Begin to Crochet!

crocheted afghan for a wedding
A crocheted wedding gift of wool and mohair.

I love to crochet afghans. I made quite a few since I was about 19 years old after my mother-in-law taught me. I’m not an expert, but I enjoy it occasionally and make a few items that I proudly gift.

Crochet is an old craft however not as old as knitting. Crochet derives from the French word ‘crochet’ and means “hook.” How appropriate! There are two main types of crochet. One is ordinary or regular crochet, and the other is Tunisian or Afghan crochet.

Materials and Equipment for Crochet

Crochet hooks and yarn, thread or floss are the common materials that are used to crochet. There are so many uses for crochet that the material used to crochet depends on the purpose.

Clothing, edgings (particularly on linen), as well as household furnishings, are very attractive. We crochet rugs and mats with wool or cut strips of fabric, and we use plastic or cording for shopping bags. The material chosen depends on the utilization of the final product.

There are two types of crochet hooks – an ordinary hook is for regular crochet. An elongated hook that looks like a longer regular hook has a stopper on the end. It is called an Afghan hook.

Crochet Hook Sizes and Conversion Chart

Metric  (mm)                   US                         Canadian/UK

2.0                                    –                                 14

2.25                                 B/1                               13

2.5                                     –                                12

2.75                                 C/2                                –

3.0                                    –                                 11

3.25                                 D/3                               10

3.5                                   E/4                               9

3.75                                 F/5                                –

4.0                                   G/6                               8

4.5                                     7                                  7

5.0                                    H/8                               6

5.5                                     I/9                                5

6.0                                    J/10                               4

6.5                                   K/10 1/2                          3

7.0                                       –                                 2

8.0                                     L/11                               0

9.0                                     M/13                             00

10.0                                    N/15                             000


The terminology can vary from person to person and from book to book. We’ve attempted to provide you with the meaning of the abbreviations so you can read and understand the directions.

American                           British                           Term

beg                                                                        beginning

bl                                                                           block (solid mesh)

ch                                                                          chain, chain stitch

cl                                                                           cluster

dec                                                                         decrease

dc, d.c                                tr                                 double crochet

dtr, d tr, or dbl tr             tr tr                              double treble crochet

hdc, h dc, or h.d.c                                 half double crochet

incl                                                                         inclusive

inc                                                                          increase

lp                                                                            loop

pat                                                                          pattern

p or P                                                                      picot

pc st                                                                        popcorn stitch

(asterisk)* () (Parentheses)                                  repeat

rnd                                                                          round

sc, s. cr                                 dc                              single crochet

sk                                                                            skip

sl st or ss                              sc                               slip stitch

sp                                                                            space (open mesh)

st                                                                             stitch

sts                                                                           stitches

tog                                                                           together

tr                   long or double treble-dbl tr            treble or triple

tr tr                         quad tr                                    treble or triple treble

O, yo, or yoh                                                           yarn over hook

N.B. Please note that the terms sometimes change when written for a British Market or you have an antique pattern. Beware. But begin to crochet.

Author: Karen Monteith

Karen is a writer, needle artist, nature lover and gardener who loves to share such information and to encourage the needle arts.

4 thoughts on “Begin to Crochet!”

  1. another wonderful article…thank you…

    yesterday I said I have never really been able to develop and interest for knitting. My moms mom loved knitting and quilting

    I do however have good and warm thoughts about crocheting. However the last time I crocheted anything was an afghan for my grandmother. Sadly she passed away before it was completed. It was a multi-blue granny square afghan and I still have the pieces which I still use to this day as doilies. My dads mom loved to crochet.

    I love to quilt…lol

    1. I am sure you could do it. Crochet is easy and relaxing once you know the stitches you need to do. If you live close enough to your Grandma, the granny square afghan, as in the picture on the post is an easy one to start. If she crochets, she could show you the stitch to do that very easily. It is the same stitch throughout, with two stitches in one space to make the corners.

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