Essential Guide to Crochet Symbols



I remember learning about hieroglyphics in school. The fascination with language and images for writing has always stuck with me. Communication, both verbal and written is such an intricate part of life, of culture. Most of us who crochet know basic terms such as sc for single crochet, dc for double crochet. But do you know the symbols now being used in many patterns? I sure don't and am glad to learn about these symbols that look like hieroglyphics to me!

Charting New Waters

Crochet symbols in crochet and knit patterns are being used more and more as an addition to or in place of words to describe a pattern stitch. Here is a listing of  the international crochet symbols that you may find in crochet patterns. For the most part each symbol represents a stitch as it looks on the right side of the work. I like this chart as it shows the stitch name, abbreviation, and symbol.


Another great option is this chart of crochet symbols, courtesy of The chart shows photos of what the stitch looks like and is written in both English and Spanish.  The visual helps me to better know what the actual stitch should look like on the right side.


So why would you need these fancy stitches? Well, you may or may not, but if you want to play around with things beyond a basic hat, scarf, or mittens, this is a great way to delve into creating unique pieces using unusual fibers. This butterfly design courtesy of crochet is just one example of ways to use your crochet symbols to create a beautiful butterfly embellishment. When you think about this, the possibilities are endless!


It's All Greek to Me

In a world where so much is visual, it's great to see that crocheters have come up with universal symbols (in addition to the abbreviations) to make pattern reading simple. I feel more confident in trying things beyond the basics now that I have the chart. Maybe after all these years, I could take my crocheting to the next level! I love the fact that I can use some Darn Good Yarn to create some very unique crochet hand crafts. 

woman holding a purple shawl

Understanding these symbols and putting them to use may be a whole other thing! I may stick to crochet patterns that are familiar first. Kits are another great way to keep this crochet thing simple! No matter the method, I am inspired to get out my hooks and yarn! It's been a while but I am jazzed to try my hand at crocheting again.  What are you crocheting these days?