Crochet, crochet fundamentals, instruction video

Crochet abbreviations & difference between US and UK crochet terms

There is a very interesting phenomenon in the English language crochet community; there are two sets of terminology going around, and you will not be the first one to get them mixed up. The two sets are either US crochet terms or UK crochet terms.

Difference between UK and US Terms

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 is called a single crochet in US terms, is called a double crochet in UK terms. Similarly, what is called a double crochet in US terms, is a treble crochet in UK terms. And so on and so forth. And now you might start to see where the problem is, the same names are used in both systems, but they mean different stitches.

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 you spot a single crochet stitch, you know for sure that the pattern is in US terms. If not, you can’t be completely sure, but most likely the pattern is in UK terms.

Video explaining US and UK crochet terms

In this video I show you how to find out if a pattern in written in US or UK terms, and I explain the logic in understanding the difference between the two systems.

Crochet Symbols

There are MANY crochet symbols and chart keys available. 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. 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.

chart
symbol
US terms
abbreviation
UK terms
abbreviation
chain
ch
chain
ch
slip stitch
sl st / ss
slip stitch
sl st / ss
single crochet
sc
double crochet
dc
half double crochet
hdc
half treble crochet
htr
double crochet
dc
treble crochet
tr
tripple crochet
tr
double treble crochet
dtr
back post double
bpdc
raised treble back*
rtrb
front post double
fpdc
raised treble front*
rtrf
single 2 together
sc2tog
double 2 together
dc2tog
double 2 together
dc2tog
treble 2 together
tr2tog

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

With love,
Esther

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22 thoughts on “Crochet abbreviations & difference between US and UK crochet terms”

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

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

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

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  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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  4. So when I see symbols in either UK or US terms, the number of indicated ‘yarn overs’ (slashes across the vertical bar)on the needle is the same whether it is called double or triple(treble) crochet? i.e. one slash is dc in US or trc in UK?

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