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Crochet Term Dictionary

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A portmanteau of the words “plastic” and “yarn,” plarn is yarn made out of plastic bags and used to make items such as rugs and bags. A popular use of plarn is to make mats for the homeless.


Popcorn stitch
(pc st, pc, pop, ps)

Front Popcorn - Make 5 dc in one stitch (or sp). Take your loop off of your hook (be careful not to stretch the loop). Insert hook in the top of the first of your 5dc. Then re-insert it into the loop of the last dc (where you took it out). Draw that loop through the loop on hook. Some add a chain 1 here to secure.

The Back Popcorn would be worked the same, except you would re-insert hook in the first stitch from back to front.

For pictures demonstrating how to make st and written instructions please see tutorial in Special Stitches.



A picot is essentially a loop made with chain stitches which gives a decorate edge to your piece, it can be made with any number of chains but the most common is ch-3.

Instructions: ch 3, join with sl st in the 3rd ch from hk


Pie crust stitch
also called:
Crab stitch
Shrimp stitch
Italian edge
Reverse single crochet

See “reverse single crochet.”


Post stitch

Basis of FPdc and BPdc. Means to work around post of stitch in the row or rows below.


Puff stitch

Version A:
YO, insert hk in st,
YO, pull loop through and bring up even with st,
(YO, insert hk in same st, YO, pull loop through) twice (7 loops on hook),
YO and draw through all loops on hook.
Note: If you want a larger puff, do the repeat 3 or 4 times rather than twice. If you do it 3x you will have 9 loops on hook, etc.

Version B:
YO, insert hk in st,
YO, pull loop through and bring up even with st,
(YO, insert hk in same st, YO, pull loop through) twice (7 loops on hook),
yo and draw through 6 loopson hook, yo, draw through rem 2 lps on hk

I personally prefer Version A, though sometimes I will make the puff larger. The reason is because then you have one "loop" for the puff, rather than two as you’ll have if you do the extra yo and draw through. This makes it easier to recognize where to put your hook when continuing, IMO.

For more info on the Puff Stitch, please see Tutorial section.


also called:
Backwards sc
Inverse sc

This phrase was coined by Dee Stanziano. It is another term for  “backwards sc.”


Reverse afghan stitch (RAS)

Use this stitch on your first row of Afghan Stitch project to help with the curling effect. Instead of the front vertical bar, place your hook behind your work, in the back vertical bar.



There are probably hundreds of different types of ripples. Sometimes it might be called a chevron. It can be a deep ripple or a mild ripple.

From my tutorial on the ripple: There are a lot of different ripple patterns, as evidenced by the book 101 Ripple Stitches by ASN (a book of both knit and crochet ripple stitch patterns). However, they all have a few things in common. There’s always going to be some sort of "hill" and some sort of "valley", whether it be in single crochet, double crochet, V stitches or whatever. They may be fashioned differently, using different stitches or combination of stitches.


Round (rnd)

A round is what your row is called when you are working in a circle or square.



A row is worked from right to left (if you are right handed) as you complete new stitches. An exception to this is the reverse single crochet which is worked left to right.

You generally chain at the end of a row to bring your stitch height up to the new stitches.


Reverse single crochet
also called:
Crab stitch
Shrimp stitch
Italian edge
Pie crust stitch

After completing a row of single crochet, do not turn the work around. Working from left to right,chain one (for working room), insert the hook into the next stitch to the right, yo and draw up a long loop. (Keep the length of loop consistent through your row). Yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook.


Right side (rs)

The front of your project.


also called:
Mini-granny square

Two rounds of the basic granny square is called a Saltine. I have also heard this called a mini granny square. I found 16 times around my ruler was sufficient for worsted weight yarn. See tutorial on yo-yos etc. for more info.


Single crochet (sc)

Insert hook into stitch, under top two loops unless otherwise specified, yo, pull through stitch, yo, and pull through remaining 2 loops.


Single crochet 2 together (sc2tog)
also called:
Single crochet decrease (sc dec)

Insert hook into st and draw up a loop. Insert hook into next st and draw up a loop. Yarn over, draw through all 3 loops on hook.

See decrease chart on site.


Single crochet through back loop only (sctbl or sctblo)

Insert hook into stitch, under back loop only, yo, pull through stitch, yo, and pull through remaining 2 loops.


also called:
Freeform crochet

Freeform is exactly what it sounds like. You make pieces of crochet of any shape or size and put them all together into one piece. This can be planned or unplanned.


Sedge stitch

Procedure: (sc, hdc, dc) in same stitch.

I have also seen it written as (sc, 2 dc).


Shallow single crochet (ssc)

This stitch bears a resemblance to the long sc but is worked on the same row, rather than the row below. Insert hook under the stitch (on the same row) and work a single crochet -- yo, pull through st, yo, pull through both loops on hook


Shepherd’s knitting
also called:
Afghan stitch
Tunisian crochet
Tricot crochet
Hook knitting
Railroad knitting

See “Afghan stitch.”


