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Cheering for the Art of Crochet

Basic Rules

Working the loops:  Unless the pattern instructions state otherwise, always crochet through the top loops of the stitch.

The Front Loop is that of which is closest to you.

The Back Loop is that of which is away from you.

The Post is the "stem" of the stitch which a Front or Back Post stitch is worked.

Turning Chains are used to equal the height of the stitches being worked.  Without them the crochet piece will begin to curl and tend not to be even on the edges.  The larger the stitches being used, the longer the chain.  Hence:  sl = 0 ch; sc=1 ch; hdc=2 ch; dc=3 ch; tr=4ch and so on.

And, unless the directions state otherwise, for the sl, sc, and hdc the turning chain does not count as a stitch and therefore you start the row in the first stitch.  For the double and triple crochet stitches, the turning chain does count as a stitch, so you start the row in the second stitch.

Basic Crochet Abbreviations and What they Mean

beg ..............................begin(ing)
bl(s)..............................back loop
BPdc............................Back Post
                                       double crochet
ch(s).............................chain(s)dc.................................double crochet

dec...............................decrease
dtr.................................double triple
                                       crochet
FPdc.............................Front Post
                                       double crochet
hdc...............................half-double 
                                       crochet
lp(s)..............................loop(s)
patt...............................pattern
rem...............................remaining
rep................................repeat(ing)
rnd(s)............................round(s)
sc.................................single crochet
sl st(s)...........................slip stitch(s)
sp(s)..............................space(s)
st..................................stitches
tog.................................together
trc.................................treble or
                                        triple crochet
tr trc..............................triple triple 
                                         crochet
YO................................yarn over



*  Asterisks are used to mark the beginning and ending of an instruction to be repeated more than once.

Example:  Sc, sk next sc, *dc in next 2 sc, ch 2, dc in next 2 sc, sc, rep from * 4 times, ch 1, turn.

The asterisk section shows that the "dc in next 2 sc, ch 2, dc in next 2 sc, sc" portion should be repeated the stated number (4) times for that particular row.

Should the instructions have read:  Sc, sk next sc, *dc in next 2 sc, ch 2, dc in next 2 sc, ** sc, rep from * rep from * to last 3 sc, end at **; sc in last 3 sc; turn

...then in this case the instructions would have been repeated as normal until the end of the work ... ensuring that the instructions past the double asterisks are ignored.  (so what this means is that instead of doing one sc at the end of the row, per the instructions the crocheter would be doing 3 instead.
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:  The colon is used as a seperator from the instructions to indicate the number of stitches that row should have when completed.

Example:  Ch 25.
                In 2nd ch from hook sc across: 24 sts.

The "24 sts" means that you should have 24 single crochet stitches across the row.

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( ) Parentheses are used for clarification, such as working a number of stitches into the same space or stitch (3 hdc, ch 3, 3 hdc) in corner space.  Sometimes the parentheses are used in the same manner as astericks, especially for more complicated patterns where there is a high number of multiple repetitions.