If you’re new to crochet or just need a refresher on the terminology, this A-Z crochet glossary is here to help. Read on to discover the lingo and crochet slang that will make it easy for you to read patterns and create beautiful projects.
Amigurumi: The Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed toys.
Amigurumi is a popular technique in the world of crochet, originating from Japan. It involves creating small, stuffed yarn toys, typically in the form of animals or characters. The word “amigurumi” is a combination of the Japanese words “ami,” meaning crocheted or knitted, and “nuigurumi,” meaning stuffed doll.
Blocking: Blocking is an important step in the finishing process of a crochet project. It involves shaping and setting the finished piece by wetting or steaming it, then pinning it to a blocking board or mat while it dries. This helps to even out the stitches, relax the fibers, and give the project its final shape and drape. It is especially useful for projects that require precise measurements or have intricate stitch patterns.
Crochet-a-Long (CAL): An organized activity in which a group of crocheters each works on the same pattern at the same time. The pattern is usually released in several parts, in timed intervals (days or weeks apart).
Crochet: a process of creating fabric by using a crochet hook to interlock loops of yarn or other materials. The name is originally from the French word crochet, meaning ‘hook’.
Crochet Hook: The tool used to create crochet stitches
Ease: The fit of a finished garment. A garment with “positive ease” will be slightly larger than body measurements and have a more relaxed, loose fit. A garment with “negative ease” will be slightly smaller than body measurements and stretch to fit.
Filet Crochet: a type of crochet lace that resembles a grid. Filet crochet is most often worked from a graph or a symbol diagram. Patterns are created by combining solid and open meshes made of chain stitches and double crochet stitches.
Foundation Chain: The first length of chains that will form the base of a crochet project.
Frogging: Unraveling stitches in order to correct mistakes, or to unravel a whole project. The term “frog” probably comes from the phrase “rip it” : pulling out the stitches, which reminds some of the sound of a frog!
Gauge: The number of stitches and rows per inch in a crochet project, which determines its size and fit.
To determine gauge, crocheters typically create a swatch using the recommended hook size and yarn, then measure the number of stitches and rows within a specified area. If the gauge does not match the pattern’s requirements, adjustments can be made by changing the hook size or tension.
Granny Square: a piece of square crocheted fabric produced by working in rounds from the center outward.
HOTH (Hot Off the Hook): Crochet slang for a newly finished project.
Join: To connect two or more pieces of crochet together. You can join crochet together by seaming with yarn and a needle, or by using crochet stitches, usually slip stitch or single crochet.
Join as You Go (JAYGO): A technique for joining crochet motifs or pieces together as the project is made, instead of joining all the pieces at once as the last step in a project.
LYS (Local Yarn Store): A local, independently owned shop where you can usually purchase yarn and books, take classes, or join a crochet or knitting social group.
Skein: A length of yarn that is wound together, usually in an oblong shape. Skeins, unlike a simple ball of yarn, often have a strand that you can pull from the center in order to start a project.
Stash: A personal stockpile of yarn that is ready to be used in a crochet project.
Stash Buster: A crochet project that uses up yarn in one’s stash in order to reduce the size of the stash, or to make room for new materials.
Stitch Marker: A ring, pin, or piece of yarn that is attached to a crochet stitch to indicate an important spot in a crochet project, such as the end or beginning of a row, or to keep track of the number of stitches.
Swatch: A sample of crochet stitches, at least 6 inches square, used to test the size and appearance of the fabric. An important part of determining if your crochet will match the gauge of a written pattern. Also called a tension sample.
Turning Chain: A length of 2, 3, or 4 chain stitches that is used to bring the working yarn up to the height of the next stitch. Used at the beginning of a new row or round, and an important consideration in determining your stitch count and appearance of rows.
UFO: An “Unfinished Object”, or crochet project that has been unfinished or put aside for quite a long period of time.