How to Spot FAKE (AI) CROCHET So You Don’t Get SCAMMED

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Written by: Elise Speed

Published on May 25th, 2024

How to Spot FAKE (AI) Crochet is full of practical tips to help you to be able to quickly identity aritifically created crochet patterns and images. Plus we will do a fun little quiz at the end to see if you can see the difference between real crochet and AI.

Artificial intelligence has become a big problem in the crochet community and today I’m going to attempt to make an AI generated crochet pattern, give you some helpful tips and tricks to help you spot them and finally we will do a little quiz where we compare AI vs real patterns to see if you can spot the difference!

The reason I decided to make a dedicated post about this topic is that there is a Facebook page that has been popping up a lot on my feed and 99% of all their images are AI. And what I found disturbing is that these posts are getting thousands of likes and comments. 

I’ve even scrolled through the comments to see if anyone is calling them out for AI and I haven’t found one yet. My hunch is that there are people commenting that the images are fake, but that the account owner is deleting them and possibly blocking those accounts. 

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Here’s why AI is a problem in the crochet community: 

  1. People are getting scammed out of their money. Unfortunately there are Etsy accounts that are selling AI generated crochet patterns. This has become such a big problem that news organizations are taking notice. On April 24th, 2024 NBC published an article about it: Etsy crochet buyers say AI-made images are being used to sell disappointing patterns The author stated that Etsy is taking the situation seriously and closing down those accounts, but it seems like it’s a bit like the game whack-a-mole. When they shut one down another pops up. 
  2. People are wasting their time – there are websites that are sharing these fake crochet patterns for free and people are literally wasting their time trying to make these projects. 
  3. Beginners can doubt their crochet skills because the project doesn’t turn out anything like photo.

Chat GPT Generated Crochet Pattern

My curiosity got the better of me one day and I decided I had to try an AI crochet pattern for myself.

I had Chat GPT create a simple crochet pattern for an amigurumi whale.

I’ve made a lot of crochet amigurumi toys in my life so I should be able to crochet anything this AI tool could throw at me. 

I also copied and pasted the entire pattern into the Image Generator to give me an image of what the pattern would look like when it was completed.

I was very happy when it gave me this image and these comforting words:

Here’s the image of the amigurumi whale based on the crochet pattern you provided. I hope this visual representation matches what you envisioned for your project! If there’s anything you’d like to adjust or add, feel free to let me know.

Chat GPT
AI amigurumi whale image

Initially I was impressed by the directions. They were written in a way that would be familiar to experienced crochet toy makers.

The only problem that I saw with this step was that the directions for where to place the eyes wasn’t within the portion of the pattern for the body. It was way down at the bottom of the pattern. It also didn’t share which size safety eyes to use.

I used my best judgement and went with 6 mm eyes.

Problems with AI Crochet Patterns

The problems started with the tail directions.

There were problems with rows 5, 7 and 9. The pattern was incorrect and I had to adjust my stitches to get the correct stitch count.

But that was just the beginning of the problems.

There were errors with the fin as well. And the strangest part were these two conflicting directions:

What does that even mean????

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see a fin on the top of the whale’s body in the image. Plus, I’m pretty sure whales don’t even have fins there! But who am I to correct a fancy-schmancy AI chatbot.

So I proceeded to make the pattern to the best of my ability.

And this is what I ended up with.

Side by Side of Real vs AI Crochet Whale

Maybe it’s just me, but these two images don’t look alike… all!

And just to prove my point, here’s a side view of the whale.

Although the crochet whales don’t favor one another, I did have fun making this little guy even though I felt confused much of the time.

My hope is that this little experiment has convinced you to see that AI tools like ChatGPT still can’t write an actual crochet pattern.

Six Tips for Recgonizing FAKE/AI Crochet Patterns

Here are six of my best tips for spotting fake/AI crochet images. Individually these concepts aren’t red flags, but when you begin to see more than one of them at a time, you should stop and dig a little deeper. 


When you look at an image of a crochet pattern is it incredibly detailed? Is it more detailed than any other crochet pattern you’ve ever seen or made yourself?

That can be a hint that the pattern was created with AI.

AI generated crocheted butterfly.

What Stitch Is It?

Can you tell what stitch they are using? Look really closely at the details to see if you recognize the stitches.

This can be hard if you’re a beginner to crochet, but if you have some experience you may be able to spot that it’s fake just by trying to identify the stitches. 

Size of Project

Is the size of this project likely beyond the scope of human capacity?

Is it so large that it would be difficult for a human to actually make?

Take a Closer Look

Look at the image as a whole. Is there something wrong with it?

For example, an elephant with a leg for a trunk? Have a critical eye to spot inconsistencies that just don’t make sense. 


Are the colors so fantastical that they take your breath away?

Have you ever seen yarn that looks like the image? Are the color changes happening seamlessly? 

Human Hands

One of the best ways to detect whether an image is AI or not is to look at the hands of any human in the image.

AI has a tough time creating realistic looking hands. There can be the wrong number of fingers or the texture of the hand doesn’t look quite real. 

With this image the hands look fine but the way the person is holding yarn and hook are all wrong.

AI hands crocheting

Questions to Ask Yourself

Before purchasing or following a pattern ask yourself a few different questions.

Who is the Designer?

Who is the designer? Do they have social media? This is one of the best current ways to discover if a crochet pattern is fake or not.

Can you trace back to who the designer is? Almost every single crochet designer I know has a social media account or a website. Do they look like a real person? Do they have a name, a photo of themselves and a bio? Those are good indicators that the project was created by a real person. 

AI generated crocheted doll house and boy doll

Is There a Video?

Is there a video of the project or just a photo?

This is especially important on places like Etsy. When you’re looking at a listing for a crochet pattern see if there is a video.

Are they showing the front, back and sides of the project? Just because a listing only has photos doesn’t automatically make it fake. Check to see if there are photos of the project from all angles. 

AI generated crochet highland cow pattern

AI Generated vs Real Crochet Projects

Now that we’ve gone over all these tips, let’s put our knowledge to the test and see if we can spot the real crochet projects and those that were created with AI. 

Which crocheted pencil is real and which one is fake?

The real one is B. This is my very own pattern Mister Pencil and you can find the free pattern here:

Mister Pencil Free Pattern

Which cute little frog is fake and which one is real?

The real frog is B. He’s an adorable pattern from Crochet Candyland Co. on Etsy.

Find the Frog in a Basket Crochet Pattern Here

Which crocheted party hat is real and which one is fake?

This one is definitely a little harder to tell. But the real crocheted hat is A.

Find the Crocheted Party Hat FREE Pattern Here

Granny squares are a big trend right now and these two images are pretty similar, but one is real and one is fake.

The real crocheted granny square cardigan is A.

Find the Crochet Cardigan Pattern Here

If you’re finding the quiz more challenging, that’s on purpose. The first couple were pretty easy and I’ve left the harder images for last.

Which crocheted shawl is the real one and which one is the fake?

The real shawl is B.

Find the Crochet Shawl Pattern Here

I’ve left the hardest for last.

Which of these two amigurumi crochet penguins is fake and which one is real? This one is really tough and I have to give it to AI for coming up with this image.

The real penguin is A.

Find Mumford the Penguin Amigurumi Pattern Here

How to Spot FAKE (AI) Crochet

I hope you found this post helpful and that you’re better able to spot AI generated crochet patterns.

Make sure to pin this post to save it for future reference.

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