Crochet Glossary / Terminology

Afghan stitch- The afghan stitch, or Tunisian simple stitch, is a basic crochet stitch that looks like little squares with a vertical bar. The afghan stitch requires an afghan hook, which features a cap at the end to hold stitches.

Applied slip stitch crochet- An applied slip stitch is a finishing technique used to add a simple, stretchy border to finish the edges of your project. With the right side of the project facing, pull the hook through the fabric, bringing up a loop of yarn through the edge. Next, insert the hook again a short distance away with the yarn over the hook. Pull up another loop of yarn on the hook. Continue around the edge of your project.

Back cross-stitch (bcr)- Back cross-stitch can be used to make eyelets in your crocheting project. As you crochet, skip the next stitch then decrease in the following stitch. Insert the hook from back to front in the skipped stitch and double crochet.

Back loops (bl)- The back loop in a crochet stitch is the loop on the top of the stitch that is furthest from you. A back loop single crochet stitch is similar to the basic single crochet, but uses the back loop rather than both loops of the previous stitch. Crocheting back loops creates a different texture in your stitches and adds a ridge to your crocheting.

Back post (bpsc)- The back post single crochet is a variation on the basic single crochet stitch. To make a back post stitch, crochet a yarn over around the post beneath the stitch you are working and then work a single crochet as normal. Crocheting the back post creates a ribbed texture in your fabric.

Basic mesh- A basic mesh is crocheted by skipping stitches to create an open weave fabric. Basic mesh can be used for garments, accessories, housewares or embellishments.

Beginning block (bb)- A beginning block is an increase created by crocehting two double croceht stitches for the top of the increase block.

Beginning mesh- A beginning mesh space or beginning space is created by making a chain of five stitches then skipping the next two stitches. Double crochet in the next stitch and then double crochet again.

Berry stitch (berry st)- A berry stitch is a technique used to make baubles in your crocheted piece that are shaped like little berries. To make a berry stitch, chain three stitches then insert the hook into the next stitch, yarn over and pull through the stitch. Next, yarn over again and pull the yarn through two loops on the hook before continuing with your pattern.

Blanket stitch- The blanket stitch is a basic crocheting stitch perfect for use in crocheted blankets or afghans. The blanket stitch is made up of a combination of one single crochet and two double crochet stitches.

Butterfly loom- A butterfly loom is a hand-held tool used to weave open mesh yarn squares that can be slip stitched or crocheted together to create scarves, rugs, blankets, or other projects. The butterfly loom is a board hinged in the middle with notches along each side that are used to hook the yarn during the weaving process.

Chain color change (ch color change)- Chain color change is the process of changing yarn colors while crocheting. If possible, changing colors at the beginning of a row allows for you to hide the tail of the yarn more easily during finishing. To change colors, simply continue working the chain stitch, pulling the loop up with the new color. If you are concerned about stability, you may knot together the ends of the old yarn and the new yarn, but make sure the knot is placed on the back side of your crocheting.

Chain stitch- The chain stitch is the first essential stitch to learn in crocheting. A chain stitch is a component of many more complicated stitches and crocheting patterns. Start with a slipknot. Insert your crochet hook through the knot then rotate the hook about a quarter turn clockwise, picking up the yarn with the hook. Pull the yarn through the slip knot. That's one chain stitch.

Cluster stitch- A cluster stitch is a group of crochet stitches that are worked together in the same loop and then joined together at the top to create a triangle. A cluster stitch looks like an upside-down shell stitch and the two are often used together in patterns.

Corn stitch- See also: popcorn stitch. A corn stitch is a combination of double crochets and slip stitches used to create a raised bauble in the fabric.

Crocodile stitch- The crocodile stitch resembles the scales on a crocodile, adding a unique texture to your crocheting projects. To crochet a crocodile stitch, start with a base of v-stitches. The scales of the crocodile stitch are created by double crocheting several stitches in each post of the v-stitches. To space out the scales single crochet in the single crochet stitches and double crochet scales in the posts of the v-stitches as you continue.

Decrease- When a pattern calls for a decrease for shaping or binding off, you will get rid of a stitch in one of several methods. Generally, the pattern will specify which type of decrease you should use as each type of decrease shapes your crocheting slightly differently. If the pattern says to single crochet two stitches together or decrease one over two single crochet, you will work your decrease by crocheting two stitches together, passing the yarn through both stitches at once so that the second stitch is absorbed into the piece without dropping.

