What should you do when you see the abbreviation sk in the instructions for a crochet pattern?
Definition of Skip - sk - in Crochet
The crochet abbreviation sk stands for "skip" or "skipping a stitch."
It means that instead of working the next stitch or chain, you work the instructions up to the point where the skip is commanded, skip that stitch or stitches, and proceed to work the pattern instructions.
It is also used in crochet instructions to tell you to skip a chain or another part of the pattern you have been working.
Uses of Skip in Crochet - Creating Holes, Decreases, and Textures
Skip is used to create a looser weave or windows (holes) in a pattern. For example, see the V stitch instructions where you will skip the next chain in the pattern to create the lacy effect.
Skip is also used as a way to decrease, so your row now has fewer stitches than the prior one. You will also use skip when creating a buttonhole. In this case, you will chain one or more stitches, skip the next stitch (or stitches) you would have worked on the prior row, and resume crocheting into the stitches after that number. This creates the hole you will need as a buttonhole.
Sometimes sk or skip is used to tell you to not perform part of an instruction string you have been using for one or more rows.
- Example: hdc in next hdc, sk next ch, hdc in next hdc.
- This translates to, "half double crochet in the next half double crochet, skip the next chain, half double crochet in the next half double crochet.
When Skip Can Be Confusing in Crochet Instructions
As you might gather from the example, seeing sk or skip in instructions can sometimes lead to confusion.
It can be helpful if the instructions include parentheses or brackets or spell things out rather than using abbreviations.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. You may have to review the instructions carefully to determine what they mean precisely. What are they attempting to do with the skip? Is it to create a hole or for a decrease?
If you are confused, try working the pattern experimentally to see if you are getting the desired result. One of the best parts of crochet is how easy it is to tear out a row that wasn't working right. If you don't want to try it with the yarn you are using for the project, try it with some inexpensive yarn you have on hand. It will be worth the time and effort to make sure you are ready to perform the instruction on your main project.
In rare cases, the instructions may even be misprinted or incorrect. With your test, you may be able to tell what they meant to say.