crochet abbreviations guide
Tips & Tricks

What are Crochet Abbreviations? Beginners Quick Guide

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crochet abbreviations guide

When you pick up a crochet pattern, one of the first things you see is a list of abbreviations that are used.  There are common terms and abbreviations that are used but may not always have a description of what is needed.

This beginner’s guide to crochet abbreviations will provide you with a quick and easy method to know what the common abbreviations are as you start your new project.

As a general rule, crochet patterns will come with an abbreviation list but there will be some patterns that leave you in the dark.  This guide will set you on a successful path for your project.

crochet abbreviations guide

When looking at a crochet pattern, one of the most common findings is a list of abbreviations that describe the crochet stiches to be used.  These abbreviations are meant to make the pattern easier to follow and also have a standardized manner (or methodology) to crocheting.  Continue reading for your quick guide for these shorthand terms/abbreviations that are commonly seen.

The goal in this guide is to capture the most common abbreviations seen in crochet patterns.  Make sure to review the abbreviation guide specific to the pattern as there may be different ones or something that is specific to that pattern author.

Abbreviations are listed in alphabetically for convenience.

AbbreviationDescription
altalternate
begbeginning
BL or BLOback loop
BPback post
cccontrasting color
ch(s)chain(s)
clcluster
dcdouble crochet
dc2togdouble crochet 2 stitches together
decdecrease
dtrdouble triple crochet
FL or FLOfront loop
FOfinish off
follfollowing
FPfront post
hdchalf double crochet
hdc2toghalf double crochet 2 stitches together
incincrease
inclinclude
lploop
mmarker
MCmain color
ozounce(s)
PMplace marker
pcpopcorn stitch
ps or puffpuff stitch
remremaining
reprepeat

Let’s stop here for just a moment to talk about the repeat function.

The “rep” or repeat is frequently seen in patterns with a combination of other symbols. This indicates the porition of the pattern that needs to be repeated.

  • * = the pattern will specifically state how many times to repeat a series of instructions following an asterisk (or between asterisks).
  • () = the pattern will specifically state how many times to repeat a series of instructions that are given inside the parentheses.
  • [] = the pattern will specifically state how many times to repeat a series of instructions that are given inside the brackets.
AbbreviationDescription
revreverse
rnd(s)round(s)
RSright side
scsingle crochet
sc2togsingle crochet 2 stitches together
shshell
skskip
sl stslip stitch
sp(s)space(s)
st(s)stitch(s)
tch or t-chturning chain
togtogether
trtriple crochet
tr trtriple treble crochet
UFOunfinished object
WIPwork in progress
WSwrong side
yoyarn over
yohyarn over hook

Watch for Differences between British and American English Crochet Terms

Yes…this is a thing and can totally throw off a pattern! The major difference is that British stitches are one step up from U.S./Canada stitches. For example, an U.S./Canada single crochet is a double crochet in British patterns.

U.S./CanadaU.K
Slip stitch (sl st)slip stitch (ss)
Single crochet (sc)double crochet (dc)
Half double crochet (hdc)half treble (htr)
double crochet (dc)treble (tr)
treble (tr)double treble (tr)
double treble (drt)triple treble (trtr)
gaugetension
yarn over (yo)yarn over hook (yoh)

How do you know if you have a U.S./Canada vs. British Pattern?

Most current designers will noted whether they are using U.S./Canada or British terms but some of the vintage patterns may be harder to determine.

One easy and quick method to check is to look for the single crochet. British terms do not use a single crochet at all…so if you see this term, you are good to go with U.S./Canada abbreviations.

One other clue is looking for gauge vs. tension. For U.S./Canadian patterns, it will reference gauge while British patterns will say tension.

Wrapping this one up!

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crochet abbreviations

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