Double crochet (dc)- A double crochet stitch is a popular and foundational stitch for crocheting, incorporated into many more complicated stitches. The double crochet stitch is about twice the height of a single crochet stitch, making it good for looser fabrics. Starting with a single crochet foundation row, a double crochet stitch is created by pulling the yarn over the hook then inserting the hook into the next stitch to be worked and making another yarn over. Then, pull the yarn through the stitch and yarn over again. You should now have two loops on the hook. Pull the yarn through both loops and yarn over again. Pull yarn through the last two loops on the hook to finish the double crochet.

Double mesh-A double mesh stitch creates an open mesh fabric. Start with a foundation chain of a multiple of two plus four. For your double mesh stitch double crochet in the sixth stitch of the foundation row. Chain one stitch, then skip a stitch and double crochet in the next stitch from the one you just double crocheted in. Continue in this pattern.

Double love knot (dlk)- Also called the double Solomon's knot, the double love knot creates and open, lacy weave pattern. To create a double love knot, lengthen a chain stitch to about ½ to 1" on your hook. Yarn over and pull through the loop. Single crochet in the back strand of the long loop you just made. Repeat this pattern.

Double treble (dtr)- The double treble stitch is comprised of three yarn overs before starting the stitch then working a chain stitch. Double treble stitches create a long, open weave that is handy for quickly creating scarves and afghans.

Double Tunisian stitch (dts)- A double Tunisian stitch looks similar to a knitted drop stitch and creates an open, airy space in your fabric. The double Tunisian stitch is a double crochet worked in the fist vertical bar of the stitches in the previous row.

Drop stitch (drop st)- A drop stitch adds texture to the pattern by working the stitches two rows below where the stitches normally are worked. Other than the different placement, the stitches are worked normally.

Ending block (eb)- An ending block is a type of increase or decrease stitch that closes a mesh pattern with a solid block.

Ending mesh (em)- In a filet crochet, an ending mesh closes the mesh pattern with an open mesh square.

Extended single crochet (exsc)- Extended single crochet stitches are like regular single crochet stitches but they are extended through wrapping the yarn around the crochet hook during the yarn overs.

Fancy stitch- See also: lacet. In filet crochet, the fancy stitch or lacet is an open, v-shaped weave. To crochet a fancy stitch, chain two stitches then skip the next stitch. Single crochet in the next stitch, chain two, and skip the next stitch. Then, double crochet in the following stitch, single crochet in the space of the next bar, chain two, and double crochet in the next stitch.

Fasten off- Fastening off finishes your crocheted piece, securing the yarn so that the piece will not unravel. To fasten off, cut the yarn, leaving about a six inch tail. Pull the yarn through the final loop on your hook. The yarn is now secured with a knot and you can move on to weaving in the ends and blocking your work.

Felting tips- Felting essentially "destroys" wool yarn to create a more solid fabric from your crocheted wool piece. When animal fibers are run through hot water, the stitches mat together to create a solid felt fabric. In order to felt, your item should be at least 80% wool. Items that are crocheted looser tend to felt more successfully. You can also help your item agitate more in the washer by running it through with a tennis ball or old sneaker to get more friction.

Filet crochet- Filet crochet is a crocheted fabric with an open mesh weave constructed from chain stitches and double crochet stitches. Many filet crochet pieces are constructed with a decorative pattern made with a solid mesh in contrast to the more open mesh of the background.

Fluffy stitch (fluffy st)- A fluffy stitch is crocheted by pulling up the loop in a stitch below when working in a chain stitch. This technique creates a long, fluffy stitch good for crocheting blankets or embellishments because of the soft dimension of the stitch.

Four-strand braid (fsb)- A four-strand braid is a finishing technique used to create a polished, decorative finishing on your crocheting project. A four strand braid using an under and over pattern, bringing strands from the outside underneath the two inside strands then over the inside right strand. Four strand braids make sturdy straps or decorative accents.

Foundation double crochet (fdc)- A foundation double crochet creates a foundation row for you to continue working from. The foundation double crochet makes an especially sturdy foundation row because of its height. Start by chaining four stitches. Then insert the hook into the fourth stitch. Make a yarn over and pull up a loop. Yarn over again and draw up another loop. You should now have three loops on the hook. Yarn over once more and draw the yarn through one loop on the hook. Yarn over and draw through two loops on the hook. Yarn over and draw through the two loops on the hook again to complete one foundation double crochet stitch.

French knot- A French knot is a type of embroidery stitch used to add embellishments to crocheting projects. To make a French knot, use an embroidery or yarn needle. Run the needle through the fabric from back to front then wrap the yarn around the needle (from back to front) up to three times. Run the needle through the wraps and back into the fabric near where your stitch started. The French knot creates a small raised stitch on the surface of the fabric.

