Something I’ve realised with my last two crochet projects is that I’ve unwittingly learned the same stitch under two different names. Just as there’s differing terms for yarn weight, the UK and US have different crochet stitch terms and it can get incredibly confusing – especially if it’s not clear from the pattern which terminology is being used. Crochet patterns can be hard enough to read as a dyslexic without throwing another curveball into the mix!
Admittedly I’m at the stage where I still have to relearn stitches when I start a new project, simply because I get so used to using a stitch and then forget what to do for other stitch types. However, having learned how to do one stitch under both the terms double crochet and treble crochet, plus another under the terms single crochet and double crochet, you can see why I’ve been getting confused.
It’s more than just these two examples too. Things start getting confusing quite quickly, with terms like double treble crochet meaning the same stitch as either treble crochet or triple treble crochet, depending on which country’s terms you’re using.
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UK vs US Crochet Terminology / Nomenclature
|UK Terminology||US Terminology|
|Double crochet||Single crochet|
|Half treble crochet||Half double crochet|
|Treble crochet||Double crochet|
|Double treble crochet||Treble crochet|
|Triple treble crochet||Double treble crochet|
|Raised treble [front/back]||[Back/front] post double crochet|
It seems I’ve mostly been using patterns with American terminology thus far, as I’ve learned both back and front post double crochet, as well as their single and double crochet. I’ve also unwittingly learned the double single crochet stitch after misreading the instructions for one pattern, which listed UK terms then US terms in brackets immediately after the UK terms.
I’ve recently come to read a pattern for a Christmas present I’m intending to make and been intimidated by the need to learn both raised treble front and raised double treble front, only to realise (thanks to a “crochet basics” section in the back of Inside Crochet magazine which listed both UK and US terminology alongside each other as I’ve done above) that I’ve already learned raised treble front when I made my soap saver, since that used front post double crochet.
It’s times like these that I really wish that Britain and America would just standardise their terminology!
Double crochet // Single crochet
This is perhaps the most basic of crochet stitches and it’s used in a lot of patterns – even those marked as intermediate will sometimes use this as the standard stitch. It’s also a stitch you’ll see commonly in patterns for toys and amigurumi, as it forms a small knot shape which is great for keeping stuffing in!
To complete a double crochet, chain two then insert your crochet hook into the second chain from the hook (this is the first chain stitch you made). Yarn over hook and draw through the chain stitch so you have two loops on your hook. Yarn over hook once more and draw through both loops. Done!
I’ve noticed that double crochet decrease stitches can be written in quite a confusing manner, yet they’re equally as simple once you work out how to do them. Insert your hook into the stitch from the previous row (just underneath where the stitch forms a chain on top, there’s a little gap and this is where you want to insert your hook), yarn over hook and draw a loop through. Now insert your hook into the next stitch along, yarn over hook and draw through. You’ll now have three loops on your hook. Yarn over once more and draw through all three loops.
Half treble crochet // Half double crochet
Half treble stitches are also used quite often, so this is another staple stitch. There isn’t such a thing as a half double crochet in British terminology, so if you see a pattern working up in half double crochet, you know this is a pattern using American terms.
To begin with, chain three and yarn over hook. Insert your hook into the third chain from hook and yarn over hook. Draw through the stitch so you have three loops on your hook, yarn over hook again and draw through all three loops. Done! Like the double crochet, it’s a nice simple stitch that gets used quite a bit.
Treble crochet // Double crochet
Treble crochet is quite a nice stitch for making patterns with, as it’s tall and reasonably slim. It’s also obvious if you make a mistake with your stitches in treble crochet, which is easy to do if you’re starting to get tired, as it’ll stand crooked or look knotted. I found the easiest mistake I was making was to start a new stitch while in the middle of one (so when I still had two loops on the hook), and this was happening simply through lack of concentration or tiredness.
To make a treble crochet, chain four, yarn over hook and then insert your hook into the fourth chain from hook. Yarn over hook again and draw through so you have three loops on your hook. Yarn over hook again and draw through the first two loops. Yarn over hook once more and draw through the remaining two loops.
Double treble crochet // Treble crochet
Now things start to get really confusing if you aren’t sure which terminology is being used. If you have a pattern and you aren’t sure if it’s a British double treble crochet or an American one, the best thing to do is message the designer and ask.
To make a double treble crochet, chain five and yarn over hook twice. This looks as though you’re wrapping your yarn around your hook. Insert your hook into the fifth chain from hook, yarn over hook and draw through so you have four loops on your hook. Yarn over hook and draw through two loops, then yarn over hook again and draw through two more loops. Yarn over hook one last time and draw through the remaining two loops.
If you’re in need of a really clear tutorial on how to make this stitch, I’d recommend watching Happy Berry Crochet’s one.
Triple treble crochet // Double treble crochet
Triple treble crochet is a very tall, slim stitch. I’ve not yet used this stitch so I had to look it up and follow Hopeful Honey’s tutorial on how to make it.
