A Glossary of Crochet Terms

A glossary of crochet terms

There are some funky crochet terms out there, but there’s meanings for all of them. I won’t be covering stitch names here, just terms that apply to crocheting in general.

Whether you’re a beginner or a crochet veteran I hope this list of 20 crochet terms will help you!

  1. 1 Row Repeat : If a stitch is done using the same repetitive pattern on each row it is considered a one row repeat. This is still the case even if there is a set up row that has to be done first as long as after the set up each row is the same.

Used in a sentence: The 3D stitch is an easy one row repeat that you can get lost in.

2. 2 Row Repeat : If a stitch is done using the same 2 repetitive patterns, one on each row, it is considered a 2 row repeat. This is still the case, even if there is a set up row that has to be done first.
Used in a sentence: This cable stitch is a 2 row repeat.


3. Amigurumi : {Ahh-mee-goo-Loo-mee}, is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. The word is a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning “crocheted/knitted”, and nuigurumi, meaning “stuffed doll”. This is a huge craze as you can make some amazingly accurate creature, plus it gives you the ability to be creative with your style and preferences. The items made are usually 3D and worked in the round.

Used in a sentence: I made a amigurumi ornament yesterday.

4. Back Ridge : A back ridge, or the back bone, is usually in reference to the back of a chain. It has a bumpy line of yarn that can be used instead of one of the loops that form the top “V”.

Used in a sentence: Turn your chain over and go into the 2nd back ridge from the hook.

5. Chain/Stitch Space : This is the hole in the top or middle of each stitch that is made by the last yarn over pull through. A chain space is when you do a chain or a series of chains in the place of a stitch, you would insert your hook into the empty space and work around the chain.

Used in a sentence: Make a single crochet in the chain space.

6. Decrease : This is when you are reducing the amount of stitches in a row, normally using the 2 together method. There are a few ways to do the 2 together, but this is the common single crochet one: Insert your hook into a stitch space, pull up a loop, insert your hook into the next stitch space, pull up a loop, yarn over and draw through all 3 loops.

Used in a sentence: Make a decrease every 3rd stitch on the 9th row.

7. Felting : I’m talking about this term specifically for crocheting purposes. It is when you crochet something out of wool, in a larger size then you desire your finished piece, and then use a washing machine, on the hot water setting, to “felt” the project, which condenses the fabric, making it denser and more durable. If you are interested in this, please look up a tutorial with step by step instruction as different brands and percentages of wool will give you different results.

Used in a sentence: I forgot to wash my wool pot holder in cold water and ended up felting it…

8. Font/ Back : There is always technicality a front and a back of the work. On some stitches, like the alpine stitch, it’s especially noticeable, however it’s a little harder to discern when it’s something like a single crochet which is basically reversible. If your using a pattern or a tutorial for a stitch then it should tell you which is the “right” side, if you’re working on something on your own just remember what side you liked better by seeing which direction the tail is facing.

Used in a sentence: I think I like the back of this pieces better..

9. Frogging : This is the act of pulling out your stitches, usually when you’ve made a mistake or are finished with a swatch and don’t want to waste yarn. In extreme cases when you find a beautiful stitch that is a yarn eater and definitely do not have enough to complete the project you wanted.

Used in a sentence: I frogged 12 rows because I noticed I skipped a stitch.

10. Gauge or Tension : These terms mean the same thing, but one is a U.S. term, the other is U.K. Whenever gauge is mentioned it’s talking about how loose or tight your stitches are for a project. When reading a pattern it may say, 10 sc by 14 rows in a 4″× 4″ square (10 × 10 cm) using a size L hook. This means that if you measure your swatch and it doesn’t fit those dimensions you need to fix the tension you’re putting on your yarn. An easy fix if you know you tend to do tighter or looser stitches over all is to change the hook size higher or lower.

Used in a sentence: My gauge was a bit tight, I had 16 sc in 4 inches instead of 10.

11. Increase: This is when you are raising the number of stitches in a row, usually making two stitches in one stitch space on the previous row.

Used in a sentence: Make an increase every 3rd stitch on the 4th row.

12. In The Round : This means that there are no “ends” on the project, it can be done in a continuous spiral or in rows that join and use chains to gain the appropriate height for the next row.

Used in a sentence: I made a no sew crocheted doll completely in the round!

13. Joining : This is normally in reference to sewing crocheted pieces together, whether they be granny squares or attaching limbs for amigurumi.

Used in a sentence: I’m joining the granny squares together using a yarn needle.

14. Joining (In the round) : This is specifically for connecting the last stitch in the row with the first, usually using a slip stitch.

Used in a sentence: Join the last stitch to the first and chain 1 to start the next row.

15. Pull Up a Loop : Or draw up a loop, this is when you put your hook into a stitch, yarn over, and bring the loop through the stitch. The loop can, from that point, sit on the hook, or be pulled through, depending on the stitch/ pattern.

Used in a sentence: Insert your hook into a stitch and pull up a loop, yarn over and draw through all the loops on your hook.

16. Reversible : This is usually in reference to the work looking the same on both sides instead of having a pretty front side and an odd looking back side.

Used in a sentence: The cable stitch scarf I’m working on is not reversible, it looks odd on the back!

17. Tie Off : This is an extremely common term that is in reference to cutting and securing the end of your yarn so that it doesn’t unravel. There are a few methods, but I normally, cut the yarn, pull the loop through, put my hook through the loop, pull it all the through, and tighten it, then weave in the end.

Used in a sentence: When you reach the end of this row, tie off and weave in the ends.

18. Weaving : This is usually in reference to taking the tail of your yarn and using a yarn needle to hide the tail in your work by going between the stitches for the length of the yarn or if it too long at least 6 inches and then snipping the end once it’s secure.

Used in a sentence: Weaving in your ends is a pain.

19. Work : Whenever you hear a reference to “your work” or “the work”, it’s talking about what you’ve crocheted so far. You may also hear, “working yarn”, this is specifically the yarn that you are drawing from for your project.

Used in a sentence: Turn your work over, chain 2, and start your next row.

20. Yarn Over : This is what it’s called when you wrap yarn around your hook.

Used in a sentence: Yarn over twice and insert your hook into the next stitch.

If there’s a crochet term that you don’t know and it wasn’t in this list, drop it in the comments and I’ll see if I can help you!

If you knew all 20, awesome! Which term do you think is the weirdest? I personally think frogging is a bit odd…

3 thoughts on “A Glossary of Crochet Terms

    1. I would have to see the pattern to be sure, but I would think that “set up” it referring to the initial rows or rounds in the pattern. For example, you need to make a set up row of double crochets before you can make the alpine stitch. I hope that helps!

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