I use American notation throughout, despite being English, as more of the patterns I have/websites I have learned from are American. The differences are explained here.
The links from each of the stitches listed below show how to do this stitch. There are a lot of good resources out there; I don’t want to duplicate them!
Magic loop/magic circle: Technique used to start off when working in the round. I find this much better than starting with a standard chain, as you can tighten and adjust it more easily.
ch: chain. Used to start basically any project that isn’t started with a Magic Circle. If you have high tension like I do, I strongly recommend making your starting chain with a crochet hook one size up from that you will use for the following stitches, otherwise I pull my chain too tight. Double-ended crochet hooks are great for this!
sc: Single Crochet
dc: Double Crochet
dec: Decrease. Unless specified otherwise, this is a decrease over two stitches, which can also be called sc2tog (sc two together…assuming the stitches are sc). i.e. : Hook through stitch, pull up a loop, hook through next stitch, pull up a loop. Yarn over hook and pull through all loops on hook.
If the decrease is over three stitches, it would be sc3tog, etc.
You can also get longer stitches in decreases, e.g. dc2tog etc.
Bobbles: e.g. http://vimeo.com/11250248 For example, for a bobble over 3 dcs, you start making the first, but don’t do the final yarn over (YO), but rather start the second dc in the same loop, again don’t do the final YO, start the third, stop before the last YO, then YO and pull through all loops on hook – if you have a shorter stitch each side, this pops out giving a bobble
Particular thanks to The Knit Witch for some very clear instructional videos!
A couple of things I wish I’d been told when I started…
1. When starting a pattern, always check if it’s using American or British notation before starting! Some of the notation is the same, some different. The British “double crochet” is an American “single crochet”, so you could accidentally double the width of each row if the pattern is British and you think it’s American.
2. Stitch markers. Especially when working in the round, it’s good to mark the first stitch of the round so you know when you’re back to the start. You can buy purpose-made stitch-markers, but I wouldn’t recommend it. A safety pin or a piece of yarn of a different colour works very well.