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Each pattern is made up of a number of rows (sometimes called rounds); and each row contains a number of stitches.
For all of the patterns you’ll find on this site, a single instruction line will follow the same format:
ROW NUMBER. stitches in the row (number of stitches when row is completed).
The stitches in the row will be an abbreviated stitch descriptor, followed by the number of those stitches to complete. Take a look at the abbreviations and examples below to get a clearer idea.
Each stitch in a row is abbreviated:
You can check out a photo tutorial of all of these stitches by clicking on the abbreviation or by heading over to the tutorial section
ch = chain
st = stitch / stitches
sl st = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
MR 6 = magic ring with 6 single crochets worked into it
inc = increase, or sc 2 in the same stitch
dec = invisible decrease
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet
4sc popcorn = popcorn stitch with 4sc worked into it
BLO = back loop only
FLO = front loop only
[ sc, inc ]x 2 = repeat what’s in the square brackets two times => sc, inc, sc, inc
I find everything a lot easier to understand with examples. So I’ve written a quick pattern out below, with a much more detailed description of what’s going on in each row.
1. MR 6 (6) – 1st row. magic ring with 6 single crochets worked into it. Should have 6 stitches in the row at the end
2. inc 6 (12) – 2nd row. increase 6 times – i.e. 2sc in each of the 6 stitches from the previous row. Should have 12 stitches in the row at the end
3. [ sc, inc ]x 6 (18) – 3rd row. sc, inc – repeat this pattern 6 times. i.e. sc, inc, sc, inc, sc, inc, sc, inc, sc, inc, sc, inc. Should have 18 stitches in the row at the end.
4-6. sc 18 (18) – 4th, 5th and 6th rows. sc in each of the 18 stitches. There will be 18 at the end of each row, since we’re not increasing at all.
Hopefully that makes pattern reading easier!