Crochet symbols and abbreviations

Full guide with the list of crocheting symbols used in USA.

Crochet symbols

In the era of advanced technologies, we can be friend crochet enthusiasts from across the globe. Although many crafters speak English, the majority doesn’t. English may be recognized as language of the Web, but crocheting uses own terms. So, what’s the common terminology of crocheting? It has to be the language that all crafters can read despite their mother tongue. Actually, it has to be both arithmetical and visual, such as crochet symbols and abbreviations.

Crochet Symbols – the Worldwide Terminology of Crocheting

Therefore, crocheting provides crafters with some representational modes.

  1. First of all, the crafters can use crochet symbols. These are the icons showing what stitch to create.
  2. Crafters use charts for filet demonstrating how to work with a flat item.
  3. Also, we have graphs – akin to charts but usually used with thread to make a project of diverse shades. Crafters are offered symbols demonstrating what colors and stitches to use.
  4. Diagrams or charts are helpful in all of the above, but particularly in working on clothing using any approach. Diagrams show the crochet enthusiasts what size and form the finished item should be.

Representational modes are actually very useful because they interpret any written instruction. A diagram is worth a million words. Scroll through a Russian or German site to understand the importance of knowing how to interpret symbols in crocheting!

Importance of Diagrams

When symbols representing stitches are arranged to form a “picture” of the project to be crocheted, it’s recognized as a diagram. The only thing you need is a key, and most diagrams or charts provide a key to indicate which stitches symbols stand for.

Diagrams provide visual substitute to written crochet stitch guide. There are a few reasons why knowing how to read a crochet diagram may be useful:

  • The majority of crafters are visuals.
  • Diagrams improve written instructions.
  • Diagrams are created in the International Crochet Symbol System. This allows crafters to use patterns written in any language (Russian projects are popular, for instance). If you’re “fluent in crochet language”, then you don’t have to learn the written terminology.
  • It’s faster to glance down at a symbol than read words on a written instruction.
  • Diagram is a convenient pictorial depiction of how your finished item will look.

American, British or Russian Crochet Symbols

Craft Yarn Council of America (which represents the leading organizations in the industry) has adopted the uniform crochet chart symbols, which are commonly employed in all projects. As soon as you’ve gotten used to differentiating them they’ll be as apparent to you as the written crochet stitch abbreviations you come across. The symbols listed below are the most common US symbols and abbreviations.

However, American symbols and meanings are not universal. For instance, American and Russian patterns employ completely diverse names for identical stitches. Diagrams in Russian, English or in American English can be extremely confusing for beginners, wishing to read crochet patterns from different sources. It should be mentioned that not only are the Russian crochet symbols different, but sometimes the same word stands for a different stitch in US/Russian pattern.

Guide to crochet symbols and abbreviations - infographic

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Crochet tutorial for beginners

Learn how to Read Diagrams with Different Symbols

Visuals prefer schematic symbols to written patterns. But many American patterns don’t come with charts, so being able to interpret a pattern is of course very helpful skill. Thus, it’s highly recommended, when reading any pattern to determine whether the crochet stitch abbreviations are the US, British or Russian because they employ the same terms to illustrate completely dissimilar stitches.

Learning how to read crochet charts takes time, yet it’s an important experience. Diagrams are made using globally adopted symbols corresponding to every stitch and instruction. Knowing symbols enables you to use pattern written in any possible terminology! Visuals particularly benefit from the simplicity that charts bring to the patterns. The successful combination of chart meaning and written instructions offers better perception of what the author wants a crafter to do. The skill to properly follow the pattern helps guarantee that the completed item is going to be amazing! You spend so much time looking for the proper item. As you’ve managed to break the code, you can start crocheting!

Download printable crochet symbols

All patterns are free at the MyCrochetPattern. To download in pdf you do not need to register on the site – just press the button below.

If you have any questions regarding how to crochet, how to use hooks or how to open a pdf scheme and how to read it – go to the section for beginners.

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  1. Olga Cecilia Montoya R.

    Hola, muy bueno el tutorial , ojalá hayan más. Sería posible que los símbolos para el ganchillo se publicaran también en español? Mil gracias por su labor educativa

  2. Gloria Rhoades h

    I’ve been waiting for the right thing to come along to get back in to crochet I think maybe this will help

  3. Olga author

    to: Olga Cecilia Montoya R.
    Thank you for your kind words
    The infographic with crochet attributes in Spanish in on the way. I just need to learn your beautiful language a bit.

  4. Olga author

    to: Gloria Rhoades h
    It means a lot to me. Thanks
    If you have any troubles regarding crocheting or crochet symbols – fell free to ask. I would love to help

  5. Angela

    I’m trying to write out a graph pattern and I can’t figure out the symbols. Not sure what language it is in and there is no translation button for the notes. But just looking at the symbol conversion chart don’t help because the symbols in the graph aren’t on the chart.
    Is there some where else to get a chart that would help?

  6. Olga author

    The upper part – “symbols” – shows different crochet symbols and their names. By learning them you can “read” any crochet scheme. On my website you can find a lot of posts about how to crochet every one of them.
    The second part – “terms” – is the list of abbreviations and often used terms so you can better understand the schemes for crocheting.
    If you have any troubles with reading your scheme – feel free to send it to me and I’ll help you to read it.

  7. Tricia Allen

    do u think u can send this to me to my email?
    Thank You,

  8. Maria

    Is there some way to make this chart so it can be printed? I tried to copy and paste but can’t make it fit w/o having to reduce to super tiny print because it won’t fit on one page. Would be great to have this ref chart in the front of my patterns book

  9. Olga author

    The email with the infographic is sent. Let me know if I can do something else for you.

  10. Olga author

    I have made a printable version of this crochet pattern graph. The link is on the page.
    If you have any problem regarding this infographic – please let me know.

  11. Mariana Mill

    Thank you so much; it makes it easier with this to find what a symbol means.

  12. Jill Marra

    Thank you so much for the thorough list of crochet symbols. I can not find any tutorial or written explanation for the doble Y stitch or the doble treble crochet Y stitch. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  13. Charlotte Amodeo

    Thank you for the printable.

  14. Olga author

    Always welcome!

  15. Olga author

    Thank you for the feedback.
    The tutorial for those stitches would be ready in a few days!

  16. Julie Cover

    Any ideas on where I can find a Russian to English crochet symbols chart?

  17. Olga author

    I don’t really understand what are you looking for. Could you please tell me more?
    The chart in this post contains all crochet symbols and abbreviations that I found translated to English (including Russian-English translation).

  18. Zelda Kugel

    I have a crochet pattern that was made in 1931 and I do not really under stand what they mean, here is an example: One space, 3 bars 1 space 4 tr, how do you do a bar and a treble stitch I know the space says to chain 5 miss 5 and there should be 51 open lacets or bars this was my Grandmothers pattern and she is not with us anymore and I would love to make this . Please help if you can. Thank you

  19. Olga author

    I’ll try to help you, but it’s hard to understand the meaning of your example without the whole pattern. If you could send me the pattern, I’ll try to help. You can send the pattern here –

  20. Barbara Shewbridge

    what does this mean?
    (1sc, np)*3 (9)