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Basic Crochet Stitches

Jump to:
Slip Stitch | Single Crochet | Half Double Crochet |
Double Crochet | Triple (or Treble) Crochet

If you need a refresher on how to make a slip knot or foundation chain, you can check out the tutorials here and here. These basic stitches will enable you to make a wide variety of crocheted items and provide the foundation necessary for more elaborate specialty stitches. They are listed here in order of height, from shortest to tallest.

Also included on this page are “extended stitches.” Extended stitches are stitches which add just a little bit of extra height to your basic stitches. These stitches are also the basis of the popular foundation stitches, where you create your foundation chain and the first row of your work at the same time.

When you've completed your stitch, one loop will remain on your hook, except when finishing off.

Slip Stitch (sl st)
update © 2006, 2012 Sandra Petit, http://www.crochetcabana.com
 

European terminology:
Slip Stitch

International symbol:

Your pattern might begin, ch 5, join with a sl st to first ch.

Just what IS a slip stitch? The slip stitch is a handy little stitch. It is generally used to join to the beginning of a round, and can be used to make your way over to another point in your project without gaining any height. When you do this, it does make that short section a little bit thicker than the rest, though it's usually not too noticeable if you are using the same color yarn or thread. If you are using a variegated yarn, you may be able to tell where you slip stitched.

Here's how to work a slip stitch: Insert hook into a specified stitch or space, yarn over and draw through the stitch and the loop on the hook.

The slip stitch can also be worked into the back loop only (bss) or the front loop only (fss).
 

 

 

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Single Crochet (sc)
update © 2004, 2012 Sandra Petit, http://www.crochetcabana.com
 

European terminology:
Double Crochet

International symbol:

One popular use for the single crochet is in making amigurumi pieces.  Another is in tapestry crochet and picture graphs. It is a nice, closed-in stitch which can be very warm in cold climates, but takes longer to  make since it is a short stitch.

Here’s how to work a sc: Insert hook into a specified stitch or space, yo,  pull through the stitch, yo, and pull through both loops on hook. SC made.
 

 

Added note: Some patterns will tell you to go into the front or back loop only.
Here's what they mean:


The extended single crochet (ex sc or esc): Insert hook into specified stitch or space, yo and pull through (2 lps on hk). yo, pull through one loop (2 lps on hk), yo, pull through two loops. This is also called the knotted single crochet, locked single crochet, or double single crochet.

Here’s how to increase and decrease in single crochet.

 

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Half Double Crochet (hdc)
update © 2004, 2012 Sandra Petit, http://www.crochetcabana.com
 

European terminology:
Half Treble Crochet

International symbol:


The half double crochet can be used in most types of patterns. I often use it as the  center stitch when working a corner on a square or afghan. It gives just  a small amount of extra height to help turn that corner. It is also useful in places where a single crochet is too short but a double crochet is too tall. It's a nice, in-between size stitch. You can gain height without adding width.

This is a stitch with some controversy, and it’s not used as often as the single and double crochets. If you’re just starting out, it’s okay to skip this one for now and hop on down to the double crochet. It is listed here because it is the next basic stitch in order of height.

When working the hdc, some say the turning chain counts as a stitch and some say it does not. I am presenting the information as best I could determine using the resources I had available. The majority, both online and in the publications I had on hand (listed below), say the tch does count. In some instances below I couldn't find a notation as to whether the author considered the turning chain a stitch or not. That doesn't mean it wasn't there, just that I didn't find it. In those cases, I noted what information I could find. Any typos or spelling errors are my own and do not necessarily appear in the publication. Every resource below says to chain 2 for turning chain so I did not note that in the listing. All but one reference said to go into the third chain from hook. Pauline Turner's book said 4th chain.

The information below is subject to change as sometimes designers, in considering concepts, change their methodology. I know some of my early patterns use different joining techniques and such than my later ones.

The following say the turning chain is counted as a stitch in the hdc, just as it is in dc:

    Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet, p. 24, 40, notes ch 2 for turning chain.
    “New Crochet Basics” (Leisure Arts leaflet) - counts tch as a stitch, but cautions that this is not always so and crocheter should read pattern carefully.
    Crocheting in Plain English, Maggie Righetti p. 50, 58-61 - on foundation chain, hdc made in 3rd ch from hook, tch counts as stitch (quote: "remembering not to go into the base of the turning chain..." on p. 59)
    Crocheter's Companion by Nancy Brown, p. 21, "skip the first stitch"
    Weekend Afghans by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss, p. 14 "Beginning in 2nd stitch (2 chains count as first half double crochet)...work last half double crochet in top chain of chain 2"
    How to Crochet by Pauline Turner, hdc worked into 4th chain from hook "exactly as if you were making a double"
    Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden p. 19, pattern on p. 64 Crossed Half Double says "...1 half double crochet in 2nd of 2 chains"
    200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton, p. 116 "skip the first stitch...work the last stitch into the top of the turning chain"

