Crochet patterns have their own special shorthand that can be intimidating to beginners, but it is easy to figure out once you know the rules.
Almost all the crochet terminology is abbreviated to save
space. The abbreviations used are usually listed at the
beginning or end of the pattern, but some common abbreviations are ch (chain), sc (single crochet), and dc (double crochet).
Ch 12 = chain 12.
Crochet pattern directions are broken down by rows or rounds, since crochet is always worked either in rows or in rounds. Many patterns also include the number of stitches you should have once the row or round is completed. For patterns that call for periodic increases and decreases in stitch numbers, it is always a good idea to count your stitches before moving on to the next step.
Row 1. Sc in each ch across. 12 sc.
The last and most confusing part of crochet patterns is the
symbols used. Some parts of the instructions may be given in (parentheses) or [brackets]; these are sets of instructions that are either intended to be worked together as one collective stitch, or that are intended to be repeated a given number of times before moving on to the next part of the instructions.
Row 5. Ch 2; turn. (Sc, ch 1, sc) in each ch-1 space across.
Sometimes an asterisk* will appear before certain parts of
the pattern. This indicates that the instructions following the asterisk will be repeated within the same row.
Row 10. Ch 2; turn. Skip first sc, *sc in next sc, skip ch-1
space, sc in next sc; repeat from * across.
Once the pattern terminology is broken down, it should be
easy to figure out what the pattern is asking you to do. Just
take it one stitch, one bracket, one row at a time.