By Monica Kelly
Crochet patterns can be a little overwhelming if you do not understand the lingo. There are differnent abbreviations and symbols for thread, hooks and directions on crochet patterns.
Abbreviations for instruction were made to save space. Some of them are common sense, but others are little more tricky to understand. As you get better, it will be easier to remember the common ones, but most beginners and intermediates need a reference.
It is also vital to know what certain symbols mean. These are the most common symbols accrording to the Craft Yarn Council of America:
Another useful trick to understanding crochet patterns is knowning the type and weight of your material. Crochet can be done using many different kinds of yarns or threads from wool to lace. The key to understanding what type of yarn or thread is suitable for your pattern, you have to understand weight categories.
The last thing that is important in understanding crochet patterns is knowing the different parts and sizes of hooks. Most hooks are made of metal, but they can also be made from plastic or even glass. They come in different sizes to suit the project you are working on. Knowing your hook is just as important as knowing your material.
The parts of a hook are as follows:
- point: The point is the tip of the crochet hook. It needs to be small and pointy enough to make go through loops, but round enough so it does not snag the material.
- throat: This is the smaller part of the crochet hook after the point. It is where the yarn is grabbed when making loops. It can be designed in two ways: a straight slice or a more curved angle.
- shaft: This is the space between the throat and the thumb rest. Here is where loops are held when stiching. It is important to pay attention to the length of the shaft. It determines how loose or tight your stitches will be.
- thumb rest: This is the flat part of the hook where you rest your thumb and your middle finger for support. Some thinner hooks do not have this feature.
- handle: This is the end of the hook where the palm hand rests.
Hooks are categorized by the size of the thickness of their shafts.The thicker and longer the shaft, the looser the stitches and vice versa. It is also important to know the width between the smallest part of the throat and the bottom of the point. The bigger the space between the thinnest part of the throat and the point, the thicker the material it can hold.
Hooks are sized using either a letter from B to S or a number between 1 and 15, inclusive.
- Information for abbreviations, hook parts and hook sizes were found in The Happy Hooker: Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet by Debbie Stoller.
- The crochet chart symbols diagram and information for the Yarn Weight Scale are standards placed by the Craft Yarn Council.
- All charts, save the crochet chart symbols diagram, were created by Monica Kelly.