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Confusing Crochet Instructions - Armholes.

Dear SweaterBabe,

Hi my name is Nia and I am trying to crochet a baby sweater and there is one part of the pattern that i don't understand i wanted to know if you can help me to break this down a little further.

Thank You!

Shape armholes: Next row:Sl st in each of first 4 sts. Ch 2. 1 hdc in each st to last 4 sts. Ch 2. Turn. Leave rem sts unworked. 31 (35-39-43) sts.
Cont even until armhole measures 41⁄2(5-51⁄4-51⁄2) ins [11.5 (12.5-13-14) cm], ending with RS facing and omitting turning ch at end of last row. Fasten off.

Dear Nia,

Let's write that instruction in plainer terms to make it easier to interpret:

When you shape armholes, you often leave a few stitches unworked at the end of 2 rows to create the armhole opening.  That is why it tells you to "Leave rem sts unworked."  "to last 4 sts" means to work a hdc in each st as you go along the row UNTIL you see 4 sts sitting "unworked" at the end of your row. 

Here is a photo that illustrates this:

Picture of crochet armhole shaping

The RED row shows how you do your "Next Row" under the "Shape Armholes" instructions.   You can see where I worked the sl st into the 1st 4 sts, then worked until there were only 4 sts left (see the 4 sts unworked at the end of the Row).  Then, I did the ch 2, which is exactly what you see in the photo above.  So, to "leave rem sts unworked," you go ahead and turn and begin the next row.

"Cont even until armhole measures..." means to continue in the established stitch pattern (I'm guessing it's hdc??) without any shaping (NO increasing or decreasing, so maintain the same number of stitches on each row) until you can measure 41⁄2(5-51⁄4-51⁄2) ins from when the armhole shaping began.

Here's an example of how you measure it:

Picture of measuring crochet armholes

In the example here, the armhole is only measuring about 1 1/4", so I would continue to work even (which is what you see in the red) until the appropriate armhole length for the size I am making.

"Ending with RS facing" means that the last row that you work should be a RS row.  Sometimes it is written as "ending with a RS row." 

 "Fasten off" means to cut your yarn, leaving approximately a 6" tail (or more if you will need this tail to do any sewing of seams).  Then, thread your tail through the last loop that was on your hook and pull through to "fasten" or sort of knot your end so nothing can unravel.

Hope that helps!  Please comment if you still have questions.



You make crocheting so easy when you explain how to read the patterns the correct way. I was having trouble with the armholes when making a babys dress, but now you explained it much more simplier way. Why can't all designers have patterns like you do????
Thanks so much for making it so easy now.

Sylvia Cain

I have been trying to figure out how to shape an armhole for a week, and even called the yarn manufacturer for help, but to no avail. Imagine my surprise and delight to find your explanation for the exact same pattern on your blog! Thank you for so clearly explaining what I had mistaken for a complex problem.

Cincinnati, OH


Your like the Goddess of crochet. I almost give up when i read this part of pattern because i dont know what to do. Thank you so much for being such a good help !!! xoxo

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