Front cross-stitch (fcr or cr st)- To create a front cross- stitch, skip a stitch and then double crochet working around the previous stitch made. Then, double crochet in the skipped stitch. This stitch creates a series of stitches that look like an "X" pattern.

Front loops (fl)- The front loops of crochet stitch is the loop on top that is closest to you. Usually crochet stitches are worked by picking up both loops of the previous stitch. To work in the front loop, only insert the hook through the front loop of the stitch and continue with the stitch that the pattern calls for.

Front post- The posts of a crochet stitch are the vertical portion of the stitch. To crochet around the front post, insert your hook from the front to the back of the piece and bring it around the post to the front again. Complete as a double crochet.

Gauge- In crochet, the gauge refers to the number of stitches per inch. Gauge may vary based on individual tension, yarn type, and needle size. Because these three may vary from the designer's gauge in creating the pattern, it is important to crochet a swatch and measure the gauge so that adjustments can be made, if needed, ensuring that your finished product is correctly proportioned according to the pattern.

Half double crochet (hdc)- To make a half double crochet stitch, make a yarn over then insert the hook into the next stitch to be worked. Yarn over again and pull the yarn through he stitch. Yarn over once more and pull the yarn through all three loops on the hook. The half double crochet stitch is relatively simple but still creates a nicely textured pattern.

High stitch- A high stitch is basically the same as other crochet stitches but is extended using a simple chain, which creates a more open weave. To make a high stitch, insert your hook in the next vertical bar and make a yarn over. Pull the yarn through, chain one, and continue with the pattern in this way.

Increase- An increase is worked to add a stitch to the row, allowing for shaping of a crocheted piece. Increasing is done by working two stitches into the single stitch below. For example, when using a single crochet, after you compete one single crochet stitch go back into the same stitch and single crochet again. One stitch made.

Joining squares- Joining squares is the process of attaching Granny Squares to each other to create a design, blanket, or other project. Squares can be joined through a whipstitch seam or blanket seam. You can also single crochet the edges of squares together or slip stitch the seams. There are many ways to join squares, depending on the type of seam desired and the skills of the crocheter.

Knotting off- Knotting off is one way to end fasten off yarn at the end of a project. Cut your yarn leaving about six inches of tail. Using your hook, pull the tail through the last stitch worked. Pull tightly to secure. Weave in the tail. See also: fasten off.

Lacet- See also: fancy stitch. In filet crochet, a lacet stitch creates an open, lacey weave in the shape of a v. To crochet a lacet, chain two stitches then skip the next stitch. Single crochet in the next stitch, chain two, and skip the next stitch. Then, double crochet in the following stitch, single crochet in the space of the next bar, chain two, and double crochet in the next stitch.

Long single crochet (long sc)- Insert the hook in the next stitch and pull up a long loop. Yarn over and pull the yarn through both loops on the hook. A long single crochet stitch can be used to vary stitch lengths, creating patterns and shaping.

Long double crochet (long dc)- As with the long single croceht, the long double crochet can be used to vary the lengths of stitches within a row, creating visual patterns in the crocheted piece. To make a long double crochet stitch, start with a yarn over. Insert the hook in the next stitch and pull up a long loop on the hook. Yarn over again and pull through the two loops on the hook twice.

Love knot- A love knot, also called Solomon's Knot, stitch creates an open lace pattern. Start with a slip stitch and make two chain stitches. Work a single crochet in the second chain from the hook. Pull the loop up so that it is a ½ inch to an inch long. At the base of the stitch, make a yarn over and pull the yarn through. Work a single crochet in the center of the long loop.

Open fan stitch- A open fan stitch creates a decorative, intricate lace pattern. The foundation chain for the open fan stitch should be a multiple of 10 plus 6. The open fan stitch is made from chain stitches, single crochets and double crochets repeated in a pattern to create a textured fan design.

Picot stitch (p)- A picot stitch is made by chaining three or four stitches in single crochet and then slip stitching it into the top of the single crochet chain. A picot stitch creates a border of eyelets or little baubles.

Place marker (pm)- In crochet patterns, place marker indicates that you should place a maker, either by tying on a piece of scrap yarn or using a plastic place marker, so that later you can find that stitch or location again. Often place markers indicate where seams or sleeves will be added or places from which you will measure. Place markers can also be used to mark the beginnings of rounds or other important reminders.

Pompoms- Pompoms are fluffy balls of yarn used as embellishments. Pompoms are easily made by wrapping yarn continuously around three fingers until the pompom is your desired size. Then, slide the wrapped yarn off your fingers, keeping its shape. Using the same color yarn, tightly tie a piece of yarn through the middle of the loop of yarn. Cut the loop so that the ends of the yarn spread out, creating the pompom.

