Crochet dolls

20 Different Crochet Stitches

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One of the many reasons I love crochet is the variety of different crochet stitches available to create unique projects.  With so many different options, there’s always a new stitch combination to learn and experiment.  By gradually adding new crochet stitches to your toolbox, you can keep expanding your skills and projects.

So what are the different types of crochet stitches?  The guide below highlights 20 different crochet stitches, although there are hundreds of different variations and ways to combine these together to create beautiful projects.  By starting with the slip knot and 6 basic crochet stitches and then moving to more advanced color-work, textures, and specialty stitches you can gain the full scope of what crochet has to offer.

Before You Begin

Before you begin adding new crochet stitches to your repertoire, it is helpful to remember that learning the motor movements for a new stitch can take some practice.  Always begin each new stitch type with a sample gauge swatch before diving into a new project.  Choose a mid-weight yarn in a color with good visibility so you can carefully see the stitches as they are worked in each row.  Practice the new stitch until you are comfortable with the tension and your stitches come out accurate for several rows.

Experienced crocheters also recommend that you start with a few stitches at first and then slowly add more to your collection.  Make 1-2 projects with each stitch type and then learn a new one.  Start with the basic stitches, then move to changing yarns, different textures.  When you feel comfortable with that pattern level, then move into specialty types of crochet-like lace or Tunisian crochet.

The important thing to remember is that like any other skill, crochet takes practice and persistence.  Find an experienced crocheter who can help if you need it.  Keep at it and soon you’ll be creating all types of projects.

Basic Crochet Stitches

  1. Slip knot (sl) – All crochet projects begin with a slip knot. Created on the crochet hook it’s not counted as a stitch but is the foundation from which all projects begin.  To create a slip knot, cross the left side of the yarn over the right side, making a “pretzel” shape.  Pull the yarn through the loop or pretzel to form a knot around the crochet hook.
  2. Chain (ch) – The chain forms the foundation of each crochet project. Attached to a slip knot, the rest of the stitches in the pattern will be built upon the initial chain.  To create a chain stitch:  Create your slip knot, then draw hooked yarn through the loop of the slip knot.  This is one chain stitch.  Repeat the number of chain stitches required by the pattern to form your foundation chain or what the rest of your project will build from.
  3. Slip stitch (sl st) – A slip stitch is less of a ‘stitch’ and more of a procedure to join stitches or to move to another part of a row without creating a stitch. To work a slip stitch, draw yarn through the top two loops of your next stitch, yarn over and draw through all the loops on your hook.
  4. Single crochet (sc) – Single crochet is the most basic crochet stitch. To complete a single crochet stitch, draw up a chain from the previous row (2 on the hook).  Bring the yarn over the hook from back to front and draw it through the loops on the crochet hook.  Single crochet creates straight, horizontal rows of sturdy fabric.
  5. Double crochet (dc) –  Double crochet is another common basic crochet stitch.  To complete a double crochet stitch, yarn over first, then bring two stitches onto the hook (three loops total on the hook).  Bring the yarn over back to front and then through the first two loops on the hook (two loops total on the hook).  Yarn over again back to front and draw through the remaining two loops on the hook.   Double crochet is popular in projects like granny squares, v-stitch and some ribbed designs.
  6. Half double crochet (hdc) – Half double crochet creates a stitch that is half as tall as a double crochet, but taller than a single crochet stitch. It eliminates part of the double crochet to form a slightly smaller stitch.  To complete the half double crochet, bring up three stitches as you would for a double crochet, yarn over and bring through all three loops in one motion. This is the half double crochet (1 loop remains on the hook).
  7. Treble/Triple crochet (tr or trc) – Treble crochet, also known as the “triple” stitch is a basic crochet stitch that is slightly taller than a double crochet stitch. Treble crochet fabrics are looser and have more drape and flexibility.  To make a treble crochet stitch, yarn over twice, inserting the hook into the 5th chain from the hook. There are now four stitches on the hook.  Yarn over and draw through 2 of the loops.  Three loops remain.  Yarn over again and draw through 2 loops.  Two loops remain.  Yarn over and draw through the final 2 loops.  1 loop remains.

Basic+ Stitches

There are several stitches that can be designed by using a combination of the basic stitches (sc, dc, tc).  These patterns create distinct fabrics with unique characteristics that can add that special touch to your latest project.

  1. “V” Stitch – The “v” stitch is a combination of double crochet and slip stitches. It’s popular for larger projects like afghans because it works up quickly and creates a light and flowing finished fabric.  To create the “v” stitch work an even number of chains (e.g. 24, 48, 64).  To create a v-stitch, you’ll work a double crochet stitch, a chain stitch, and one more double crochet stitch all into the same chain.

