Basic Crochet Terms
When you want to learn this craft, you need to know the basic crochet terms and
definitions to be able to read patterns and recreate the designs that you see. This will get you started, and many
patterns will explain other abbreviations and how to do them as you progress through this craft.
When you look at a pattern, there are basic instructions to them. Beg is the beginning of the row,
sk means to skip a stitch or space, rep is to repeat the directions and they are usually in parentheses. Another
important one is the yarn over, or yo, which is where you move the yarn over top of the hook to pull it through the
Stitches are important. These are what the diagrams tell you to do, and they have
their own abbreviations. To begin, you will always chain, or ch, where the hook is inserted into the next loop,
yarn over and pulled through. A slip stitch is abbreviated as sl st, and this is where you insert the hook into the
next chain and yarn over to pull through. A single crochet, sc, is done where you insert needle in next stitch,
create a loot and yarn over to pull through. Tc/tr, or triple crochet is where you yarn over twice, create a loot
and pull through the next stitch and the new loop you create. A double triple crochet, dtr, is where you yarn over
twice, insert through next stitch, which leaves you with 4 loops on the hook, and pull through.
Be careful that you are following the North American standards, since the British uses different
terms. You can crochet from these, and vice versa, but you must adjust the pattern. The differences are the
abbreviations change dramatically. A sl st is a single crochet, a sc is a double crochet, sc equals a treble
crochet (triple) and the tr is a double treble (double triple). Making the adjustments to the pattern will give you
the same results.
There are also colour abbreviations in patterns as well. MC is main colour, while CC
is a contrasting or secondary colour. This is more important in clothing, but you will see them frequently as you
find items that use more then one colour. Occasionally, you will also have numbers after them, which indicates
different colours from the main body of it.
Gauge is also mentioned, and has no abbreviations. This is mentioned in every pattern
and it is a way to determine how the pattern will work for you. This is a way to determine your tension, since if
it is too big it indicates that you crochet too loose. Too small, and the tension is too tight. Either adjust the
tension, or use a different size hook to achieve the same result.
Many patterns also have one final abbreviation, and it is the FO. This means to finish off, and the
most common way of doing this is to leave about 4 inches of yarn left over, and to insert it to the final loop and
pull completely through, giving you a tight knot. At this point, you need to use a yarn needle to weave the tail
into the project.
These are the most common crochet abbreviations and definitions that can help you
make any project successful. You may need to practice the techniques, but any pattern can be done.