Read Crochet Symbols

By Susan Brittain, Karen Manthey

Crochet instructions use symbols, such as parentheses, brackets, and bullets, to represent certain actions. After you decipher these crochet symbols, you’ll be able to read a crochet pattern like a pro.

  • Parentheses: Instruction writers use parentheses to designate a repeated set of actions and stitches or to sum up a row. Here’s a list of the different reasons instruction writers use these handy little arcs:

    • To isolate a set of 2 or more stitches that you work all in 1 stitch.

    • To enclose a set of stitches that you repeat a number of times in succession.

    • To sum up a completed row or round.

    • To distinguish different sizes in a garment pattern.

      If a garment pattern is written for three sizes, it includes separate instructions for the two larger sizes in parentheses.

  • Brackets: Crochet instructions use brackets in the following ways:

    • Some patterns use brackets interchangeably with parentheses to isolate repeated phrases of stitches. They may also appear as a set or phrase within another.

    • Patterns use brackets within parentheses to sum up the number of stitches for different sizes.

  • Bullets and other special symbols: Patterns use symbols such as bullets (), asterisks (*), plus signs (+), and crosses (†) in instructions to show the repetition of a series of crochet stitches:

    • Some patterns use only one symbol at the beginning of a phrase and then direct you to repeat from that symbol a designated number of times.

    • You may also see bullet symbols marking both the beginning and end of a repeated phrase.

      The instructions may reference this repeat again if the phrase within the bullets is used at a different section of the row or round.