 

  1. Create a foundation chain.
  2. Row 1:
    1. Start by working 2 double chains in the 4th chain from the hook.
    2. Then skip 1 chain, and work 2 double chains in the next chain.
    3. Repeat the previous step until you reach the last 2 stitches.
    4. Skip 1 stitch, double crochet in the last stitch
    5. Chain 2, then turn.
  • Row 2:
    1. Work 2 double chains in the center of each 2 double chain group.
    2. Repeat previous step to the last stitch, work 1 dc in the last st.
    3. Chain 2, then turn.
  1. Repeat Row 1 & 2 for the total length of the project.

 

  1. “Crazy Stitch” or Brick Stitch – Another variation that combines single and double crochet stitches together is the crazy stitch. It’s a version of the shell stitch that when repeated over multiple rows looks like a rectangular row of bricks.

 

  1. Begin with an even number of chains (eg. 24, 48, 64).
  2. Row 1:
    1. Create 1 single crochet in the 4th chain from the hook
    2. Work 1 double chain in the next chain, then 1 single crochet in the next chain.
    3. Repeat previous row to the end.
    4. Chain 3, turn.
  • Row 2:
    1. Work 1 single crochet in the next double crochet
    2. Then work 1 double crochet in the next single crochet and then 1 single crochet in the next double crochet.
    3. Repeat previous row to the end.
    4. Chain 3, turn.
  1. Repeat Row 2 until it reaches the desired length.

 

  1. Griddle/Lemon Peel Stitch – Another variation of alternating combinations of single and double crochet is the griddle stitch. It’s a good stitch to choose when just getting started moving beyond basic crochet since you simply alternate by working a single crochet into each double crochet stitch and working a double crochet stitch into each single stitch across each row.  Sometimes called the “cobble stitch” it creates a bit of texture without needing advanced crochet steps.

 

  1. Start with a foundation chain with an odd number of chains.
  2. Row 1:
    1. Work a single crochet stitch in the 2nd chain from the hook.
    2. Then work a double crochet, single crochet, double crochet
    3. Repeat across the entire row, ending with a double crochet stitch
    4. Chain 1, turn.
  • Row 2:
    1. Single crochet into the last double crochet of row 1.
    2. Alternate double crochet and single crochet across the row,
    3. Chain 1, turn.
  1. Repeat Row 1 and 2, always working a single crochet into each double crochet of row 1, and a double crochet into each single crochet of row 1.

 

  1. Shell Stitch – The shell stitch is one of the bread and butter stitches to add to your repertoire. It looks great as a border, repeated across rows, or alternated with different color yarns.

 

  1. Start with a chain that is a multiple of 6 + 1 (e.g 19, 25, 31)
  2. Row 1:
    1. Work 5 double crochet stitches into the 4th chain from the hook.
    2. Skip 2 chains, then work 1 single crochet in the next chain.
    3. Skip 2 chains, then work 5 double crochet stitches into the next chain. Next, skip 2 chains, work 1 single chain into the next chain.
    4. Repeat previous row to the end.
    5. Chain 3, turn.
  • Row 2:
    1. Work 2 double crochet stitches into the turning chain.
    2. Skip 2 stitches, then work 1 single crochet into the next double crochet (it’s the center double crochet of the 5 double crochet group from row 1.
    3. Repeat previous step to the end of the row.
    4. Work 3 double chains into the turning chain
    5. Turn (no turning chain).
  1. Row 3:
    1. Work 5 double crochet stitches into the first single crochet, then work 1 single crochet into the middle double crochet stitch of the group.
    2. Repeat previous step to the end of the row.
    3. Chain 3, turn.
  2. Repeat Rows 2 and 3 to the desire length. If working with multiple colors, change colors after each set of 3 rows.

Color Work

The term “color work” in crochet refers to using different color yarns in a crochet pattern to create design elements in the project.  When beginning to work with different color yarns, it’s important to do several practice gauge swatches first.  Connecting different color yarns should be done before you reach the end of the row (and to be careful when turning to avoid carrying colors into new rows). To begin learning color work stitches, start with these four options:

  1. The Two-Color Bee Stitch – While the bee stitch can be made with one color yarn, when using both a main and contrasting color yarn, it creates a unique dotted pattern. It’s much different than other color work where colors form straight lines or stripes.  Bee stitch creates a softer fabric and well-suited for baby clothes and baby blankets.

