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Thursday, October 15th, 2015 01:50 pm
UK and US crochet use different terms for most crochet stitches, and there is a lot of overlap in the actual words used. This can be confusing, especially for beginners (or people unaware of the duality).

Generally speaking, chain and slip stitch are the same US and UK, but other than that:

US single crochet (sc) = UK double crochet (dc)
US half double crochet (hdc) = UK half treble (htr)
US double crochet (dc) = UK treble crochet (tr)
US triple crochet (tr or trc) = UK double treble (dtr)

So then, how do you know? Heh.

Some patterns will explicitly tell you whether they’re written in US or UK terms. This is the easiest situation. Well, maybe tied for easiest.

Some patterns give full explanations for the terms, e.g. “dc = yo, insert hook into specified stitch, yo, pull loop through, (etc)”, which is the other easiest. (In US terms, sc has no YO before inserting the hook, hdc and dc both have one, tr has two, etc.)

If a pattern uses half double crochet (or half treble crochet) you can know by that which terminology set is being used, because it’s one of the few terms that is unique. It is possible to have a US half triple (example), but that is rare enough that patterns using a US htr will pretty much always define it, and a pattern that uses htr without explanation is probably using the UK htr.

Turning chains can indicate which terminology set is being used, especially with shorter stitches. One turning chain for a dc row? That's UK dc. Two or three? That's US. (But be careful: "ch2 (counts as dc,ch1)" is UK, despite the presence of two chains, because only one of the chains counts as the dc.) "Standard" turning chain height is 1 for US sc, 2 for US hdc, 3 for US dc, 4 for US tr, etc, though it can depend on the designer.

Another probable indicator is if there is a single crochet, which is used in US but not UK, although I have heard rumors that some UK patterns use “single crochet” for slip stitch or some other somesuch. And while the presence of sc means it's probably US, the lack of sc doesn't say anything either way.

If a pattern spells out “triple” vs “treble”, that is also a probable indicator, because triple is usually US and treble is usually UK. But this is iffy. Some people say to look for Britishisms like "miss" instead of "skip", "colour" instead of "color", etc., but again this is not reliable -- a pattern can have British vocabulary and spelling but US crochet terms.

Lastly, if the designer / seller has pictures of the finished object that are clear enough, you can sometimes use that as a judge -- especially when it comes to figuring out whether “dc” is the US dc or the UK dc.

And if all else fails, ask someone else. *grin*
Thursday, October 15th, 2015 09:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this post, this clears up a tonne of confusion I was having while watching tutorials on YouTube!
Friday, October 16th, 2015 12:09 am (UTC)
That's a very clear run-down! A while back a friend of mine in the UK who knits asked me for some crochet advice and I had to explain this very thing--I think I took four times as much text as you did.
Saturday, October 17th, 2015 09:46 am (UTC)
Nicely put! I wasn't aware of the 'British spelling, American terminology' issue - might have to go back and investigate impossible pattern and see if it works the other way.
Thursday, December 24th, 2015 11:37 am (UTC)
If one has the patience, one can use slip stitch to produce fabric that looks knitted. One can even do knit and purl, i.e. slip stitch from the front or back of the fabric. It actually produces fabric perpendicular to what you'd get knitting.

In the US, this is called "slip stitch crochet." AIUI, in the UK,"single crochet" denotes slip stitch used in this fashion. Any other use of slip stitch gets called "slip stitch."