    In Pauline Turner's book, How to Crochet, she works the hdc into the 4th chain from hook, just as in the dc. The other resources worked into the 3rd chain from hook. Her method of decrease in the hdc is also different. So, no matter how you do it, you almost can't be wrong by somebody's estimation. :-)

According to my research, the following do not count the turning chain as a stitch:

    The Crochet Guild of America
    Vashti (published designer)

There may be others, but that's what I found online. Also know that the CYCA course does NOT count the tch as a stitch.

All of that said, in MY opinion, it doesn't matter which way you do it as long as you do it the same way throughout your piece. What I mean is, if you choose to use your tch as a stitch, then you ch 2, turn, and go into the 2nd stitch (because you're counting the first chains as a stitch) AND you make your last stitch in the turning chain when you get to the end of that row.

If you choose not to count your tch as a stitch, then you ch 2, turn, and go into the FIRST stitch, but you do NOT then make a stitch in your turning chain at the end of your row.


Below is a picture demonstrating both methods. Both swatches came out straight. I think I actually preferred the one on the left where the tch is not counted as it didn't have the "hole" that is made by going into the second stitch in the one on the right. Of course, you can get rid of that hole by doing a decrease there (working one stitch into two stitches) but then you have one big fat stitch as your first stitch.


Here’s how to work a hdc: Yarn over, insert hook into specified stitch or space, yarn over, pull through stitch (3 loops on hook), yarn over, pull through all 3 loops on hook.
 

 

The extended half-double crochet (ex hdc): Yarn over, insert hook into specified stitch or space, of stitch, yo, pull through stitch (3 lps on hook), yo, pull through 1 loop (3 loops on hook), yo,  pull through all 3 loops on hook.

Here’s how to increase and decrease in half double crochet.

 

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Double Crochet (dc)
update © 2004, 2012 Sandra Petit, http://www.crochetcabana.com
 

European terminology:
Treble Crochet

International symbol:

The double crochet is a popular stitch and my personal favorite. It is used in filet  crochet projects, is very popular for use in afghans, hats, scarves and a great variety of projects.

Here’s how to work a dc: Yarn over, insert hook into specified stitch,
yarn over, pull through stitch, yarn over, pull through 2 loops on hook, yarn over, pull through remaining 2 loops.
 

 

For all rows after the first row remember that you will need to chain 2 or 3 (and turn) so that all  your stitches will be at the same height. This turning chain (tch) counts as the first dc for the next row. This is why you start the subsequent rows by going into the 2nd  stitch.

Here is a picture demonstrating how to count double crochet stitches and rows. Keep in mind that you are actually working a row then turning. The second picture shows the count as you would be working it.

counting-dc-rows


count-dc-rows-2


The extended double crochet (ex dc or edc)
: yo, insert hook into specified stitch or space, yo, pull through stitch  (3 lps on hk), yo, pull through 1 loop, (still have 3 lps on hk) yo,  pull through 2 lps, (2 lps on hk), yo, pull through remaining 2 loops.

Here’s how to increase and decrease in double crochet.

 

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Triple (Treble) Crochet (tr)
update © 2004, 2012 Sandra Petit, http://www.crochetcabana.com
 

European terminology:
Double Treble Crochet

International symbol:

Triple crochet can be used in scarves and afghans. Since it is a tall stitch, you will often find it in lacy projects.

Here’s how to work the triple, or treble crochet: Yarn over twice, insert hook into specified stitch or space, yarn over, pull through stitch (four loops on hook). Then, yarn over and pull through 2 loops on hook 3 times.
 

 

The extended triple crochet (ex tr or etr): yo twice, insert hk into specified stitch or space, yo, pull through stitch (4 lps on hk), yo, pull through 1 loop, (still have 4 lps on hk) yo, pull through 2 lps, (3 lps on hk), yo, pull through 2 lps, (2 lps on hk), yo, pull through remaining 2 lps.

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Crochet Cabana uses American crochet terminology.
For UK/Australia terms & international symbols, click here.

Copyright 1997 - 2016 by Sandra Petit. All rights reserved.

Crochet Cabana created October 1997 (domain name purchased March 2001)
Crochet Cabana’s Crafty Corral begun November 7, 2004.
The Crochet Cabana Blog begun May 2010.
Site update November 18, 2012.