Crocheting is a fun hobby (or business!) that allows you to create beautiful and intricate designs and patterns using just a hook and yarn. However, as a beginner first learning how to crochet, you might find yourself confused and overwhelmed by the multitude of crochet abbreviations used in patterns and that’s where this crochet abbreviations for beginners list can help!
Don’t worry! In this beginner’s guide, we’ll break down the most common crochet abbreviations using simple terms and easy-to-read sentences, so you can embark on your crochet journey with confidence. Then you’ll be able to make a few of my favorite crochet squares while you’re at it as well! Plus, at the end of the guide, you can find a free printable crochet abbreviations list to print and use whenever you need.
Crochet Abbreviations: A Beginner’s Guide
Below, we’ve highlighted the five most commonly used crochet abbreviations you may find in patterns as a beginner crocheter. Learning how to read and understand abbreviations in crochet will make pattern reading much easier for you in the long run.
- Chain Stitch (ch):
The chain stitch is the foundation of most crochet projects. To create a chain stitch, simply make a slipknot and pull the yarn through it with your hook. In patterns, you’ll often encounter the abbreviation “ch” followed by a number, indicating how many chain stitches you should make.
Example: “Ch 20” means you should make 20 chain stitches.
- Single Crochet (sc):
The single crochet stitch is one of the basic stitches in crochet. It creates a dense and sturdy fabric. To make a single crochet stitch, insert your hook into the designated stitch, yarn over, pull through the stitch, yarn over again, and pull through both loops on the hook.
Example: “Sc 10” means you should make 10 single crochet stitches.
- Double Crochet (dc):
The double crochet stitch is slightly taller than the single crochet and produces a looser fabric. To make a double crochet stitch, yarn over, insert your hook into the designated stitch, yarn over again, pull through the stitch, yarn over once more, and pull through the first two loops on the hook. Finally, yarn over again and pull through the last two loops on the hook.
Example: “Dc 15” means you should make 15 double crochet stitches.
- Half Double Crochet (hdc):
The half double crochet stitch falls in between the single and double crochet stitches in terms of height. It creates a versatile stitch that works well for various projects. To make a half double crochet stitch, yarn over, insert your hook into the designated stitch, yarn over again, pull through the stitch, yarn over once more, and pull through all three loops on the hook.
Example: “Hdc 8” means you should make 8 half double crochet stitches.
- Treble (aka Triple) Crochet (tr):
The treble crochet stitch is the tallest of the basic crochet stitches and produces a more open and lacy fabric. To make a treble crochet stitch, yarn over twice, insert your hook into the designated stitch, yarn over again, pull through the stitch, yarn over, pull through the first two loops on the hook, yarn over, pull through the next two loops, yarn over once more, and pull through the final two loops on the hook.
Example: “Tr 12” means you should make 12 triple crochet stitches.
Note: Understanding crochet abbreviations is an essential skill for any beginner crocheter. By familiarizing yourself with these common abbreviations, you’ll be able to decipher crochet patterns with ease and make any pattern you wish.
Tips for Understanding Crochet Abbreviations
In addition to the basic crochet stitch abbreviations covered in the previous section, here are a few more important things beginners should know about crochet abbreviations:
Know the Difference between US vs. UK terms
Crochet terminology can vary between countries, with the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) having their own distinct sets of terms. Here’s a comparison of some common crochet terms used in the UK and their equivalent terms in the US:
|UK Term||US Term|
|Chain (ch)||Chain (ch)|
|Double Crochet (dc)||Single Crochet (sc)|
|Treble Crochet (tr)||Double Crochet (dc)|
|Half Treble Crochet (htr)||Half Double Crochet (hdc)|
|Double Treble Crochet (dtr)||Treble Crochet (tr)|
|Slip Stitch (sl st)||Slip Stitch (sl st)|
|Increase (inc)||Increase (inc)|
|Decrease (dec)||Decrease (dec)|
|Yarn Over (yo)||Yarn Over (yo)|
|Back Loop Only (BLO)||Back Loop Only (BLO)|
|Front Loop Only (FLO)||Front Loop Only (FLO)|
It’s important to note the differences when following a crochet pattern or communicating with other crocheters from different countries. If you come across a pattern from a different country, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the corresponding terms to ensure you understand the instructions correctly.
To avoid confusion, it’s always a good idea to check the pattern or resource you are using to identify whether it follows UK or US crochet terminology. Many patterns will indicate which terminology they use to help you follow along accurately.
Pay Attention to Stitch Placement
Crochet patterns often include specific instructions about where to insert your hook to work a stitch. For example, you may encounter abbreviations like “inc” (increase), “dec” (decrease), “sp” (space), or “st” (stitch). Take the time to read the pattern carefully and understand where each stitch should be placed.
Familiarize yourself with additional stitch abbreviations
While the basic stitches mentioned earlier (ch, sc, dc, hdc, tr) are commonly used, there are many more stitches in the crochet world. As you progress in your crocheting journey, you may come across abbreviations for stitches like slip stitch (sl st), double treble crochet (dtr), front post double crochet (fpdc), or back post single crochet (bpsc). Each stitch has its own unique abbreviation and technique, so it’s helpful to have a stitch guide or reference (my other site has a free PDF stitch guide!) handy.
Note special techniques and instructions
Crochet patterns often include special techniques or instructions, indicated by abbreviations. These may include things like “rep” (repeat), “tog” (together), “yo” (yarn over), “blo” (back loop only), or “flo” (front loop only). These abbreviations provide important details on how to carry out specific techniques within a pattern, so make sure to understand their meanings before you begin.
Keep a crochet abbreviation reference guide
As noted before, it’s beneficial to have a crochet abbreviation reference guide handy. This can be a printed guide, a crochet book, or the abbreviation list I have below. Having a quick reference allows you to look up any unfamiliar abbreviations and clarify their meanings, ensuring you follow the pattern accurately.
Here’s the list of common crochet abbreviations for easy reference. Just bookmark this page and come back when you need a quick reminder.
|hdc||Half double crochet|
|tr||Treble crochet (triple crochet)|
|sl st||Slip stitch|
|blo||Back loop only|
|flo||Front loop only|
|dtr||Double treble crochet|
|fpdc||Front post double crochet|
|bpsc||Back post single crochet|
You are welcome to bookmark this table or print it out as a handy reference while you’re learning to read crochet patterns.
Practice with simple patterns
When starting out, choose crochet patterns that are labeled as suitable for beginners. These patterns often include more detailed explanations and may use fewer abbreviations. By working on simpler projects, you’ll have the opportunity to practice reading patterns and understanding abbreviations that are not overwhelming.
Easy Crochet Patterns to Try With Abbreviations
Take a look below at some easy to read crochet patterns that are perfect for beginners, and use these basic crochet abbreviations.
Remember, like any new skill, becoming comfortable with crochet abbreviations takes practice and patience. With time and experience, you’ll become more familiar with the terminology and gain confidence in working with different crochet patterns.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you encounter an abbreviation that confuses you. Crocheting should be enjoyable, so take it one stitch at a time and embrace the learning process.
Free Crochet Patterns You May Like
If you enjoyed this article about crochet abbreviations for beginners, you may like some of my other free tutorials and patterns as well!
- Winter Tree Crochet Square Pattern
- 5 Cozy Christmas Crochet Blankets Using Squares
- Cozy Up Your Autumn with 5 Crochet Square Patterns
- Easy Crochet Apple Square
- Favorite Free 12 Inch Crochet Square Patterns
- 7 Fun & Free Fall Crochet Square Patterns
- 12 Stunning Granny Square Patterns
- 7 Best Spooky Halloween Crochet Squares