## Saturday, May 23, 2009

### How to understand symbols in a crochet pattern?

1. As you work through a crochet pattern you will notice several symbols in the instructions. These symbols are used to clarify the pattern for you: [ brackets ], { curlicue braces }, ( parentheses ), and *asterisks.

2. Brackets [] are used to set off a group of instructions worked a certain number of times. For example "[ch2, sc in next dc] 6 times" means to work the directions in the brackets 6 times.

3. Sometimes a set of instructions inside a set of brackets need to be repeated as well. When this happens, the text inside the brackets to be repeated will be set off with curlicue braces {}. For example: "[sc in each of next 2 sts, ch2, {shell in next ch-2 sp} 3 times, ch2] 4 times" Here, in each of the four times you work the instructions in the brackets, you will work the portion in the curlicue braces three times.

4. Parentheses () are used to set off a group of stitches to be worked all in one stitch, space or loop. For example: "sk 3, sc (3dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next st" means that after skipping 3 sc you will work 3dc, ch 1 and 3 more dc all in the next stitch.

If you are working a pattern that includes several sizes, the instructions for the larger sizes are often givem in parentheses.

5. Single asterisks are used when a group of instructions is repeated. For example: " *dc in each of next 4 dc, 2 sc in next sc, rep from * around, join with sl st in beg sc" means you will work the pattern from the first * around the entire row or round.

6. Double asterisks ** are used to indicate when a partial section of repeat instructions are to be worked. For example, "*ch 3 (sc, ch2, sc) in next ch-2 sp, ch3**, dc in next dc, rep from * 3 times, ending last rep at **" means that on the third repeat of the single *, you stop at the double **.

Tips & Warnings

• Some patterns have several repeats within repeats which can get confusing. Make sure you read through the pattern before starting, and read through repeat instructions several times before starting that row or round.