Crochet terminology

Crochet terminology

The most important part of learning to read a crochet pattern lies in understanding crochet terminology.

We’ve put together a list of crochet abbreviations and terminology for your convenience.

Base (foundation) chain: the chain length made at the beginning of a piece of crochet as the basis for constructing the fabric.

Starting (turning) chain: One chain or more, depending on the height of the stitch required, worked at the beginning of a row (or end of previous row) as preparation for the new row. Called a starting chain when working in the round. Different stitches require different numbers of turning chains to keep work straight.

Double crochet – 1 turning chain
Half treble – 2 turning chains
Treble – 3 turning chains
Double treble – 4 turning chains

Yarn over: The stitch-making instruction to wind yarn from the ball over the hook (or manipulate the hook round the yarn) in order to make a new loop; always done in an anti-clockwise direction unless otherwise stated.

Work straight: Work over an existing row of stitches without increasing or decreasing.

Right/ wrong side: The right side is the side intended for the outside of the finished article; the wrong side is the inside. If there’s a difference the instructions will state which side is facing when you work the first row.

Colour note: Capital letters – ABCD and so on are used to indicate different yarn colours and yarns. When only two colours are used and one is dominant, they may be referred to as M (Main) and C (Contrasting).

Useful abbreviations

alt – alternative
beg – beginning
ch – chain
ch sp – chain space
ch(s) – chain(s)
cont – continue
dc – double crochet
dec – decrease
dtr – double treble
end – ending
fol(s) – follow(s)(ing)
htr – half treble
inc – increase
patt – pattern
r(w)s – right (wrong) side
rem – remaining
rep – repeat – slip stitch
stch – starting chain
sts – stitches
tch – turning chain
tog – together
tr – treble crochet
yo – yarn over



Joni van der Merwe

About Joni van der Merwe

Your Family’s Digital editor. Avid retweeter. When I’m not scrolling Instagram you’ll find me in my garden. Keen on DIY and I don’t believe there’s anything that can’t be fixed with some chalk paint.


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