Once you start crocheting from a pattern you will find that there is a lot of shorthand printed on each pattern. Some patterns give an explanation for their crochet abbreviations, but others leave you to work it out for yourself! Crochet has an awful lot of abbreviations! Most of them are easy to work out, but some may need a bit of explanation.
Crochet Abbreviations Tutorial
Crochet Abbreviations and Terms Printable Chart
Here is a printable chart of all the crochet abbreviations that you can download and keep in your crafting room.
Download crochet abbreviations printable chart PDF.
Crochet Abbreviations for Stitches
All the crochet stitch abbreviations discussed here are in US crochet terminology. See further down this article for some US to UK conversions.
There may be some variation in the capitalization of the abbreviations, but the letters will be the same.
These are the most basic abbreviations, given to the various forms of crochet stitches.
Crochet Abbreviations for Instructions and Actions
I have written these in alphabetical order. These abbreviations include instructions for working a particular pattern, as well as actions involving the basic stitches.
- ALT = alternate. Usually referring to every second stitch or row.
- APPROX = Approximately. This will usually refer to measurements.
- BEG = Beginning. Meaning the start of a row or piece of crochet.
- BLO = Back loop only. Sometimes written as BL. It refers to working your next stitch into the back loop only, of the stitch below, instead of inserting your hook through both loops, which is the normal procedure.
- BO = Bobble. There are sure to be instructions for actually working the bobble on your pattern. These may be right at the beginning of the pattern. Different patterns have different methods of working bobbles, so it’s best to see which way they recommend.
- BP = Back post. This refers to working the next stitch around the back of the post of the stitch below, rather than through the top loops of the stitch. The post is the bottom part of the stitch, which gives the stitch its height. So the part below the loops that you usually work into. It is often combined with the name of the stitch you are required to use. So BPDC means to work a double crochet stitch around the back post of the stitch below.
- BPSC = Back post single crochet.
- CC = Contrast color. Self-explanatory. See also MC further down the list.
- CH-SP = Chain space. This refers to a gap in the previous row made by working one or more chain stitches.
- CL = Cluster. Again, this is usually paired with the type of stitch required. So a 3DCCL means you must work 3 double crochet stitches combined into a cluster.
- CONT = Continue. Usually written once your stitch pattern is established and you have to continue with that pattern until a certain measurement is reached.
- DC2TOG = Double crochet 2 together. Used when you decrease and crochet 2 stitches together.
- DEC = Decrease. Used to make your crochet fabric smaller in order to shape a garment. To do this, you will crochet a certain number of stitches together to reduce the stitches in a row.
- FL = Front loop only, sometimes written as FO. This refers to working into the front loop only of the stitch below, instead of working through both loops, which is customary.
- FOLL = Following
- FP = Front post. As with BP above, it tells you you must work the next stitch around the front of the post of the stitch below. See BP above for an explanation of what the post is. Again, it is most often used in combination with the stitch required. So, FPDC means working a double crochet stitch around the front of the post of the stitch below.
- FPHDC = Front post half double crochet.
- FPTR = Front post treble crochet
- INC= Increase. This is to make your crochet fabric larger in order to shape a garment. To increase you must crochet extra stitches into one stitch, to make more stitches in one row.
- INCL = Including. This means to take as a part of the whole.
- LP = Loop. Used when you need to work into or skip a loop of a crochet stitch.
- M (or PM or SM) = Marker, place marker, or stitch marker. Refers to something you insert into your crochet fabric to mark a specific point or number of rows in your crochet. You can buy these markers as little plastic safety pins which are easy to insert and remove.
- MC = Main color. Self-explanatory, see CC above.
- PREV = Previous, the one before. Could refer to a stitch, a row, or a round of crochet.
- REME = Remaining. Whatever stitches are left.
- RND(s) = Round(s). Used instead of rows when crocheting in the round.
- REP = Repeat. Is often combined with symbols. For example REP from * means to repeat the part of the pattern written after the asterisk. Or (_ _ _ ) REP 4 times would mean that you must work the instructions between the brackets 4 more times. (So 5 times in total.)
- RS = Right side. The side of your work that will show on the outside of your fabric.
- SK = Skip. This is what you must do when you need to miss out on a few stitches or a chain space before working on your next stitch.
- SP = Space. Usually refers to a gap made by working one or more chain stitches between other stitches.
- ST(S) = Stitches. Self-explanatory.
- TBL = Through back loop. This tells you when you need to work the next stitch through the back loop of the stitch below.
- T-CH = Turning chain. These stitches are needed when you are working in rows, to equal the height of the next row so that your rows are consistent.
- TOG = Together. You may need to group stitches together, either to form a cluster or to decrease.
- W = Wrong side. The side of your work that will be inside your garment.
- YO(H) = Yarn overhook is used when describing (how to wrap your yarn around the hook to form a stitch.
Crochet Abbreviations for Repeats
Crochet abbreviations are also used for repeat instructions.
|*||Work the instructions after the single asterisk the number of times specified|
|(), ||Work or repeat the instructions in the brackets or parentheses|
|**||Double asterisks are used when there is more than one repeat|
Crochet Abbreviations for Measurements
Here are some crochet abbreviations for measurements and weights:
Other Crochet Abbreviations
These are not used so much in patterns, as used by crocheters when chatting to others, especially on social media. It is useful to know what they are referring to! In fact, these abbreviations apply to all crafts!
- UFO (Unfinished object) – Many of us have multiple projects on the go at once. This refers to a project which has been put aside in favor of another project.
- WIP (Work in progress) – Similar to the above, but generally refers to a project which is currently being worked on, but is not yet complete.
International Terms for Crochet
Here is a conversion chart for US and UK terms and abbreviations:
Crochet Abbreviations & Terms – In Conclusion
Hopefully, after reading all this you will be able to translate all that ‘foreign language’ shorthand written in any crochet pattern. You will find that as you work more patterns these abbreviations become second nature to you, and you will just read them easily, as a matter of course.
Do keep in mind that the capitalization of abbreviations varies greatly, some are written in capital letters, as I have here, some are written in lower case letters only, and some are written in a combination of the two.
Also, remember that the crochet terminology varies from country to country. For example, DC in the US means the same as TR in the UK. So remember to check where your pattern was designed and written before you start trying to translate the abbreviations.