Understanding crochet abbreviations is essential if you are planning to make any type of crochet pattern. If you do not know what each abbreviation means, you will be unable to follow the instructions.
The first time you look at a crochet pattern, you will probably think it has been written in a foreign language. That is because patterns for crocheted objects are usually written using abbreviations.
As an aside, have you ever wondered why the word ‘abbreviation’ is such a long word? It is ironic – but somewhat typical of the English language. Anyways – back to the topic of crochet short forms.
The good thing about learning the abbreviations used for crochet is that it is not difficult. In fact, once you familiarize yourself with these terms, reading a crochet pattern will be much easier for you.
In fact, as you learn, you may want to print out this guide and have it with you. Then you can use it as a reference guide and refer to it as you encounter short forms in the pattern.
So, without further ado, here is a list of the most commonly used crochet abbreviations used in patterns. We wrote ‘commonly used’ because you may occasionally find ‘special’ abbreviations in a pattern that you might not find on this list. Usually, when a special short form is used in a pattern, a definition for it is given at the beginning of the book or pattern.
* (asterisk symbol) – repeat the instructions following the asterisk as many times as specified in addition to the original instructions
( ) brackets – usually appear within the asterisks and the instructions are to be repeated as specified, for example (2 dc, ch 3 and 2 dc in next st) twice, means to work as between the brackets 2 times in all, then continue the row or round.
- beg means ‘beginning’
- ch means ‘chain’
- dc means ‘double crochet’
- dec means ‘decrease’
- dtrc means ‘double treble crochet’
- dtrtrc means ‘double triple treble crochet’
- hdc means ‘half double crochet’
- half tr means ‘half treble’
- inc means ‘increase’
- long tr means ‘long treble’
- rnd(s) means ’round(s)’
- sc means ‘single crochet’
- sl means ‘slip’
- sl st means ‘slip stitch’
- st(s) means ‘stitch(es)’
- tc means ‘treble crochet’
- tog means ‘together’
- tr means ‘treble’
Now that you know how to read crochet abbreviations, you need to learn what each of these terms mean. For more information on this, continue on to crochet Lesson #2: Explanation of Stitches.