Some common crochet abbreviations include "beg," which means beginning, "blp," which means back loop only, and "ch," which means chain. Other common crochet abbreviations include "dtr," which means double triple crochet, "hdc," which means half double crochet, "pat," which means pattern and "sl st," which means slip stitch.
Many crochet stitches appear in pattern instructions as abbreviations to save space. For instance, "sc" may appear throughout the directions instead of single crochet, which is the meaning of "sc." The abbreviation "sp" is for space, and the term instructs users to insert a crochet hook in the space between two stitches, rather than into the stitches themselves. In patterns, these abbreviations do not have a period after them, which helps to keep the instructions free of clutter.
One common addition to these abbreviations is a hyphen, and many instructions use a hyphen when referring to the chain loop. This denotes the number of chains in the loop, for instance, "ch-5" means the chain loop has five chain stitches. This helps to differentiate the direction from "ch 5," which would mean the person crocheting would make a chain of five chain stitches.
There are also patterns that combine many basic stitches to form a complex stitch, and these may have their own abbreviation. However, these are not standard from pattern to pattern, so it is important to check the pattern key before beginning the project.
U.K. crochet patterns use many of the same abbreviations, but the terms refer to different stitches. For instance, a U.K. double crochet is actually the same as a U.S. single crochet stitch.