 

  1. Start with a foundation chain using the main color (MC) yarn and an odd number of chains.
  2. Row 1:
    1. Work a double crochet stitch into the 4th chain from the hook.
    2. Work 1 double crochet into each chain to the end of the row, change to contrasting color (CC) before turning work.
  • Row 2:
    1. No turning chain.
    2. Work 1 double crochet, then a slip stitch.
    3. Repeat the previous row to the end, do not turn the work.
  1. Row 3:
    1. Switch back to the MC, chain 3, double chain to the end.
    2. Change to CC, turn.
  2. Row 4:
    1. Using CC, chain 1, then single chain to the end.
  3. Row 5:
    1. Repeat Row 3.
  • Repeat Rows 2 to 5 for the desired length of the project.

 

  1. Smooth Wave Stitch – By combining double and single crochet stitches using two yarn colors, the smooth wave stitch creates an interesting and fun multicolor fabric. It’s popular for straight-line projects like potholders, blankets and scarves.

 

  1. Start with a foundation chain using the main color (MC) yarn and multiples of 8 stitches + 4 (adding 1 for base chain).
  2. Row 1:
    1. Work 1 single crochet stitch in the 3rd chain from the hook, then 2 single crochets in the next two stitches.
    2. Work 4 double crochets, 4 single crochets
    3. Repeat previous row to the end, turn
  • Row 2:
    1. Chain 1, then work 3 single crochet stitches.
    2. Work 4 double crochet, 4 single crochet (the double crochet stitches should be worked on the double crochet from Row 1 and the single crochet stitches should work into the single crochet stitches from Row 1)
    3. Repeat previous row to end.
    4. Change to contrasting color (CC) yarn in last stitch, turn.
  1. Row 3:
    1. Chain 3, then work 3 double crochet
    2. Work 4 single crochet stitches, then 4 double crochet stitches
    3. Repeat previous row to the end, turn.
  2. Row 4:
    1. Work the same as Row 3
    2. Change back to MC in the last stitch, turn.
  3. Row 5 & 6:
    1. Repeat as row 2.
  • Repeat Rows 3-6 to desired length.

 

  1. Spike Stitch – Spike stitch is a popular stitch pattern for edging and blanket work. Spike stitch is sometimes called single crochet spike stitch since it is worked using the same steps as a single crochet stitch.  However, instead of working stitches into the previous row, spike stitch is worked across rows previously worked in the project. By dropping down to previous row, spike stitch creates unique geometrical shapes, and changes the height of the stitches within the row.

 

Note:  It’s best to practice spike stitch on a gauge swatch to determine how many rows you’ll work across for your spike stitch and to get the hang of where to insert the crochet hook.  There is no set way to vary the spike height, try different combinations to vary the design of your project.

 

  1. Start with a foundation chain using the main color (MC) yarn and multiples of 4 + 1 stitches (25, 29, 33, etc.)
  2. Row 1:
    1. Work 1 single crochet stitch in the 3rd chain from the hook, then single crochet to the end,
    2. Chain 1, turn
  • Row 2-6
    1. Using MC, work 5 rows of single crochet.
    2. Change to contrasting color (CC) in last stitch.
  1. Row 7:
    1. Chain 1 (this is the first stitch), then begin the first set of spikes:
      1. Work 1 single crochet in the stitch 2 rows below.
      2. Work 1 single crochet in the stitch 3 rows below.
      3. Work 1 single crochet in the stitch 4 rows below.
    2. Work the spikes to the end of the row:
      1. Work 1 single crochet
      2. Work 1 single crochet in the stitch 2 rows below.
      3. Work 1 single crochet in the stitch 3 rows below.
      4. Work 1 single crochet in the stitch 4 rows below.
    3. Chain 1, turn.
  2. Row 8-10
    1. Using CC, work 3 rows of single crochet
    2. Change to MC in the last stitch, turn
  3. Repeat last 4 rows (7-10) changing between MC and CC every 4 rows.

Textured Stitches

Once you have mastered changing colors with different combinations of single and double crochet stitches, another popular technique to learn is to create textured fabrics. Unlike knitting, crochet stitches can be worked together to form unique bumps, lumps, and ridges in fabrics.  By practicing textured stitches, you can expand the interest and design of your finished projects.

  1. Cluster Stitch (scl, dcl, hdcl, tcl) — Cluster stitch is one of the easiest textured stitches to learn. It involves creating a group of stitches close together and then joining those stitches at the top.  It can be worked with all of the basic crochet stitches (single, double, treble, half double, etc.) and varies in size and shape depending on the pattern.  As an example, this is a method to create a 3 double chain crochet cluster:

Create a foundation chain of any length.  In the fifth chain from the hook, work 3 double crochet stitches into 3 adjacent chains.  (2 loops on the hook).  Yarn over, insert the hook into the stitch and pull through 2 of the loops (3 loops on the hook).  Repeat that step again, to get 4 loops on the hook.  Yarn over and pull through all 4 loops, joining the 3 double crochet stitches together.

