Crochet Patterns & Abbreviations (by Debra Stuckey)
While teaching crochet one thing I have encountered over and over is hearing “I can’t read this pattern”. Every time I’ve heard someone say that what they really mean is, “I don’t understand the abbreviations”.
Let me start by explaining some of the basic abbreviations you’ll see on a pattern.
ch = chain
This forms the basis for all crochet stitches whether it’s chain 2 or 200.
dbl = double crochet
This is the most common crochet stitch and is used in a variety of ways. For example, making the granny square, making the pop corn stitch, making the shell stitch, etc.
sc = single crochet
hdbl = half double crochet
slp = slip stitch
Let’s say you’re crocheting a scarf. The pattern you are following might translate to something similar to this:
1) Make 18 chains.
Do a double crochet in the 3rd chain from hook and across you will have 15 double crochets.
Chain 3 and turn.
2) The chain 3 counts as your first double crochet.
Double crochet in the remaining double crochets.
Chain 3 and repeat row 2 until you get to your desired length.
Pull your last loop up a bit, clip your yarn and feed through the loop and pull tight.
Let’s review some things that will be helpful for you to know when crocheting.
hdl…half double crochet
As you end a row, depending on the stitch you’re using, you’ll find yourself doing something like this:
- sc or single crochet ch 1 and turn for the next row
- hdl or half double crochet ch 2 and turn for the next row
- dbl or double crochet ch 3 and turn for next row
- trc or triple crochet ch 4 and turn for your next row
I hope you’ve found my tips helpful. Don’t get discouraged. Stayed tuned for more tips as we continue to learn about the fun world of crochet! In the weeks to follow we will review more abbreviations and simple patterns which will help you to further learn how to crochet. You’ll also learn how knitting and crocheting come together in projects.
One thing I can’t stress enough is to keep an accurate count of your stitches. It’s easy if you’re not paying attention to add or drop stitches. I have seen this happen so many times. Remember, if you’re crocheting a scarf and you need 15 stitches, keep count so it’s actually 15 stitches across your work. Relax, don’t get discouraged and enjoy what you’re doing.
Good Luck all you Happy Hookers!