Starting to crochet can be incredibly daunting, especially when seeing a crochet pattern for the first time. It seems to become more complicated when you first realise that the UK and US have different terms for the same stitch.
Top Tip: if you are unsure whether the pattern you are reading is in UK or US terms, scan through and if you see ‘sc’ (single crochet) it is in US terms as ‘sc’ does not exist in UK terms.
Here are some basic abbreviations to get you started:
yo – yarn over (the process of wrapping your yarn over your hook either before, or after you enter a stitch, it is the most basic technique of crochet)
beg -beginning ch -chain chsp – chain space rep – repeat dec – decrease
inc – increase mc/mr/aml – magic circle/magic ring/adjustable magic loop sk – skip
If like me, you are a member of an online crochet club, you may notice things like ‘frog’ ‘WIP’ and ‘HOTH’. I was a bit confused at first, but here’s a handy guide:
Frog – to have to unpick your work when you’ve made a mistake. It refers to having to ‘rip it’ which sounds like ‘ribbit’ hence ‘frog’
WIP – Work in progress – what you are currently working on (I have many WIPs!)
HOTH – Hot off the hook – an item you have just finished
CAL – Crochet along – a group of people working on the same pattern at the same time. Usually next part of the pattern is released on a weekly/monthly basis.
Below is a guide to show you the written symbols for the basic stitches and the difference between UK and US. I personally prefer to read US terms because they make more sense, but you go with whatever makes you comfortable.