Shell stitch

A shell is simply a group of stitches, usually double crochet but it could be another stitch. For example, 3dc might equal 1 shell. In another pattern, 5 dc might equal 1 shell.


Short double crochet (sdc)

note: Some use this as another name for half double crochet (hdc)

Note: I have seen this stitch described two ways.

Method One (same as a hdc):
yo, insert hook into top two loops of stitch,
yo, pull through stitch (3 lps on hook),
yo, pull through all 3 loops on hook.

Method Two (same as extended sc):
Insert hook into top two loops of stitch,
yo, pull through (2 lps on hook),
yo, pull through ONE loop (2 loops on hook),
yo, pull through remaining 2 loops.


Shrimp stitch

See “reverse single crochet.”


Skill level

Advanced beginner

Sometimes a designer will make a notation on the pattern as to the skill level needed to complete the pattern. The designer of the pattern, of course, determines what skill level he or she chooses to put on it, if any. I normally don’t put skill levels on my patterns though I have on a few of them. This is particularly because it means different things to different people. What you feel is easy might be hard to someone else.  You might also remember that being ABLE to do something and wanting to do it or wanting to take the time to mess with it are not the same thing. You might have the skill to do it, but it may not be something you are interested in doing.

CYCA has guidelines on their web site, but I have a different unofficial set of guidelines listed on the Reading Patterns page. Bendy Carter (author of Crochet on the Edge) posted these on one of my crochet lists and I loved them so much I got permission to repost. These are not "official" but they are good. :-)


Slip knot (sl knot)

Make a circle and drop the loop behind it.
Leave at least a 6" piece dangling.
Slip your hook under the loop you dropped behind your circle. Pull on the two ends to tighten.


Slip stitch (sl st)
bss (back loop slip stitch)
fss (front loop slip stitch)

The sl st adds no height to your row or round - insert hk into st, yo and draw through st and lp on hk.


Solomon’s knot
also called:
Lover’s knot

This is an interesting stitch. It is actually just a single crochet on top of a chain, but the chain is longer than normal. Here’s how to work it: Make one chain stitch, bring your loop up about an inch, yo, and draw through again (another chain stitch), here’s the tricky part - you will insert hook between the two threads that make up your long loop (sort of in back of the thread) - like when you work into the back hump of a foundation chain, then you will complete the stitch as a single crochet. This is easiest to see in pictures and video.


Space (sp)

A space can be made by making chains rather than stitches, sometimes skipping a stitch also.


Split single crochet

Work a single crochet in the vertical bar of the stitch on the previous row, rather than in the top loops of that stitch.


Spider stitch

There are many variations of the spider stitch. Generally speaking, you are working into a row of stitches, creating "spider legs" with a combination of stitches of different heights.

Here is an example of the way I do it:
Spider Stitch Row 1: 19 dc
Spider Stitch Row 2: dc in ea of next 4 dc, ch 4, (sk 1, tr) 4x, ch 4, sk 1, dc in each of last 5 dc, ch 2 or 3, turn (10 dc, 4 tr)
Spider Stitch Rows 3-5: dc in ea of next 4 dc, ch 4, sc in each of next 4 tr, ch 4, dc in each of last 5 dc, ch 2 or 3, turn (10 dc, 4 sc)
Spider Stitch Row 6: dc in ea of next 4 dc, ch 1, (tr in next sc, ch 1) 4x, dc in each of last 5 dc, ch 2 or 3, turn (10 dc, 4 tr)
Spider Stitch Row 7: dc in ea dc and ch-1 space across, ch 2 or 3, turn (19 dc)

The number of stitches before and after the "spider" can be whatever number you choose. Also, you can use fewer or more stitches and fewer or more rows as long as your work doesn’t bunch up or ruffle. Experiment to find what works best for you.


Spike stitch
also called:
Long stitch

Insert your hook on the row below the row you are working on, and continue making your single crochet (you can vary the length of the stitch by going two or more rows below).


Straight box stitch

Row 1: Chain a multiple of 4, work 3 double crochets in 4th chain from hook,  * skip 3 chains, (single crochet in next chain, chain 2, 3 double crochets in same stitch), repeat from * to last 4 chains, skip 3 chains, end 1 single crochet in last stitch

Row 2: chain 2 or 3 (whatever brings you up to the right height), turn, 3 double crochet in space between last single crochet and box of previous row, * insert hook in chain-3 space, work (single crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochets) in same space, repeat from * ending with 1 single crochet in top of chain 3.



Some patterns use symbols to represent stitches rather than abbreviations. Also, European terms differ slightly from U.S. terms. See the conversion chart under Resources.



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Copyright 1997 - 2016 by Sandra Petit. All rights reserved.

Crochet Cabana created October 1997 (domain name purchased March 2001)
Crochet Cabana’s Crafty Corral begun November 7, 2004.
The Crochet Cabana Blog begun May 2010.
Site update November 18, 2012.