Crochet Abbreviations and Terms for Beginners

As a beginner crocheter, learning everything you need to know about how to crochet can be overwhelming, such as what crochet terms and crochet abbreviations are.

I hope to help make the process simpler by sharing over 50 of the most common crochet terms and abbreviations that are found in patterns.

So what are they? Crochet abbreviations and terms are a way to shorten a certain crochet stitch name or technique inside patterns. You will find that designers, publishers, and companies will use abbreviations when referring to crochet stitches and techniques.

For example, you will learn that (sc) means single crochet, (hdc) means half double crochet and much more in patterns!

Once you learn these terms, you will be able to look at any pattern and make it with ease. I promise it’s easy to learn, and you’ll be able to read a crochet pattern with no problem. I use crochet stitch abbreviations extensively in my crochet patterns, so understanding these terms is important when trying to understand a crochet pattern.

Great for Beginners: Print off our Crochet Abbreviation Sheet to use whenever you are crocheting! ⬇

Once you become familiar with these terms, you’ll be able to read and understand crochet patterns quite well. Scroll down to learn these all the crochet terms, so you can read a crochet pattern easily and start making all the fun crochet projects you want too! Enjoy.

These crochet terms will be broken down by crochet actions, repeating shorthand, as well as basic crochet stitches and advanced crochet stitches too.

I know it seems scary at first, but I promise you’ll be able to learn and understand this new crochet language in no time!

Abbreviations for Crochet Actions

To show actions that need to be performed inside a crochet pattern, the following abbreviations are used as shorthand.

AbbreviationCrochet Action
con or contcontinue
RSright side
TBLthrough back loop, or turning back loop
TFLthrough front loop, or turning front loop
WSwrong side
yoyarn over
Crochet Action Abbreviations

Common Repeating Shorthand

Typically, inside patterns you will learn a short pattern of crochet stitches, then be asked to repeat that pattern a set number of times to ensure that the measurement of the item you are trying to make comes out correct.

The shorthand or abbreviations below are important to know when using any crochet pattern, including ours.

These common crochet punctuations are shorthand for repeating pattern sections:

ShorthandRepeating Description
*Repeat instructions after asterisk or between asterisks as many times as instructed.
**Repeat the instructions between the double asterisks as many times as directed or repeat at specified locations
{ }Work the instructions within curly braces as many times as directed
[ ]Work the instructions within square brackets as many times as directed, or is used to show a repeat inside a repeat.
( )Work the instructions within the parentheses as many times as directed. This can also mean that you need to work a group of stitches all in the same stitch or space.
Crochet Shorthanded Repeat Actions

Abbreviations for Basic Crochet Stitches

These are the most common abbreviations in standard US terms as determined by the crochet guild. All of these abbreviations refer to the most basic of crochet stitches.

sl st or ssslip stitch
scsingle crochet
dcdouble crochet
hdchalf double crochet
tr or trctriple crochet
dtrdouble triple crochet
trtrtriple triple crochet
qtrquadruple triple crochet
Basic Crochet Stitch Abbreviations

All the crochet stitches above that end in the word “crochet” are variants of the same stitch. A single crochet is roughly one chain tall, a half double crochet stitch is two chains tall, a double crochet is three chains tall, and so on.

These heights determine the number of turning chains you need to work at the beginning of each row for each of the basic stitches. The diagonal bars on the symbols for each are useful because they indicate how many times you have to wrap the yarn around the hook before working the stitch.

Advanced Crochet Abbreviations

The following stitches are for the more advanced crocheters, usually for making some Intermediate or Complex skill level patterns.

These abbreviations are not common in most of my patterns, but are sometimes found in crochet patterns in other places.

bobobble stitch
edcextended double crochet
ehdcextended half double crochet
escextended single crochet
etrextended triple crochet
dc2togwork 2 double crochet together
dc3togwork 3 double crochet together
hdc2togwork 2 half double crochet together
hdc3togwork 3 half double crochet together
hhdcherringbone half double crochet
pcpopcorn stitch
ps or puffpuff stitch
sc2togwork 2 single crochet together
sc3togwork 3 single crochet together
Advanced Crochet Stitch Abbreviations

Keep in mind that if you are reading a pattern that is written in UK terms, then it will be different. Take a look at our US to UK crochet terms conversion chart.

Crochet Slang Abbreviations

There are also some crochet slang terms to know. While they aren’t official, you may see them from time to time online or in crochet pattern discussions.

Here are some common crochet slang abbreviations.

  1. C2C: Corner-to-corner – These projects are worked diagonally and can use graphs to create images.
  2. FROG or FROGGING: Ripped out stitches of a crochet project
  3. WIP: “Work in Progress”… the crochet project you are currently working on.
  4. YARN CHICKEN: Trying to finish a row or a whole project without running out of yarn.
  5. AYGO: Join as you go
  6. LYS: Local yarn store
  7. YARN BARF: The mess that comes out of the middle of yarn ball when you try to pull the center strand out.
  8. YARN CAKE: When you rewind a skein of yarn using a yarn winder.

How to Start Crocheting

We created a beginner’s article to help those that are interested in learning more about the world of crochet. This beginner guide should help anyone when trying to understand the basics of becoming a crochet designer or just wanting to learn how to crochet.

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  1. Can you tell me what this means – holding next petal forward, slip st in base of center dc? It’s a pretty petals potholder using aunt Lydia’s fashion crochet thread size 3. The picture looks beautiful but I can’t understand how to do this.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Pam,

      Without seeing the pattern, I can only guess, but I think it means to sl st into the dc from the round or row before? I recommend reaching out to the designer or company who designed the pattern for better help.


    1. Hi! MBS could mean quite a few things, but there isn’t any official abbreviation for it. I have seen it mean mini bean stitch, make bobble stitch, modified bean stitch. It is really up to the designer, so I’d double-check the pattern you want to make and see if it gives any clue to what it may mean for that particular pattern.


    1. Hi Sandi,

      I’ve never seen that one used before, but maybe it means half? Some designers may abbreviate stitches different, so that is my best guess. Hope this helps!


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