How to Read Crochet Abbreviations

Most crochet and knitting patterns use abbreviations.

Crochet and knitting abbreviations are a convention that has been used for many years and are fairly standardized among designers and publishers. Abbreviations make patterns easy to read by condensing instructions into the most efficient form of communication. (It’s my own theory that in the early days of published crochet patterns, using abbreviations also took up less paper and ink!)

In order to create a crochet item using a pattern, you need to know common abbreviations. Usually, but not always, the abbreviations that will be used in a pattern are explained in a special section of the pattern. Sometimes only “special stitches” are defined. 

Use the chart below as a quick reference. 

 List of Crochet Abbreviations



alt alternate
approx approximately
beg begin – beginning
bet between
BL or BLO back loop only
BP back post
BPdc back post double crochet
BPdtr back post double treble crochet
BPhdc back post half double crochet
BPsc back post single crochet
BPtr back post treble crochet
CC contrasting color
ch chain
ch-sp chain space
CL cluster
cont continue
dc double crochet
dc2tog double crochet 2 stitches together
dec decrease
dtr double treble crochet
edc extended double crochet
ehdc extended half double crochet
esc extended single crochet
etr extended treble crochet
FL or FLO front loop only
foll following
FP front post
FPdc front post double crochet
FPdtr front post double treble crochet
FPhdc front post half double crochet
FPsc front post single crochet
FPtr front post treble crochet
hdc half double crochet
hdc2tog half double crochet 2 stitches together
inc increase
lp loop
m marker
MC main color
pat or patt pattern
pc popcorn stitch
pm place marker
prev previous
ps or puff puff stitch
rem remaining
rep repeat
rnd round
RS right side
sc single crochet
sc2tog single crochet 2 stitches together
sh shell
sk skip
sl st slip stitch
sm or sl m slip marker
sp space
st stitch
tbl through back loop
tch or t-ch turning chain
tog together
tr treble crochet
trtr triple treble crochet
tr2tog treble crochet 2 stitches together
WS wrong side
yo yarn over
* repeat the instructions following the single asterisk as directed
* * repeat instructions between asterisks as many times as directed or repeat at specified locations
{ } work instructions within brackets as many times as directed
[ ] work instructions within brackets as many times as directed
( ) work instructions within parentheses as many times as directed or work a group of stitches all in the same stitch or space


Related: US vs UK Crochet Terms

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