Popcorn stitch- A popcorn stitch creates a raised bauble on your fabric, loosely resembling popcorn. To work the popcorn stitch, work three double crochets in the same space then drop the loop from your hook and insert the hook into the first double crochet, drawing the loop through to tighten the stitch.

Puff stitch (puff st)- A puff stitch creates a raised oval, adding texture to your crocheting project. A puff stitch is created by half-closing several double crochet stitches in the same stitch then joining them together to close. A puff stitch can also be created by working several yarn overs in a single stitch before closing the stitch.

Reverse popcorn stitch (rpc)- The reverse popcorn stitch is crocheted so that the bauble is raised on the wrong side of the piece rather than the front, leaving a dip on the right side of the fabric. The reverse popcorn stitch is created from a combination of yarn overs and double crochets in the same stitch location. The added stitches are then closed together through a chain stitch.

Reverse single crochet (reverse sc)- Sometimes called the crab stitch, the reverse single crochet creates a rounded edge. The reverse single crochet is the same as the single crochet stitch but worked from left to right instead of right to left.

Rings and chains technique- See also: tatting. The rings and chains technique is a method of tatting lace using a combination of rings and chains to create medallions, scrolls, and other lace patterns featuring double chains, picots, and double stitches.

Rings and strands technique- See also: tatting. The rings and strands technique is a method of tatting lace that uses rings and Josephine knots to make medallions, scrolls, picots, and other lace patterns.

Running stitch- A running stitch or straight stitch is used in sewing or embroidery for a simple, flat stitch. A running stitch is made by threading the needle in and out of the fabric, usually in a straight line. In crocheting, a running stitch can be used for seams, appliques, or embroidered embellishments. Simply run the threaded needle under the posts of the stitches.

Satin stitch- A satin stitch is a type of embroidery stitch often used to fill in open areas such as the centers of flowers in a floral motif. The satin stitch is created by running the threaded needle around the center of crocheted stitches so that the thread wraps the stitch. Satin stitches are sewn close together in a circular motion, creating a continuous run of embroidery around the desired area.

Shell stitch- A shell stitch creates a lacy stitch with a curved edge like a shell. There are different variants on the shell stitch, each producing a slightly different pattern or shape to the shell. Basic shell stitches work with a combination of chain and double crochet stitches following a pattern of two double crochet stitches, a chain stitch, and two more double crochet stitches worked together in a single stitch.

Single crochet (sc)- A single crochet stitch is an important basic stitch and one of the first stitches crocheters learn. Starting with a basic chain as a foundation row, the single crochet is formed by inserting the hook into the second chain in the row. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the loop on your hook. Yarn over again and pull the yarn through both loops on your hook. That's one single crochet stitch.

Slip stitch- A slip stitch is a basic crochet stitch that can be used for a variety of purpose including seaming two pieces together, joining pieces to form a ring or attach Granny Squares, or adding embellishments, among other uses. To make a slip stitch, insert your hook (with an active stitch on it) through the space where you want to place a slip stitch. Hook your yarn and pull it through your project and the active stitch on your hook.

Square mesh- Square mesh or open mesh is a type of filet crochet that forms a square shaped open space. The open mesh is created from repeats of a double crochet stitch and two chain stitches, or multiples of this pattern.

Tapestry crochet- In tapestry crochet multiple threads or colors of yarn are used alternately to create multicolored fabrics and designs. Tapestry crochet gets its name from how the finished products often look like pieces woven on a loom, such as a tapestry. Often tapestry crochet is done with single crochet stitches so that the weave remains tight, putting the focus on the colorwork rather than intricate stitching.

Tassels- Tassels are gathered, fringed embellishments typically used on shawls, hats, table runners, and sashes. A tassel can be made by wrapping yarn around a piece of cardboard cut the the desired tassel length. Keep wrapping until the tassel is as thick as you want it. Take apiece of yarn and tie the top of the tassel together tightly at one end, up through the top loop. Remove the piece of cardboard and tie a second piece of yarn around the width of the tassel toward the top to create a sash. Once the top is secured, cut the bottom loop of the tassel so the threads hang freely.

Tatting- Tatting is a technique for sewing lace from a combination of loops and knots. Tatting is often used to make lace edging, doilies, collars, and other embellishments. Often, tatting is done by wrapping durable thread around shuttles or needles and guiding the thread into intricate patterns of knots.

Three-strand braid- A three-strand braid is the most common kind of braid and can be used in crocheting to add embellishments or borders to your projects. To create a three strand braid, cross the left strand over the middle strand to the right. Then, cross the right strand over the middle to the left. Switch the middle strand from side to side as you cross the strands over.

