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For most patterns, clearly written instructions using standard American or UK crochet stitch abbreviations and lots of pictures are usually enough to help your crocheter make the pattern. But, some crocheters are helped by having a schematic of the finished project, especially if it's a project in the round or an intricate pattern. There's a growing movement to standardize symbols that illustrate the different crochet stitches and to use them in addition to written instructions to depict the steps to create the project. Here's a great explanation: http://www.grannys-garret.com/symbol_crochet/symbol_crochet.html
I just had to give a plug for my new book The Crocheter's Design Companion, now available on Amazon and https://www.createspace.com/3476247. It's a compact notebook that will slip right into your crochet project bag and help you keep track of the patterns you are working on, the yarn(s) you are using, and any modifications you make. There are graph paper pages for designing your own crochet projects, including in the round (amigurumi), and useful reference charts with hook sizes, yarn weights, and a glossary of crochet terms and abbreviations included as well. Order one today!
Here are some resources for finding and working with crochet symbols:
1) This chart has both American and UK crochet terms:
2) Lots of downloads available on this page:
3) Crochet symbol fonts: