Vintage Crochet Terms Translated


Hope you are all having fun with our Revive-A-Vintage Contest! The first random drawing prize is this Friday. To be eligible for that you just have to get your project started in ravelry (and tagged). 

Vinatge Crochet Instructions

Need some help translating crochet terms? Yeah me too. To the uninitiated, a modern crochet pattern can look like a secret spy code. If you start mucking around with decades old vintage patterns, it gets even worse. You’re bound to run across a term or two that will leave you scratching your head. Hopefully this will help all you hookers out their hooking it vintage style!

Jenn’s By No Means Complete Guide to Vintage Crochet Terms

Part of the trouble crocheters have is that names for stitches and techniques change over time. I guess that can’t be helped. More trouble comes from US crocheters and UK crocheters using different terms for the same stitch. That’s just stone cold stupid in my opinion. But nobody asked me. They never do.

This list isn’t complete. It just has the terms I’ve managed to figure out. If you don’t find what you need here, I’ve included some links at the bottom that I have bookmarked and use when I need to hunt something up. Or you can post a question in the comment section and maybe someone smarter than me will jump in and answer!

Name (symbol)

Name (symbol)


chain (ch) chain (ch) chain
slip stitch (sl st) or (sl) slip stitch (sl st) single stitch
single crochet (sc) double crochet (dc) plain
double crochet (dc) treble crochet (tr) trebles
half double crochet (hdc) half treble crochet (htr) counterpane stitch
triple crochet (trc) double treble crochet (dtr) long stitch
yarn over (yo) yarn over hook (yoh)
yarn round hook (yrh)
wool/thread around hook
skip miss


Some general terms you might find in vintage patterns:

ac = across

beg = beginning

bgr = beginning of round

bl = back loop (but sometimes in older patterns in can also mean bobble)

cl = cluster

c.m – closed mesh, seen in some vintage patterns as a way to describe the closed stitches in fillet crochet

fl = front loop

foll/folls = following/follows

indl = including

o.m. = open mesh, seen in some vintage patterns as a way to describe the open stitches in fillet crochet

p/pc = picot

prr = previous round

raised stitch = a front post stitch of some sort, usually a treble crochet (UK)

rf = repeat from

x/x st = a treble crochet (UK) cross stitch


(Want to take this with you? All of our pages have a handy “Print & PDF” button in the lower left.)


Places to Go for More Help:

Yarn Forward Crochet Conversion Chart

Aberrant Crochet – American vs. European

Encyclopedia of Needlework, chapter 9

Simply Crochet Magazine – UK and US crochet conversion chart

This post is part of our series on Revive-A-Vintage!, a contest that runs from March 6 to April 15 (2015). We are challenging you to take a pattern, picture, style, etc from 40 years ago or more and make it. And if you do… there are prizes to be had. Its not to late to get started!

The page with all the contest info

♦ A post with lots of sources for free, on-line vintage patterns

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"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen

12 Comments on "Vintage Crochet Terms Translated"

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What about knitting terms.


ppfft! Knitters are on their own!

Not really. I hope to have a knitter-vintage-translation posty up tomorrow.


AH! Counterpane stitch had me flummoxed!! Thank you! 🙂


You are welcome! So glad I could help.


I’m working on one that’s in UK terms – spent half an hour trying to figure out what wrh (wool round hook) meant, lol!


Those UK crocheters are tricksy! Hope you are having more fun than frustration.

Julia - Aberrant Crochet

Thank you for the link back and mention! 🙂


You are most welcome! Love your site.

Julia - Aberrant Crochet

Thank you so much! 🙂


HELP! Can anyone please explain the term: “pick drop”? And the following command to “pick up”?