To begin with, chain six. Yarn over hook three times, then insert your hook into the sixth chain from hook. Yarn over hook and draw through, so you now have five loops on your hook. Yarn over hook and draw through two loops, leaving four loops on your hook. Yarn over hook again and draw through two loops, leaving three loops on your hook. Yarn over hook again and draw through two loops, leaving two loops on your hook. Yarn over hook one last time and draw through two loops to finish the stitch.
You may have noticed that as the stitch gets more complicated with more steps to complete it, you need more chains to begin with. This is because your stitch is also getting taller – you can’t start a tall stitch like triple treble crochet from two chains as it would curl around instead of standing its full height.
Raised treble [front/back] // [Front/back] post double crochet
Okay so this stitch is one that seems to confuse a lot of people, but it’s surprisingly straightforward if you already know how to do a treble crochet. The two names for this stitch are descriptive of how it looks and how to perform the stitch – it produces a raised effect and also involves inserting your hook around the centre of the previous row’s stitch (which does look a little like a post). The front or back part of the name describes which direction you insert your hook from (for back, you insert from the wrong side, for front you insert from the right side, as this stitch does produce a right and wrong side).
To make this stitch, you’ll need to stitch a row of ordinary treble crochets first, so that you have something to stitch into. Chain three, yarn over hook and (for raised treble front) insert your hook into the stitch from the front, alongside the post of the stitch. Instead of yarning over your hook like you would a regular treble crochet, you’re going to bring your hook back out of the stitch on the other side, so that the treble crochet is now on your hook a bit like a loop. Now you yarn over hook and you draw the yarn right though so you are back in the position you would be if you’re completing a regular treble crochet. Finish the treble crochet as you would normally (yarn over hook, draw through two loops, yarn over hook again and draw through the remaining two loops). The process is exactly the same for raised treble back – you just insert your hook from the back instead of the front.
If you’re making a project which uses both front and back stitches, I find it helps make things easier to remember that in raised treble front, the stitch you’re working in will sit in front of your hook while in raised treble back stitches it will sit behind your hook. It’s an easy visual aid to remember which one you’re doing. Check out this tutorial by Dora Does for a really easy to understand tutorial on how to make this stitch.
Raised double treble [front/back] // [Front/back] post treble crochet
If a project calls for a raised double treble [front/back] stitch, or a [front/back] post treble crochet, it’s the exact same process as described above when it comes to the ‘post’ part. Just be aware that some video tutorials (and therefore in all likelihood, some patterns) actually mix British and American terminology – so they might call for a “[front/back] post double treble” stitch (most of the Youtube tutorials I’ve seen with this stitch name have “(UK)” written after the stitch, so you know it’s a UK double treble). If anything, this just makes the confusion around terminology even worse, so please please get your terms right for the country whose terms you’re working in if you decide to start designing your own patterns (and to designers who use this confusing and incorrect terminology, please correct it!)
To make a raised double treble stitch, as with a raised treble, you will need a row of regular stitches to work into. Yarn over hook twice and (for the raised front stitch) insert your hook into the front of the stitch and come back out of the other side of the stitch. Yarn over hook and draw it through the stitch so that you’re back in the position of a normal double treble crochet with four loops on your hook. Yarn over hook and draw through two loops, then yarn over hook again and draw through two more loops. Yarn over your hook one last time and draw through the remaining two loops. The process is exactly the same for raised double treble back – as with raised treble, you simply go into the stitch from the back instead of the front.
If you need a good video tutorial for this stitch to see how it’s done, I’d recommend this one by Leisure Arts Inc – they are American, so using the “front post treble” terminology, but it’s shown and explained really well.
Miss // Skip
While not a stitch, this is a term which will giveaway which terminology a pattern uses if it isn’t clear. You’ll see this term mostly on patterns with a lace design, as missing stitches will help to form the pattern of the lace.
These are just the basics
Now these aren’t the only stitches in crochet by any means, and it’s quite likely that there are more which have two terms for the same stitch. I’m not yet at the stage of learning more complex stitches so it would be useless for me to try and explain how to crochet these stitches – I had to do this with the triple treble crochet in this post as it’s kind of a core stitch for beginners to learn and I need to know how to do it myself.
Something which you may find useful is to use what’s known as a “stitch bible” – or in other words, a book containing lots of different stitch types for you to refer to when you aren’t sure. Many of you in the UK will be very familiar with the simplicity and clarity of books published by Dorling Kindersley, so you’ll likely find The Crochet Book a handy reference for different stitches and techniques. Another great book to use as a stitch bible is Modern Crochet Bible by Sarah Shrimpton, as it’s got over 100 stitches and explains how to use these for different styles of crochet, including filet, Tunisian and mosaic, among others.
I’ve tried to write the instructions for each stitch as clearly and descriptively as I can – and I’ve avoided using abbreviations to make it clearer to read. Hopefully this helps to clear up any confusion you might have about these stitches (it’s certainly helped me just by writing it).