Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Stitch comparisons or, "why I prefer traditional English crochet terms"

This sounds like a dry topic, and perhaps it is.  Nevertheless, I hope this post will clear up a bit of confusion surrounding UK and US crochet terms.

The abbreviations you are about to see are spoken as follows:
slst = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
hdc = half-double crochet
htr = half-treble crochet
tr = treble crochet
dtr = double-treble crochet
trtr = treble-treble crochet

Confusingly, there are two different sets of terminology for crochet stitches and although the stitches themselves are similar, and the stitch names are similar, the mapping of name-to-stitch is different on opposite sides of the pond.  Nice.

Never fear, I am hear to save you with my handy comparison table, which also shows how to make each stitch:
Clicky on the image to enlarge it!

That's not all!  My handy table also aims to persuade you why I'll be sticking to ye traditional UK terms.  More of this in a moment.

Firstly, there is such a thing as a single crochet stitch in UK terms.  The terms "sc" and "slst" are both used in the UK to mean the same thing.  The use of "sc" is more traditional, whereas "slst" is a more modern usage. If you look up some conversion resourses, you’ll find both are given, see:
yarn forward
fresh stitches
amy’s odyssey
I’ve certainly seen UK patterns written with both versions. I prefer to use conversions from the “Happy Hooker Stitch’n’Bitch” book, which states US slst -> UK sc; US sc -> UK dc.

The reason I prefer the UK terms (and the traditional ones at that) is this:

The UK “single”, “double”, “treble” prefixes indicate how many times you wrap-and-pull your yarn through the loops on your hook; this makes it easy to remember.  If you don't believe me, see the bottom section of my table!  It's not quite true for the taller stitches, but they're not often used anyway.

In addition, it feels odd to me to skip straight to “double” with no “single” crochet in the list. So I stick the the traditional English version when I write my patterns, and then convert to US afterwards, through the magic of LaTeX command definitions.

1 comment:

  1. Thanking you muchly, now lazy people like me do not have to read so much in books to work this out! Yes, I agree UK makes more sense in this way.