Deciphering Old Crochet Patterns

Recently I downloaded a few free crochet books from B&N. They had some pretty bad ratings but hey they’re free. After looking at them I realized why. Part of the Public Domain they’re books written in the late 1880’s and “made available by the Internet Archive”.

The very language itself is different than used today; though not entirely indecipherable. Part of the problem though isn’t just the language barrier but errors in the download. There’s nothing like seeing things like (Concluded on Page /_’). I have yet to find page /_’. So I’ve started reading them finding it fascinating and decided to share my notes here.

You might already know these stitches but some of them were under different names back then. I’m not sure how many of you would know what to do if I said to CH20 then plain stitch across. I certainly wouldn’t have but it maybe because I’ve only been crocheting since Christmas of 2011.

Here’s what I learned so far:

The Abbreviation List Used in My Notes:

YO: yarn over

YO2: yarn over 2 times

Ch: chain

DC: double crochet

SC: single crochet

DTR: double treble

TR: treble

SP: space

HDC: half double crochet

ST: stitch

Filet Crochet:

CH 2, DC, CH 2, ect

Double Crochet:

Same as today but sometimes called the plain stitch

Long Treble Crochet:

This is now referred to as the Double Treble

Double and Single Crochet Net:

SC in 8th CH of base chain, CH2, skip 2 chains on base, DC, CH2, SK2, 1SC, repeat as needed


In this book at least (Artamo Crochet Book) a Picot is used by Slip ST into the 5th not 3rd CH

Inverted Treble Crochet Clusters:

1TR, *CH4, YO2 insert hook into base CH, YO, pull through 2 loops, YO, insert hook into next CH,  YO (5 loops on hook) , pull through 2 loops, YO pull through 2 loops repeat till 1 loop remains on hook, repeat from *

Short Double Crochet:

This is a half double crochet

Puff Stitch also called Knob Stitch:

*5 TR in same SP, Slip loop off hook, pass hook through top of 1st TR make, YO pull through* makes one Puff. CH 3, SK 3, make new puff.

Each row is fastened off. Start new row at 1st TR, a half puff at each end of alternate row will make rows even.


About Marcia Young

I’m the wife of an NCO and the mother of one, home schooled, special needs child. I have won several people’s choice awards for my fanfiction under the moniker MLMonty. All of my current published works can be found via Smashwords and other retailers under my nom de plume Marcia Young. I am currently open to finding a new literary agent and publisher.
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5 Responses to Deciphering Old Crochet Patterns

  1. Me says:

    Oh the treble stitch always makes me wanna scream. How have you become a master in such a short time?

    • marciayoung says:

      1 part Arthritis 1 part obsession. :)) It makes my fingers looser so I end up doing it all the time. And you saw when I came over last week that I bring it with me. I whip it out in restaurants, in the car (when I’m not driving), MCCW and anywhere else where I sit long enough to find my place. My knitting however still sucks. 🙂

      • fishgranny says:

        Hi Marcia
        I do the same thing with knooking, and for the same reasons! I find it embarassing to be constantly wiggling my fingers & hands in public, but if I am knooking at least I look “gainfully occupied.” It also helps if I’m stressed or bored listening to others, and helps me to keep my mouth shut during those conversations! 😉

  2. fishgranny says:

    I suspect that arthritis in the hands is very weather related. I live in Winnipeg, Canada, also known by some as “Winterpeg.” 🙂

  3. marciayoung says:

    You know what, FishGranny? I was going to reply about the arthritis but it’d be so long it’d take forever so I think I’ll write a post on it. My situation is rather interesting actually… well I think so. 😉

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