Common Crochet Abbreviations and Terms

One thing you will discover quickly with crochet is there are a LOT of abbreviations, terms and symbols that crocheters use that aren’t always obvious. I have compiled a list below!

Here are some of the ones you will frequently see on social media in discussions:

LYS: Local yarn store
Frog/frogging: The act of pulling out your work or ripping back stitches (rip it, rip it…)
WIP: Work in progress
UFO: Unfinished Object
PHD: Project(s) half done
HOTH/FOTH: Hot/Fresh off the hook – usually used when sharing your latest finished piece on social media
Yarn Barf: The mess of yarn you make either after frogging your work or when pulling the center strand of your yarn and a huge chunk comes out.
Hooker: A crocheter

Here are a some of the most common terms you will hear me say while we are getting started and their typical abbreviations in patterns:

CH – Chain (usually followed by the number of chains you should create)

YO – Yarn over

SC – Single Crochet

DC – Double Crochet

SL ST – Slip Stitch, also the smallest stitch you can make in crochet.

HDC – Half double crochet

BLO or FLO – Chains are made of a V on the top of the stitch and a bump on the bottom. With your work facing you, the bar of the V closest to you is the front loop and the one further away is the back loop. Some patterns will have you work in one of these only in order to create a ridged effect.

MC – Main color and CC – contrast color – Used when using more than one color in a pattern. If you have more than one contrast color, they are typically noted as CC1, CC2, etc.

RS – Right side and WS – Wrong side – Used to describe the side of your work you should be working on. Patterns will tell you which is the right side and wrong side if it is applicable.

There are many, many more abbreviations but these are the ones that will matter to you as you get started. Visit the Craft Yarn Council for a more comprehensive list here.

Patterns also use a variety of symbols to tell you how to proceed with the directions:

* repeat the instructions following the single asterisk as directed
* * repeat instructions between asterisks as many times as directed or repeat at specified locations
{ } work instructions within brackets as many times as directed
[ ] work instructions within brackets as many times as directed
( ) work instructions within parentheses as many times as directed or work a group of stitches all in the same stitch or space

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