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 absolutally 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 trebble crochet, and so forth.

crochet terms and abbreviations

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!

 

chart
symbol
US term
abbreviation
UK term
abbreviation
Dutch term
afkorting
  chain
ch
chain
ch
losse
l
  slip stitch
sl st
slip stitch
sl st
halve vaste
hv
  single crochet
sc
double crochet
dc
vaste
v
  half double crochet
hdc
half treble crochet
htr
half stokje
hst
  double crochet
dc
treble crochet
tr
stokje
st
  tripple crochet
tr
double treble crochet
dtr
dubbel stokje
dst
  back post double
bpdc
raised treble back*
rtrb
relief stokje achter
Rsta
  front post double
fpdc
raised treble front*
rtrf
relief stokje voor
Rstv
  single 2 together
sc2tog
double 2 together
dc2tog
2 vasten  samengehaakt
  double 2 together
dc2tog
treble 2 together
tr2tog
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,

Esther

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How to crochet: hooks, yarn and making a slip knot

To start crocheting it’s a good idea to invest time in finding hooks that work well with your hands and finding a way to hold your hook and yarn that don’t stress your hands. But then there is still the question of getting the yarn actually attached to your hook in the first place…. In this crochet lesson I discuss what things you need to get started with crocheting, how to hold you hook and yarn, and how to make a slip knot.

how to hold your hook

About yarn, hooks and accessories

The are many, many hooks available on the market and there are even more yarn brands out there. Regarding hooks, yarn and accessories, look at what you can afford and what you need. You don’t need to buy 10 hooks for example, start with one and see if you like it. If you don’t, go for another brand. This way you don’t end up with a lot of hooks you don’t use and you spend your money on hooks you actually like. Keep in mind that, generally speaking, good hooks don’t come cheap.

When it comes to yarn, be very careful of yarn hoarding! I only buy yarn when I have a project in mind for it. If you buy yarn every time it’s on sale you are going to end up with a lot of yarn you either don’t need or don’t have a destination for. It then ends up unused at the bottom of your stash, which is a waste of yarn and hard earned money.

In this short video I talk about some of the things you need to start crocheting such as hooks, yarn and other assessories.

How to hold your hook

When it comes to holding your crochet hook there is no right or wrong way of doing so. What is important is that you find a way that works for you. You are looking for a grip that is comfortable and does not cause any pain or strain on your hands, wrists or fingers. In this video I show the two most common ways of holding a crochet hook, the so-called “knife grip” and “pencil grip”.

Which hook size is which?

Sometimes a pattern will give a hook size in US gauge, sometimes metric or maybe UK gauge. This can be a little confusing if the pattern uses a size you don’t recognize. I use the metric systems which means I refer to my hook sizes in millimeter, but maybe you live in the US and then you will be used to a different system. Here an easy crochet hook size conversion chart to help you from one system to the next.

doosje

This table is by no means water tight nor do I claim that it’s complete. It’s more than likely that you will find other conversions on the internet. Also keep in mind that “identical” hooks between manufacturers can vary ever so lightly in size. As far as I can tell this table gives a reasonable overview of the conversions between systems. I will never understand why there are different systems for the same thing……

Metric US UK (English)
0.60mm 14
0.75mm 12
0.85mm
1.00mm 11 4
1.25mm 7 3
1.50mm 6 2.5
1.75mm 5 2
2.00mm 14
2.25mm B/1 13
2.50mm  12
2.75mm C/2  11
3.00mm 10
 3.25mm D/3
 3.50mm E/4 9
3.75mm F/5
4.00mm G/6 8
4.50mm 7 7
5.00mm H/8 6
 5.50mm I/9 5
 6.00mm J/10 4
 6.50mm K/10 1/2 3
 7.00mm 10.75 2
 7.50mm 1
 8.00mm L/11 0
 9.00mm M/13 00
 10.0mm N/15 000
 12.0mm O
 15.0mm P
 16.0mm Q
 20.0mm S
 25.0mm 50

 

How to make a slipknot

The first thing when starting to crochet is that you have to get the yarn attached to your hook. The simplest way to accomplish this is to make a slipknot. In this video I show you how to make a slipknot.

How to hold your yarn

Whilst crocheting it is important to keep enough tension on your yarn. This makes it possible to pull the yarn through the loop(s) on your hook. Again, there is no right or wrong way, just the way that works for you. In this video I show two common ways to hold your yarn tight and keep tension on your yarn.

I used to hold my yarn in one way and then I noticed that it was straining my hand and particularly my index finger, so I taught myself to hold my yarn a different way. When you want to change the way you hold your yarn it will feel funny in the beginning, but soon it feels ‘normal’ again.

Lesson 2

In Lesson 2 we are going to look at different crochet terms and how to keep yourself from mixing them up (which inevitably leads to mistakes and frogging). More on what frogging means later….

See you next time,

Esther

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How to crochet step-by-step

Do you see all those wonderful crochet creations online and think “I wish I could do that”? What if it’s not as difficult as you might think? In a series of lessons which include step-by-step video tutorials and assignments I will help you to master many crochet stitches and make something fun in the process.

doosjeCome with me on a crochet journey and learn everything you need to know to make the most beautiful projects yourself.

In the coming year I will post a lesson every other Friday. The written lessons on my blog are currently on hold. On my YouTube channel video tutorials will continue as much as possible. I will update the overview with active links as more lessons and assignments become available.

How-to-crochet

Lesson overview

Enjoy your journey!

With love,

Esther

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