Crocheting from a pattern seems easy enough, right?
But if you are confused about the abbreviations, working from a pattern can be slow going and confusing.
In this article, we will look at common crochet and Tunisian crochet abbreviations for stitches and terms and the standards used to ensure they are accurate.
Each part of crocheting is abbreviated from the stitches down to the techniques so the article is broken down into sections to make it easier to understand.
Crochet Stitch Abbreviations
Every crochet stitch has an abbreviation and we’ve listed them in the following tables.
Simple stitch abbreviations
These stitches are most commonly used in almost all crochet patterns. They are worked through both loops in the top of the stitch below unless otherwise indicated.
Post stitch abbreviations
Post stitches are worked around the front of the post of the stitch below or behind the post of the stitch in the row below.
Special stitch abbreviations
Decreasing and increasing stitch abbreviations
Decreasing stitches are worked over 2 or more stitches to reduce the number of stitches in the row.
Note 1: You can make any stitch a decreasing stitch by adding 2tog after the stitch definition (i.e., fpdc2tog – front post double crochet two together) and working the stitch across multiple stitches.
Note 2: Decreasing can be done across more than two stitches. The number of stitches the decrease is worked across is noted in the number, i.e., 2tog, 3tog, 4tog.
Increasing stitches are worked multiple stitches into the same stitch or space of the previous row.
Crochet stitch parts abbreviations
Many parts of the stitches are abbreviated to indicate which part of the stitch you will work in.
Crochet terms abbreviations
Sometimes parts of the instructions are abbreviated for faster reading. These abbreviations indicate whether you work in rounds or rows, the right or wrong side of your work, and more.
When working with many colors of yarn, the pattern will use several different abbreviations to refer to them.
The contrast color numbers or color letters will depend on how many colors are in the pattern. If you work with four colors, they will probably be labeled CA, CB, CC, CD, etc.
The same is true of contrast colors. They will be numbered by how many colors are in the pattern.
Tunisian crochet stitches have their own unique abbreviations to distinguish them from standard crochet stitches.
Tunisian Terms Abbreviations
The terms used in Tunisian crochet and color work are the same used in standard crochet. Reference the list above for terms and colorwork abbreviations.
Both crochet and Tunisian crochet patterns include symbols to indicate how often stitches are to be worked.
Read more about crochet symbols.
Terms of measurement
Standard terms of measurement are used in crochet patterns to help you determine if you have enough yarn for the pattern or what size you need to make.
Yarn is measured in either weight or length.
Projects are measured in both metric and imperial units.
Setting and maintaining standards
Crochet stitch terms don’t change and cannot be interchanged.
The Craft Yarn Council keeps and maintains all the standards in terms of crochet pattern writing.
In order for crochet patterns to use a universal language that most crocheters can understand, pattern designers all reference the Craft Yarn Councils standards.
U.S. vs. UK terms
Most patterns are written in either U.S. or UK terms. The pattern will indicate which version of the terms it uses. You can easily use either by following this simple conversion chart.
Crochet Stitch Terms US vs UK
Reading a pattern
Reading a crochet pattern becomes as easy as breathing when you know the abbreviations and symbols used in the pattern.
Don’t spend too much time memorizing them since the repetition of using them in a pattern will quickly commit them to memory.