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Converting Patterns Between Knit and Crochet

by Linda

Have you ever found a beautiful pattern, absolutely perfect, but it's knitted and you prefer to crochet? Or the reverse?

Here are some tips to help you convert that pattern to a form you're more familiar with. Yes, there is some math involved but don't let that scare you. Calculators are pretty cheap these days. :)

Here's how I go about converting a knit pattern to crochet for clothing:

  1. Using the knit gauge for the pattern you've chosen (sts per inch and rows per inch - should be stated in the pattern), convert the numbers to inches or centimetres. You should then be able to come up with a rough sketch (if none is provided) of the size and shape of the garment piece(s). (Be sure you're using the measurements / stitch count for the same size garment all the way through.)
  2. Then the fun part - play around with different stitches and yarns and hooks to get a similar fabric (light and drapery, airy and open, heavy and solid, etc.) A stitch dictionary can be very helpful here, if you have one, or go through your collection of crochet patterns and magazines for ideas and inspiration.
  3. Pick the stitch pattern (or patterns) you like best, carefully measure your gauge in crochet, then convert the number of stitches and rows required, etc. A calculator makes the job go much faster. Also, the larger the swatch, the more accurate your measurements will be.
  4. If a schematic is provided for the knit pattern, photocopy it and write the results of your calculations and other notes right on the pattern. Do take lots of notes as you work on the item in case you decide to make it again some time in future. Don't forget to note the yarn type (and when you're done, yarn quantity) and hook you used!
  5. Measure your work regularly as you go and compare it to the original pattern, just to be sure your sizing is on track, and you should eventually come up with a comparable garment. Tada!
A few things to keep in mind:

From Needles to Hook

From Needles to Hook

If you want a book that will help you decide which crochet stitches to use in place of which knitted stitches, and a more thorough understanding of gauge and the conversion process from knit to crochet, this is the one. You'll find lots of stitch patterns here, including photos of knitted and crocheted samples, all in colour! Includes text instructions and some sample patterns (such as pot holders, purse, cat bed). An excellent reference.


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