Understanding Crochet Abbreviations


In this article I will give you a simple guide to crochet abbreviations including a great crochet terms chart.

[wp_ad_camp_5]I know too well that when you first enter the world of crochet, the terminology can be a little off-putting.

It’s easy to forget once you are established in the art that beginners can have trouble understanding crochet abbreviations.

I’m going to have a look today at why they are useful, when they are best avoided and then provide you with a list of common crochet abbreviations and what they are referring to.

Learn to Crochet step by step

If the above statement didn’t make sense, then bear with me.


I strongly feel that reading a crochet pattern and transforming it into a beautiful or practical piece of art is a lot like reading music and using it to produce a song on an instrument.

Let’s break it down.

When you learn to play the piano you are first sat down at the keys. You are shown that each one make a different note, how they flow together neatly up the keyboard. You learn what each note is called “A – G”.

[wp_ad_camp_2]You are then sat at middle c and helped to follow a simple song, written in the form of the letter that represents each note.

Once you are happy with the basic manner of holding your hands on the keyboard, sitting up straight and understanding how to press each note, are you introduced to the real score.

The musical notes as set out on the stave.

Because learning something new is a step by step process.

You wouldn’t sit a beginner down at the piano, hand him a score of musical notes and expect him to follow it.

Crochet is no different.

Crochet Abbreviations and Crochet Beginners

When you are learning to crochet, you will find that you aren’t just expected to learn the practical, physical skill of moving the hook through the yarn to make a series of stitches. You are required to learn an entire new language, both written and abbreviated.

abbreviationsThis is an awful lot to expect of someone.

For this reason, I believe it’s only fair to let people get used to the actual skill of crochet before filling their head with yet another task.

Whilst you might think there is no difference between the word ‘double crochet’ and the letters ‘dc’, I can assure you to a beginner that there usually is.

Not only is there the mental delay whilst they translate, there is the additional stress of looking at the pattern and failing to recognise what you are confronted with.

For a lot of people, it’s intimidating.

Beginner Crochet Tutorials

For this reason, all of my beginners tutorials on this blog are written in full English.

It makes the pattern more approachable to the audience that it is designed to help.

If you are new to crochet, I want you to enjoy it. More than that, I want you to love it. To become obsessed with it, and eventually start putting together patterns of your own that we can all look at and appreciate.

Crochet may be a solo activity, but the community is enormous and very supportive. We love crochet and crocheters alike!

In order to keep new crocheters crocheting, we need to make those first few experiments as easy, accessible, fun and successful as possible.

Why Do We Use Crochet Abbreviations At All Then?

Now that I’m done banging on about why abbreviations aren’t the best thing for total newbies, please don’t think that I don’t like them.

I love them. Just like every other person whose been crocheting for a while.

Crochet abbreviations are an essential part of a pattern for an established crocheter. Just like sheet music is for the musician.

It allows you to read and therefore react quickly.

It’s far more efficient both for the person writing the pattern and the person following it.

Written in full English, any more complex or advanced pattern would take up pages. With abbreviations it can be reduced by a massive factor.

Basic Crochet Abbreviations List

Here are the translations for some basic crochet abbreviations you will come across in crochet patterns.

It includes all the crochet terms for beginners that you might come across and need explaining.

If you are starting to learn, why not print it out and stick it in your essentials kit.


And a slightly longer list, for those unable to view the image!

blo          back loop only

ch            chain

cl            cluster

cc           color change

dec         decrease

dc            double crochet

dc2tog    double crochet two stitches together

dnt          do not turn

dtr          double treble crochet

flo           front loop only

inc          increase

lp            loop

mc         main color

pm        place marker

ps          puff stitch

rem        remaining

rep          repeat

qtr          quadruple treble

sc            single crochet

sk           skip

sl st        slip stitch

sp           space

st            stitch

tr            treble crochet

yoh         yarn over hook


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  1. Hi Lucy, I am new to crochet but trying my best and hoping to get really good at it. I was a good knitter so surely I can build on my basic crochet skills too.
    But one thing so far is puzzling me. Correct me if I’m wrong or I misunderstood but I though SC (Single Crochet) was the USA version of our Double Crochet. But I see you have both on your list. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me. Only I’ve seen both in patterns before today too. Perhaps there is a UK SC that I’m not familiar with?

  2. Can u explain what a relief double…and triple etc, is and how it is made. In the kell patterns it refers to relief stitch. Looks like front post stitch, but unsure.

  3. Hi am new to crochet to but I can say there is …SC……And D.C. .,in English but I am sure it will be explained to you better than I can

  4. My mom taught me to crochet when I was 8. I’m now 84. You really caught my eye with Dobbie! Great Job. Gotta make some as all seven of my grandkids … and I …. and my daughters… LOVE Harry Potter. This will knock their socks off. Most it’s the Great G’s I’m doing for these days. Too young for Dobbie yet. A new one arrives in June and I’m hustling to make a blanket with critters of the same colors in the blanket. His older sister (age 2) got six monkeys. They and the blanket goes everywhere with her. I’ll be happy to subscribe.

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