Treble crochet- See also triple crochet. A treble or triple crochet stitch is often used when a long crochet stitch is needed. Staring with a foundation row, yarn over your hook twice. Insert the hook into the next stitch. Yarn over and draw the yarn through the stitch. Loop the yarn over the hook and draw the yarn through two of the four loops present on the needle. Repeat this last step. You should be left with one loop remaining from this stitch.

Treble cluster- A treble cluster is a cluster stitch made by clustering triple crochet stitches. Start by making one triple crochet stitch. In the same stitch, repeat twice so you have three triple crochet stitches worked in the same stitch from the foundation row or stitch. To close the cluster, wrap the yarn over the hook and pull the loop through the remaining four loops on the hook.

Triple crochet- See also treble crochet. A triple or treble crochet stitch is often used when a long crochet stitch is needed. Staring with a foundation row, yarn over your hook twice. Insert the hook into the next stitch. Yarn over and draw the yarn through the stitch. Loop the yarn over the hook and draw the yarn through two of the four loops present on the needle. Repeat this last step. You should be left with one loop remaining from this stitch.

Tunisian knit stitch (tks)- A Tunisian knit stitch is made by inserting the hook from the front to the back between two vertical strands of a stitch, making a yarn over, and drawing the yarn through the stitch to make the knit stitch. Tunisian knit stitches should be made on the forward half of a row.

Tunisian lace stitch- A Tunisian lace stitch is a beginning lace stitch. The Tunisian lace stitch needs a multiple of three plus two stitches to begin with. Pull up loops in every chain from your foundation row. Yarn over and pull through two. Chain two. Yarn over and pull through four. Repeat the last two steps to the end of the row. Chain one and pull through two to close the last stitch in the row.

Tunisian purl stitch (tps)- A Tunisian purl stitch is made by bringing the yarn in front and inserting the hook into the vertical bar of the next stitch. Bring the yarn under the hook and wrap it around from back to front. Draw the yarn through the stitch to make the purl stitch. Tunisian purl stitches resemble the purl stitches used in knitting.

Tunisian simple stitch- also called an Afghan stitch is a basic crochet stitch that looks like little squares with a vertical bar. The Tunisian simple stitch requires an afghan hook, which features a cap at the end to hold stitches.

Turning chain- A turning chain is created between rows of crochet to help transition from one row to the next. The turning chain helps bring your yarn to the correct height for you to begin working in the first stitch of the next row after turning your work. Therefore, the length of the turning chain will depend on the gauge of the project and the stitches used.

V-stitch- A v-stitch is a basic crochet stitch that creates a decorative v-shaped pattern. With an open weave and a pretty texture, v-stitches are handy for scarves and afghans. A v-stitch is created by working a double crochet, a chain stitch, and then another double crochet in the same chain. The combination of the tall double crochet stitches on either side of a chain stitch creates the v-shape.

Weaving- In crocheting, weaving in the ends of the yarn puts the finishing touches on a piece. Using a tapestry needle, weave the tail of your yarn through the "v" made by stitches, a couple stitches at a time. Try to weave-in the end in a discrete place and on the back of your crocheting. After weaving the yarn through several stitches, trim off the extra.

Whipstitch seam- A whipstitch seam works well with short, simple crocheted stitches such as single crochet. To join two crocheted pieces together with a whipstitch seam, draw the yarn through the inside loops of corresponding stitches of the two pieces. Repeat in the next stitch down for the rest of your seam. While a woven seam in sewn with the pieces flat next to each other, the whipstitch is sewn with the pieces stacked on each other.

Woven seam- A woven seam is used to join two pieces of crocheting side by side with a flat seam. Using a tapestry or yarn needle and yarn, a woven seam is created by stitching the yarn through corresponding stitches on each piece of fabric from left to right then right to left. Woven seams are sewn with the right side up and the edges of the pieces aligned with each other.

Wrapping- In crocheting, different stitches may call for yarn to be wrapped around the hook two or more times. For example, a double crochet stitch calls for the yarn to be wrapped around the hook twice. A triple crochet stitch, three times. As in a yarn over, when wrapping, make sure you wrap the yarn from back to front to keep your stitches going in the same direction.

Yarn over hook (yo or yoh)- A yarn over is simply the step in which you wrap the yarn over your crochet hook. Some stitches call for more than one yarn over. To do a yarn over, bring the yarn behind the hook and drape it over the hook between the stitch and the throat of the hook. Make sure you do your yarn overs from back to front, not from front to back.

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