For both crocheters and knitters, learning to read a pattern can be like learning a different language. However, if you take things step-by-step, reading a pattern can be easy. For this example, follow along with the Ruffle Colors Scarf.
1. Read the gauge information. Click here for more information on making a gauge swatch.
2. Write out what every abbreviation means. Stitch explanations can be found in the "Stitch Explanation" section above the main body of the pattern and in the "Abbreviations/References" section at the bottom of the pattern. For example, the Ruffle Color Scarf begins, "Ch 177. Row 1: Work 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch across" In this case, you would write, "Chain 177. Row 1: Work 2 double crochets into the 3rd chain from your crochet hook. Work 2 double crochets in every chain across the row."
3. Focus on one stitch at a time. It's easy to read the entire row and get a little overwhelmed. Doing each stitch individually allows you to stay focused and makes each row a lot more manageable.
4. Write out the repeats. Many patterns include repeats. For example, Row 3 says, "Ch 3, turn, dc in same sp, dc in next st, *2 dc in next st, dc in next st; rep from * across." In this case, it may be beneficial to write out, "Double crochet twice in the next stitch. Double crochet in the next stitch. Double crochet twice in the next stitch. Double crochet in the next stitch." This is especially helpful when the pattern repeat includes 3 or more stitches.
With those 4 easy steps, you can be on your way to reading patterns!