Crochet Terms & Abbreviations for Beginners

Crochet abbreviations are a way to shorten a certain crochet stitch name inside patterns. Many designers, publishers, and companies will use abbreviations when referring to crochet stitches.

I use these crochet stitch abbreviations extensively in my crochet patterns, so understanding these terms is essential when trying to crochet the perfect crochet project.

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

How to Start Crocheting

We created a beginner’s article to help those that are interested in learning more about the world of crochet. These beginners guides should help anyone when trying to understand the basics of becoming a crochet designer.

Crochet Patterns by Stitch Type

All of our free crochet patterns are tagged with the stitches they use. If you are looking for a crochet pattern to use with a specific stitch, have a look at our archives below.

Free Crochet Patterns You May Like


  1. I’ve always been confused about which side is the right side in a project. Can you clarify?

  2. Sandi Norman says:

    What does hlf stand for in crochet?

    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!


  3. Anonymous says:

    what does ca means

    1. Hi Marcie,

      Dee is not a crochet abbreviation. If it is in a pattern, maybe the designer meant dec (decrease) instead, and it was a typo?

      – Krista

  4. hey thank you for everything and can i ask about what does trc mean thx

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