Crochet Tips & Hints

Stitch Abbreviations

beg begin(ning)
bl(s) block(s)
bpdc back post double crochet
ch(s) chain(s)
cl(s) cluster(s)
CC contrasting color
dc double crochet
dec decrease
dtr double treble crochet
fpdc front post double crochet
hdc half-double crochet
inc increase
lp(s) loops(s)
MC main color
p picot
rem remain(ing)
rep repeat
rnd(s) round(s)
RS right side (facing you)
sc single crochet
sk skip
sl st slip stitch
sp(s) space(s)
st(s) stitch(es)
tog together
tr treble crochet
trtr triple treble crochet
WS wrong side (facing you)
yo yarn over

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Gauge is determined by the tightness or looseness of your stitches, and affects the finished size of your project. If you are concerned about the finished size of the project matching the size given, take time to crochet a small section of the pattern and then check your gauge. For example, if the gauge called for is 10 dc = 1 inch, and your gauge is 12 dc to the inch, you should switch to a larger hook. On the other hand, if your gauge is only 8 dc to the inch, you should switch to a smaller hook.

If the gauge given in the pattern is for an entire motif, work one motif and then check your gauge.

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Crochet hook sizes: General information

.60 mm
16 steel
.75 mm
14 steel
1.00 mm
13 steel
1.25 mm
12 steel
1.50 mm
7 steel
1.75 mm
5 steel
2.25 mm
2.75 mm
3.25 mm
3.50 mm
3.75 mm
4.00 mm
4.50 mm
5.00 mm
5.50 mm
6.00 mm

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Aluminum hook sizes

- 14 2
B/1 13, 12 2.5, 2.75
C/2 12, 11 2.75, 3
D/3 10 3.25
E/4 9 3.5
F/5 8 3.75, 4
G/6 7 4.25, 4.5
H/8 6 4.75, 5
I/9 5 5.5
J/10 4 6
K/10 1/2 2 6.5, 7
- - 7.5
L/11 - 8
M/13 - 9
N/15 - 10
P/16 - 16
Q - 16
S - 19

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Steel thread hook sizes

00 - 2.70
0 00 2.50
1 3/0 2.25
2 2/0 2.20
3 1/0 2.10
4 1 2.00
5 1 1/2 1.90
6 2 1.80
7 2 1/2 1.65
8 3 1.50
9 4 1.25
10 5 1.15
11 5 1/2 1.10
12 6 1.00
13 6 1/2 .85
14 7 .75
16 - .60

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Tips for using hooks

Crochet hooks are sized for different weights of yarn and thread. For thread crochet, you will usually use a steel crochet hook. Steel crochet hook sizes range from size 00 to 14. The higher the number of hook, the smaller your stitches will be. For example, a size 1 steel crochet hook will give you much larger stitches than a size 9 steel crochet hook.

Keep in mind that the sizes given with the pattern instructions were obtained by working with the size of thread, yarn and hook given in the materials list. If you work with a smaller hook, depending on your gauge, your project size will be smaller; if you work with a larger hook, your finished project's size will be larger.

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Understanding symbols in crochet patterns

As you work through a pattern, you'll quickly notice several symbols in the instructions. These symbols are used to clarify the pattern for you: Brackets [ ], curlicue brackets { }, asterisk *.

Brackets [ ] are used to set off a group of instructions worked a number of times. For example, "[ch 3, sc in ch-3 sp] 7 times" means to work the instructions inside the [ ] seven times. Brackets [ ] also set off a group of stitches to be worked in one stitch, space or loop. For example, the brackets [ ] in this set of instructions, "Sk 3 sc, [3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc] in next st" indicate that after skipping 3 sc, you will work 3 dc, ch 1 and 3 more dc all in the next stitch.

Occasionally, a set of instructions inside a set of brackets needs to be repeated too. In this case, the text within the brackets to be repeated will be set off with curlicue brackets {}. For example, "[Ch 9, yo twice, insert hook in 7th ch from hook and pull up a loop, sk next dc, yo, insert hook in next dc and pull up a loop, {yo and draw through 2 lps on hook} 5 times, ch 3] 8 times." In this case, in each of the eight times you work the instructions included in brackets, you will work the section included in curlicue brackets five times.

An asterisk * are also used when a group of instructions is repeated.

They may either be used alone or with brackets. For example, "*Sc in each of the next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc, rep from * around, join with a sl st in beg sc" simply means you will work the instructions from the first * around the entire round.

"*Sk 3 sc, [3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc] in next st, rep from * around" is an example of asterisks working with brackets. In this set of instructions, you will repeat the instructions from the asterisk around, working the instructions inside the brackets together.

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