How to crochet animal print patterns

Written by katelyn kelley
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How to crochet animal print patterns
The zebra animal print uses black and white yarn. (Zebra image by Otto Durst from

Animal print patterns are those that depict the unique and colourful designs found on the hides of animals such as leopards, zebras and giraffs. To crochet fabric that mimics that pattern, you change yarn colours and crochet your stitches in a grid sequence row by row that corresponds to the colour changes in the animal's hide. Graph paper and a sample of the animal print you wish to reproduce will allow you to create your own crochet stitching chart to follow.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Animal print design
  • Graph paper
  • Coloured pencils
  • Worsted weight yarn
  • Size 8 crochet hook
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle

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  1. 1

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

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

    Use coloured pencils to improve the colours on the graph paper if the transfer method you used produced a black and white chart and the animal print has other colours in it such as beige or brown, or if the shading in the boxes is too light after the transfer.

  4. 4

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

  5. 5

    Place a slip knot (see Resources) 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.

  6. 6

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

  7. 7

    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 will see the animal print on your chart emerge from the yarn.

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