How to interpret crochet skill levels from beginner to advanced
Crochet skill levels are meant to be a guide of what techniques and skills you may need to have an understanding of for a specific crochet pattern. However, that guide is not very helpful if you do not know which crochet techniques and skills fall under each crochet skill level. Read below for a breakdown of what you can expect to encounter under each crochet skill level.
Crochet Skill Levels
No shaping. No increases or decreases. No working in a round. Instead expect to be working in a square or rectangle.
No color changes
Stitch increases and decreases
Working in a round
Some simple color changes, like stripes
Some speciality stitches that build upon basic crochet stitches (think moss stitch, tulip stitch, etc)
Some repetition. Pattern may be easy to memorize.
More complex shaping, such as amigurumi
More complex or frequent color changes.
Higher level speciality stitches (think jasmine stitch, cables)
A less repetitive, more complex pattern. The pattern may be hard to memorize and you'll find yourself referring to it more often.
Complex color changes, such as grid work.
Very complex shaping
The pattern itself may have little to no repetition.
This skill level is sometimes referred to as 'experienced'
Crochet Skill Levels Label the Pattern, Not the Crocheter
The crochet skill levels only label patterns. Their intended use is to tell you how difficult a pattern may be.
Don't try to figure out which crochet skill level you are. That is not what the crochet skill levels intend to accomplish. For example, you may have conquered some of the techniques that fall under the Intermediate skill level, but not all of them, and some that fall under Advanced.
This is also to say that just because you are a beginner crocheter does not mean you are ready to tackle a beginner pattern. If you have not yet learned the crochet basics (chaining, turning, single crochet, double crochet), start there before you start with a pattern. It also means that if you are an experienced crocheter who has been crocheting for 30 years, you may not be ready for Advanced/ Experienced patterns if you haven't been working on the skills and techniques that fall under that skill level.
How Can I Best Go About Gaining More Crochet Skills?
My advice would be to learn one thing at a time. For example, don't try to jump into a project that has shaping and colorwork, if you are not yet comfortable with either of those skills. Choose a pattern that has shaping, but no colorwork, or vice versa.
A Word For The True Crochet Beginner
Beginner level patterns do not teach a person how to crochet. Patterns are not intended to guide you step by step on how to crochet, but rather be your first step into following a crochet pattern. First, learn how to chain and how to work some of the basic crochet stitches before you tackle your first crochet pattern.
I also try to remind beginners as much as I can that if your tension seems wonky as you are getting started (aka some of your stitches are really tight or really loose) this will correct itself with practice. Try to feel more comfortable with your tension and see if you come close to matching a pattern gauge before you start that pattern.