Crochet Basics – You’re Speaking a Different Language (aka Abbreviations)

If you haven’t already read them, STOP…go back 🙂
Crochet Basics – Tools
Crochet Basics – Yarn Weights Demystified (and how to read a yarn label) 

I saw someone recently on Instagram have her non-crocheting husband read a crochet pattern, and to say it was funny is an understatement. We have our own language, from the abbreviations used for stitches in a pattern to the slang terms used in conversation.

There are just TOO MANY to put them all here, but we’re going to walk through some of the most common abbreviations and slang associated with crochet. We’ll cover how to do the basic stitches soon, but for now get yourself familiar with your new language.

Basic Crochet Abbreviations

  • beg = beginning (beginning of a row or a round in a pattern)
  • C2C = corner to corner
  • ch = chain
  • dc = double crochet stitch
  • dc2tog = double crochet 2 together
  • dec = decrease
  • hdc = half double crochet stitch
  • inc = increase
  • rem = remaining
  • rep = repeat
  • rnd = round
  • RS = right side
  • sc = single crochet stitch
  • sk = skip
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • sp = space
  • st = stitch / sts = stitches [you may also see this written as st(s) = stitch(es) ]
  • WS = wrong side
  • yo = yarn over

You may see a pattern that has a repeat and they may indicate it by placing asterisks or brackets, and telling you to repeat what’s in between them.
For example – Ch 1. *sc, dc in same st; sk next st* Rep to end
You would place a single crochet and double crochet in the same stitch, skip the next stitch, then go back to the beginning of the instructions between the asterisks and just keep going until the end of your row.

Again…this is by NO means all of the abbreviations, but this is going to get you started. For a more comprehensive list, check out the Craft Yarn Council’s website. Pattern designers will typically stick with the abbreviations used by the Craft Yarn Council, although they may capitalize the abbreviations. Every good pattern is going to include a legend that lists out the abbreviations they’re using in the pattern and what they stand for, and if they are using an uncommon/special stitch, they might make up their own abbreviation to use and include a description of how to complete the stitch. If you ever have a question on what the designer means by an abbreviation or a stitch description, just ask! They’re always wiling to help.

Slang Terms

If you spend any time at all in a crochet Facebook group or follow any crocheters on Instagram, you’re going to see some terms that make you scratch your head. Here are a few of the most popular.

  • HOTH = hot off the hook / a recently finished project
  • WIP = work in progress / unfinished project
  • Frog it = rip out your work or part of your work / named as such because when you’re undoing your work you say “rip it, rip it, rip it” and sound like a frog

  • Ripping back = undoing all or part of your hard work to fix a mistake
  • Hooker = person who crochets
  • Ami = amigurumi / crocheted stuffed animal/creature
  • LYS = local yarn store/shop
  • Stash = all the yarn you own. Affectionately known as a stash because you have so much you have to stash it away/hide it from your husband, heehee.

Drop me a comment if you have an abbreviation or a term that has you wondering what planet you stepped onto.

Until next time friends!

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