Crochet, crochet fundamentals, instruction video

How to crochet: difference between US and UK crochet terms & crochet abbreviations

Have you mastered the chain stitch I showed you in Lesson 1? Have you been experimenting a bit with holding your yarn and hook in a certain way? Then you are just about ready to start crocheting.

US and UK crochet terminology

But before we get to making stitches, there is something you should know about terminology. You see, in English crochet country, there are two sets of terms being used, US crochet terms and UK crochet terms (don’t ask me why, I have absolutely no idea….). It is important to be aware of this because you will not be the first person to think a pattern is written in US terms and then find out it’s in UK terms when you are half way through.

The main difference between the two systems is the starting point, the so-called single crochet stitch in US terms. The two systems are basically an offset of one another. What the US terms call a single crochet, the UK terms call a double crochet, and what the US terms call a double crochet, the UK terms call a treble crochet, and so forth.

There are MANY crochet symbols and chart keys out there. I have tried to make a list of some of the most common terms you might come across. I have also linked to my videos showing you how to make the respective stitch. [note: I will update this as they become available on my YouTube channel.] Because I also have a large Dutch speaking following I have also added the respective Dutch terms to the table. And also don’t ask me why the layout in the table is all wrong, I have spend hours trying to fix it without success….

Anyway, this list is by no means complete. It’s just to get you started on the most common terms. Any pattern or chart you follow should contain a description of any (special) stitches used. And if all else fails there’s always Google!


US term
UK term
Dutch term
slip stitch
sl st
slip stitch
sl st
halve vaste
single crochet
double crochet
half double crochet
half treble crochet
half stokje
double crochet
treble crochet
tripple crochet
double treble crochet
dubbel stokje
back post double
raised treble back*
relief stokje achter
front post double
raised treble front*
relief stokje voor
single 2 together
double 2 together
2 vasten  samengehaakt
double 2 together
treble 2 together
2 stokjes samengehaakt

*a note: sometimes patterns in UK terms also use the term ‘back post’ or ‘front post’. I have noticed some variation here.

How to distinguish between US and UK terms?

I use US terms is almost all of my English crochet videos and when I use UK terms I explicitly state that it’s UK terms. As such any good crochet pattern should always say which terms are used in the pattern. But if not stated, an easy way to spot if a pattern is written in US or UK terms is to see if “single crochet” or “sc” is written anywhere. If not, the pattern is most likely in UK terms. If yes, it is definitely written in US terms.

Lesson 3

Now that you know that there are two systems and that you should be aware of which system a pattern is written in and you have taken note of the stitch names and symbols, we can start making crochet stitches. In Lesson 3 I will show you how to make slip, chain and single crochet stitches. When we make our first project I will also discuss how to read a crochet chart.

See you next time,


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20 thoughts on “How to crochet: difference between US and UK crochet terms & crochet abbreviations”

    1. Ag man Muis, dis so lekker om Afrikaans te sien en hoor wanneer mens besluit of jy Amerikaans of Engels wil wees!!


  1. Why are there so many different symbols for the same stitch; i.e. DCBP and BPDC for the same stitch. Very confusing.


  2. what does the american crochet intruction 1, inc, 3, inc, 2 inc,3, inc 2, inc, 1 mean in English crochet terms


  3. I’m used to the spelling t r i p l e … but see that you are using ‘tripple’.

    I wanted to print your UK/US but the Symbols don’t print. So, will draw them in – although I probably won’t ever crochet well enough to use the charts (as I can do for knitting, but prefer written instructions, except to check for ‘errors.’

    Thank you for having all the info available. Much appreciated.


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