Learn to Read a Pattern: Common Abbreviations

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A few days ago, I shared a picture on Instagram. It was a project I’m working on without a pattern. A friend commented that was how she needed to do projects because she doesn’t know how to read a pattern. It got me thinking.

I decided to do a series on how to read a pattern. I don’t know how many people are in a similar situation, but if it helps even one person, it’s worth it.

The series will be broken up into three parts. First is common abbreviations. Next week will be pattern shortcuts. We’ll wrap it up with a look at a pattern and break it down for how to put it all together.

Granny square throw shared on Instagram

Stitch Abbreviations

  • ch : chain
  • ss : slip stitch
  • sc : single crochet
  • hdc : half-double crochet
  • dc : double crochet
  • tc : treble (or triple) crochet
  • dtc : double triple crochet

Special Stitches

  • bpdc : back-post double crochet*
  • fpdc : front-post double crochet*
  • shell : any combination of 3-7 stitches or chains in one stitch**
  • V-stitch : double crochet, chain 1, double crochet all in the same stitch**
  • x-stitch : 2 double crochet stitches crossed over each other

* Post stitches can use any stitch and the abbreviation would change accordingly.

** The pattern you use will have specific directions for how they want these stitches done.

Special Directions

  • blo : back loop only
  • dc2tog : double crochet 2 together – a common decrease method
  • flo : front loop only
  • rep : repeat
  • sk : skip
  • yo : yarn over

Bookmark This Page

I know this can be overwhelming. It was to me when I first started crocheting. Knowing these common crochet abbreviations will help a lot when it comes to reading patterns.

I would recommend that you bookmark this post so you can refer back to it as needed.

Leave a comment and let me know if you have a pattern-relared question. I’ll do my best to answer it either here or in the next post.

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