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




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