Before starting a new crochet project, it's always a smart idea to look at the project level so you know if you're prepared to work through the pattern. The crochet skill level tells you how difficult a pattern is, which is helpful no matter how long you've been crocheting.
All of the free crochet patterns offered on The Spruce Crafts tell what you should know before you begin. Plus, you can find lots of tutorials for stitches and special methods so you feel confident and ready to crochet!
Patterns follow the Craft Yarn Council's guidelines for crochet skill levels, with some overlap between them. We have patterns categorized by skill levels, plus many of the patterns list when there is overlap. For example, if a pattern lists that it's easy to intermediate, that means it's mostly easy but does include a small amount of intermediate technique. These projects are a good way for you to stretch yourself as you learn.
At any skill level, when a pattern uses a particular stitch or technique, the pattern usually links to resources to help you if it's unfamiliar, and sometimes the instructions are right there in the tutorial. Never tried a front post double crochet (FPDC) before? Don't worry! When you're learning Celtic weave stitch, you'll see the FPDC process from start to finish.
From absolute beginner to the most advanced patterns, you'll always know what to expect before jumping in. Not sure which level is right for you? This guide is here to help.
Patterns in the beginner category use introductory stitches like single, double, and triple crochet. They also use basics like a slip knot, chain stitches, and slip stitches. Some may also have simple increases and decreases.
Beginner patterns are great for a first project because you usually only need to learn one stitch and the basics of crochet. Sometimes when learning a new skill it feels like it will take a while before you can make something useful, but these patterns prove otherwise. Practice with a swatch and then watch yourself make something great!
Also in the beginner category, some patterns include the skill level easy. These patterns use basic stitches to form simple stitch patterns, such as V-stitch or shell stitch. Easy patterns sometimes involve some shaping or simple color changes too.
Sometimes you might hear of a pattern that's suitable for the confident beginner and that's where easy patterns come in. You might not be ready to add lots of new techniques into your crochet, but once you've made a project or two, you can tackle these.
For a pattern to fall into the intermediate section, it would include more involved stitch combinations like popcorn stitch or crocodile stitch. These designs could also involve colorwork (tapestry crochet) and more shaping.
Have you spotted something that has fun textures crocheted into the design? Or maybe a pattern that creates an image or design in the crochet? When you feel like you're ready for a small challenge, intermediate patterns let you show off your skills.
On occasion, a pattern might use materials that make it more challenging, but the stitches themselves are still easy. For example, you can crochet an octopus toy with basic stitches, but using fluffy yarn means you need to have a strong understanding of the stitches.
When a pattern is labeled as advanced, that means it has a combination of complicated stitches and charts, colorwork, and other complex techniques.
Advanced crochet patterns are certainly the most challenging. These are for crocheters who have been honing their craft and might even call themselves an expert. Patterns in this category might include crocheted doilies, intricate afghans, garments, and even very special amigurumi. They aren't for everyone, but they are good for when you are ready to see just how much you can accomplish with crochet.
No matter your skill level, you're sure to find plenty of patterns to crochet. And even if you're a higher level, you can still enjoy making easier designs. In fact, sometimes that's exactly what you need to relax as you pick up your hook!