How to Crochet Animal Print Patterns

    by Katelyn Kelley

    About the Author

    Katelyn Kelley worked in information technology as a computing and communications consultant and web manager for 15 years before becoming a freelance writer in 2003. She specializes in instructional and technical writing in the areas of computers, gaming and crafts. Kelley holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and computer science from Boston College.


    Animal print patterns are those that depict the bold and colorful designs found on the hides of animals such as leopards, zebras and giraffes. To crochet fabric that mimics an animal's pattern, you change yarn colors and crochet your stitches in a grid sequence row by row that corresponds to the color changes in the animal's hide. With a reference photo and a few simple supplies, you can create your own crochet stitching chart to follow as you whip up high-style faux animal designs for home or fashion crochet projects.

    Things You'll Need

    • Animal print design
    • Graph paper
    • Colored pencils
    • Worsted weight yarn
    • Size G crochet hook
    • Ruler
    • Scissors
    • Yarn needle

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    Locate an animal print pattern you like from a photograph, book or computer image.

    Transfer the pattern to graph paper either by hand drawing it, photocopying it, or printing it from your computer to create a stitching chart.

    Improve the colors on the graph paper with color pencils if the transfer method you used produced a black and white chart and the animal print has other colors in it such as tan or brown, or if the shading in the boxes is too light after the transfer.

    Make a list of the colors used in your chart and match them up with a yarn that is close to that color.

    Place a slip knot on your crochet hook and make a starting chain the same length as your chart, where one chain stitch equals one box on the graph paper.

    Turn the starting chain and make single crochet stitches (see Resources) across, following the colors on your chart. When you need to change colors, work the single crochet before the color change until you have two loops left on the hook, then pull a loop of the new color through those two loops to complete the single crochet stitch. Now you are ready to make single crochet stitches with the new color.

    Turn your work at the end of each row. Follow the odd numbered rows on the chart from right to left and the even numbered rows from left to right. Use a ruler to help keep your place on the chart. After a few rows, you should see the animal print on your chart emerge from the yarn.

    • If the item you want to crochet is longer than the length of the chart, repeat the stitch sequence on your chart multiple times.
    • If the color changes are frequent, don't cut the previous color yarn, but hold it against the top of your stitches and crochet over it with the new color to carry the old color along with you. That way you can just pick it up again the next time you need to change to that color.

    Photo Credits