  1. Puff Stitch (ps or puff) — Puff stitch is one of the easiest textured stitches to learn. It creates a fabric with a smooth bump on the right-facing side of the fabric.  It’s created using a series of double crochet stitches pulled through the same stitch and then joined together.  Create puffs using these steps:

Create a foundation of any number of chains.  Yarn over, insert the hook into the stitch and double crochet through 2 loops.  Double crochet, pull through 2 loops.  (Repeat 2 more times to create  loops on the hook).  Yarn over and pull through all 7 loops.  Chain one more stitch to close the loop. To work puff stitch across the row, repeat the same steps in every other stitch.

  1. Popcorn Stitch — (pc or pop) — Popcorn stitch is another favorite way to make textured fabrics and has lots of different variations. It creates a fabric with unique ovals or ‘button’s on one side of the fabric.  To make a basic popcorn stitch follow these steps:

Create a foundation of any number of chains.  Place 5 double crochet stitches into the same stitch.  Remove the loop from the hook, pull the hook back and insert it from front to back into the first of the 5 double crochet stitches just made.  Collect the loose loop (chain and loop now on the hook) and pull through to the front. One popcorn completed.  Depending on the height of the project, you may choose a range of 4-6 double crochet stitches to work in the first chain.

Specialty/Advanced Stitches

Experienced crocheters will find that there are plenty of options to learn new crochet stitches or variations on the above stitches to create new and interesting projects.  Specialty techniques like Tunisian crochet, broomstick lace, and filet crochet are all areas to explore for advanced work.  Here is a sample of 3 specialty and advanced crochet stitches to give you an idea of the new techniques to explore:

  1. The Crocodile Stitch – Crocodile stitch exploded in the crochet pattern world a few years ago. It creates a ‘droopy’, layered fabric that’s well suited for things like pillowcases, borders and edging, and accessories like gloves, slippers and socks.  In order to create the crocodile stitch it’s important to learn how to work around a post (in front or back of a crochet stitch).
  2. The Butterfly Stitch — The butterfly crochet stitch is a unique set of rows that are worked to form the body and wings of a butterfly. It can be worked with single crochet, half double crochet or double crochet stitches to create a butterfly.  The basic process to create the butterfly is to crochet a row of stitches, then crochet a chain (skipping as many stitches as the length you chain), rejoin into the next stitch, turn and repeat.  After 5 rows, you’ll have created a length of matching chains that are then bound together with a single crochet stitch in the middle to create the body of the butterfly stitch.
  3. Tunisian/Afghan Stitch – Tunisian crochet, sometimes known as “Scottish Knitting” has a long history. It’s worked on a specialty crochet hook that allows the work to be ‘carried along’ as you form stitches.  Tunisian fabrics appear like a combination of crochet and knitting and are popular for blankets, shawls, and household projects.  Just like basic crochet, there are several basic Tunisian stitches (Ts = Tunisian single, Tdc = Tunisian double crochet, Ttr = Tunisian treble crochet).

Related Questions

How many different types of crochet stitches are there? Historical sources support that crochet has been around for hundreds of years.  Consequently, there are hundreds of different types of fabrics and stitch patterns that can be made using a crochet hook.  Yet all of these different fabrics are made from essentially 6 different stitches.  The 6 basic stitches are the chain stitch, slip stitch, single crochet stitch, half double crochet stitch, double crochet stitch, and the treble (triple) stitch.  By learning these 6 basic stitches you can learn to make nearly every type of crochet fabric.

What is the fastest crochet stitch? The fastest crochet stitch is generally thought to be the one that is practiced the most.  After several minutes of repeating the same stitch, your brain commits movements to “motor memory,” allowing you to crochet faster.  The easier the crochet stitch, the easier it will be to commit to motor memory.

After considering how much you’ve practiced a stitch, the second thing to consider is the height of the stitch.  Some crochet stitches are taller than others (e.g., treble crochet stitches)   Taller stitches will add more length to your finished project faster than a shorter, or textured stitch might (popcorn, bobbles, etc.)

What is easier to learn, crochet or knitting? Most people experienced in both knitting and crochet will tell you crochet is much faster than knitting. Crochet is generally faster than knitting because the stitches are larger.  Crochet is also easier to learn and we all tend to be better (and faster) at easier tasks. Finally, fixing mistakes in crochet can be faster than with knitted projects.

The biggest difference in speed comes down to the stitches themselves.  While knitting and crochet fabrics look similar, the basic stitches of crochet are larger than in knitting.  Once you learn the basic stitches, there are ways to speed up your crochet projects even faster.

 

 

 

 

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