What Does SP Mean in Crochet? – All About Spaces

What does sp mean in crochet? Learn all about the different sp abbreviations in crochet, what they mean, and why it matters.

Learning how to read crochet patterns is like learning a new language. There are so many different abbreviations to remember. If you’ve ever wondered, “What does “sp” mean in crochet patterns?” This post is for you. You’ll learn all about the different sp abbreviations in crochet, what they mean, and why it matters.

Have you ever encountered “sp” in crochet patterns? It stands for space. You might also see sp(s) which stands for spaces or ch sp which means chain space.

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woman's hand holding a light blue crocheted blanket with spaces (sp)
decorative sp(s) in the Mystic Ripple Blanket crochet pattern

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What does sp mean in crochet terms?

The abbreviation sp stands for space, which is the gap between stitches. You might also see the plural abbreviation sp(s), which means spaces.

Another common abbreviation is ch sp, which stands for chain space. A ch sp is the gap between stitches that’s made by a chain (or chains).

  • sp – space
  • sp(s) – spaces
  • ch sp – chain space
  • ch sp(s) – chain spaces

Please note: the abbreviation for chain space is sometimes shown as chsp (without the space between the words).

What does ch sp mean in crocheting?

In crochet patterns, ch sp stands for chain space. It refers to the space created by chaining between other stitches. You may also see the plural abbreviation ch sp(s).

Some designers will refer to all chain spaces as “ch sp,” regardless of how many chains are present. Other designers will specify the quantity of chains in the abbreviation. The crochet abbreviations below include the number of chains in the ch sp.

  • ch-1 sp – chain 1 space
  • ch-2 sp – chain 2 space
  • ch-3 sp – chain 3 space
  • ch-4 sp – chain 4 space
  • ch-5 sp – chain 5 space
  • and so on…
collage of four images depicting examples of different uses for sp and ch sp in crochet

Spaces and Chain Spaces in Crochet Patterns

Spaces and chain spaces have many uses in crochet. They can be used as a decorative accent (like in the Stardew Triangle Scarf), to create open or lacy fabric (like the Window Pane Cardigan), to create sharper corners (like in the Sunburst Granny Squares), or as part of a stitch pattern (like in c2c crochet or the linen/moss stitch).

Negative space is a powerful tool in crochet design, and some techniques center around the use of spaces. For example, filet crochet is a style of crochet that uses double crochets (dc) and chain spaces (ch sp) to make pictures, designs, and even words. The Hopscotch Blanket from Little Things Blogged features a chevron design made from spaces.

The window pane stitch (shown below) is another example of what you can do with filet crochet. The pattern alternates dc stitches and ch-2 sp(s) to create little windows in the fabric. I also used rows of filet crochet as decorations in the Color Block Infinity Scarf and Striped Baby Blanket patterns.

Crochet patterns typically utilize multiple spaces, so it’s unlikely (though not impossible) that you’ll find a pattern with a single sp.

three pieces of cream-colored crochet fabric with a window pane design laying on a blue wooden background with a skein of paintbox yarn and wooden crochet hook

How do you crochet into a ch sp?

To crochet into a ch sp, insert your crochet hook into the gap below the chain, and crochet the stitch as usual.

woman's hand pointing out a ch-1 sp and demonstrating how to crochet into a chain space using grey yarn and red hook

The photos above are pulled from the Linen Stitch Dishcloth pattern. The linen stitch alternates single crochet (sc) stitches and chains. In any given row, you’ll crochet into the ch-1 sp by inserting your hook below the chain and making a single crochet.

Here’s another example of how to crochet into a chain space. This time, it’s a ch-2 sp in corner-to-corner crochet (c2c). In one row, the ch-2 acts as a dc, but in the next row is serves at the best for the next block of stitches.

The photos demonstrate how to crochet into a ch-2 space. Just insert your hook into the ch-2 sp and make a double crochet as usual.

two labeled photos of c2c crochet, showing where the ch-2 sp is and how to crochet into the ch-2 sp

Frequently Asked Questions

What does double crochet in chain space mean? 

If you see “dc into ch sp” in a crochet pattern’s instructions, yarn over (yo), insert your crochet hook into the chain space, and double crochet (dc) as usual. 

What does ch-1 sp mean in crochet?

ch-1 sp means chain 1 space in crochet. It’s frequently seen in patterns like the moss / linen stitch which combines chain spaces and single crochet stitches. 

What do sp and ch sp mean in UK crochet terminology?

Thankfully, these abbreviations are the same in both US and UK terminology. Whether you’re in the US or across the pond, sp means space and ch sp means chain space.

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