Finding Your Place in Crochet

Knitters often find it difficult to transition into crochet because it requires a different way of thinking about your fabric as a whole. It might be fair to say it’s less precise. It’s a little but wonkier. It’s also a little more forgiving, and I think it lends itself better to free-form experimentation than knitting does. Working only one stitch at a time gives you the freedom to put that stitch wherever you please – and there are about a million places one could potentially insert one’s crochet hook and pull up a loop. It can be hard to describe which loop you’re referring to when writing a pattern, and often requires some interpretation when you’re reading a pattern! Though there are a limited number of gestures comprising the basic crochet stitches, there are a mind-boggling number of ways that one could combine chains, single crochets, double crochets, and half-double crochets, depending on exactly which loops you decide to grab.


Crochet chart example from By Number 19.


Knit chart example from

I think the origin of most confusion pertaining to crochet comes down to this fact: crocheted stitches are staggered, rather than stacked atop one another in a grid formation. That is why many new crocheters find their early swatches biasing one way or the other, and that is why it’s hard to produce a crocheted fabric with perfectly straight edges. That is why knitting charts are drawn on graph paper, and crochet charts usually look more like hand-sketches, even when they’re produced by a computer.

But before you can experiment, you need to know the basics. To get you started, use the visual guide below to help you find your place in crochet.


Written by Lauren Chesis

Lauren Chesis

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