When I first started to teach myself to crochet, I was totally unaware that crochet terms meant different things depending where you live. This can lead to problems – trust me I have had to re-do a few things because I was hooking to UK terms, but to a US pattern. Doesn’t work most of the time.
I have since come up with ways to help me translate from US to UK, which are the terms I am more comfortable with, and I thought I’d share them with you today.
So is my pattern in UK or US terms?
When you have a new pattern to try, the first thing to do is find our what terms it is written in. A quick way is to look for a stitch called “SC” or “single crochet”. If your pattern has these, then it is in US terms.
If you are a UK terms person like me, there are a couple of ways you can confidently hook it up.
Translating on the fly
The first way is to have a short conversion chart handy that you can refer to as you crochet. This one for example has the more common stitches. Just a note – “ch” and “ss” are the same regardless.
US Term UK Equivalent
sc (single crochet) dc (double crochet)
hdc (half double crochet) htr (half treble crochet)
dc (double crochet) tr (treble crochet)
tr (tripe crochet) dtr (double treble crochet)
Need more stitches? A very extensive conversion chart can be found here.
If you are still a beginner though, that can mess with your head when you are still learning so it is really better to have the pattern written out in UK terms.
Translating into a written pattern
Before I get into telling you how to go about doing this, I must stress that you must only do this for your personal use. You cannot translate a pattern and then post it around the place and share it with your friends. It’s just not on. The only exception to this is if you have permission from the designer. And then you must state the original source of the pattern. Really, I mean it OK?
Right – now that’s been said, here’s how I translate from US terms to UK terms. I am really breaking this down because I know there are some folks who are not very confident when it comes to computers. I know most of you will be fine with this and know lots of other ways to achieve the same thing. Please bear with me for the sake of the less-computer savvy.
- Have your pattern up on your computer. (Sorry – if its a hard copy – you’ll just have to make notes on it or re-write it.)
- Select the bits you need – usually any notes and rounds 1 to whatever. By select, I mean holding your left mouse button down at the start of where you want to select, move the mouse to the end and then let go of the button. The bits you want should be highlighted now.
- With your mouse pointer somewhere over the highlighted bits, click the
leftright mouse button. (thanks Kaz!)
- A little menu should pop up where one of the options is “copy”. That’s the one you want. Click it.
- Open up your word processing program of choice – I use Word, but you can use anything similar Notepad works just the same – and open a new blank document
- With your mouse over the page somewhere, click your right mouse button again and this time when the menu pops up, choose “paste” Your pattern should have appeared. Now on to the translating bit.
- Make a note of the stitches used in the pattern from smallest to biggest. Write down the equivalents next to them.
- Starting with the largest stitches, use your “find and replace” function to change them as shown here – choose “replace all” :
- Work your way down the stitch sizes until you have replaced them all. (You wont have to worry about hdc/htr as dc/tr find and replace will fix those for you)
NOTE : if your pattern uses the full “stitch” word and “tc” for tr, your “stitch” words will be changed too as it has “tc” in the word. You can choose “find next” then “replace” each instance to make sure its just the stitch instructions. (thanks Bev!)
- Save it as UK terms & that’s it. You’re done. :)
Now if you want to go the other way from UK terms to US terms, you do all the same things, but work from the smallest stitches up to the biggest.
That’s all there is to it. You can do it. And honestly, after you’ve done it a few times, you wont need to anymore. You will very quickly become crochet bi-lingual and be able to hook anything up regardless of which terms patterns are written in.