Useful Crochet Terminology

Learning to crochet can be confusing to start with because the differences between UK and US terminology is strikingly the same, but it all means something a little different… You might start your pattern thinking it’s UK terms and doing your short double crochets, when actually, it is a US terms pattern and they meant for you to do the taller stitches. Most patterns with tell you at the start what to expect, some will list both abbreviations, and others leave you to guess.

Here I have listed the most common translations and abbreviations here, and given an ‘at a glance’ guide for how to spot what type of pattern it is if it doesn’t expressly tell you.

Chart Symbol UK Term UK Abbre. US Term US Abbre.
Slip Stitch ss/sl st Slip Stitch ss/sl st
Chain ch Chain ch
Double Crochet dc Single Crochet sc
Half-Treble Crochet htr Half-Double Crochet hdc
Treble Crochet tr Double Crochet dc
Double Treble Crochet dtr Triple/Treble Crochet tr
Double Crochet 2 Together dc2tog Single Crochet 2 Together sc2tog
Treble Crochet 2/3 Together tr2/3tog Double Crochet 2/3 Together dc2/3tog
Back Post Treble Crochet* BPtr Back Post Double Crochet BPdc
Front Post Treble Crochet* FPtr Front Post Double Crochet FPdc

*Sometimes a FPtr/BPtr is called a ‘raised’ stitch. ‘Raised treble front/rtrf’ and ‘Raised treble back/rtrb’, however, I have more commonly seen these always called post stitches, and wasn’t until researching that I came across this too.

Telling US from UK

The easiest way to differentiate between US and UK patterns is to look for the trusty single crochet (sc), in UK terms this simply doesn’t exist, so if you see a ‘sc’ in your pattern,

Other tell-tell signs if the pattern doesn’t contain any single crochets and you’re still not certain, is to look for the typical US spellings that will occur in patterns, such as color/colour, and you may also find that US patterns use ‘gauge’ over ‘tension’ – but this isn’t solid.