Common Crochet Stitch Guide

Check out the most common crochet stitches with this crochet stitch guide. These stitches are the building blocks of crochet. When you're learning to crochet, you learn those stitches first before moving on to pattern stitches.

A pattern stitch consists of ordered stitches that are repeated to make textures, shells and clusters, as well as decorative motifs. You use pattern stitches to create crocheted items such as scarves, hats, baby blankets and more.

You can find pattern stitches in crochet books or pattern leaflets, and on the Internet. With practice, you can learn to individualize a written pattern by using different crochet hooks or yarns. A stitch pattern can be as simple as two rows, or as complex as twelve. A row counter can help you keep track of where you are.

Texture Crochet Stitches
Texture crochet patterns use basic crochet stitches to create a multitude of compact patterns.

The alternate stitch is done on a multiple of two chains plus two for turning. Begin by making a chain the length you need, turn it, and after skipping three chains (the turning chain), make two single crochet in the next chain (or stitch, in later rows). Then skip a chain (or stitch) and chain one. Repeat that to the last stitch or chain, make two single crochets in the last stitch, chain two and turn. The second row will make the two crochet stitches in the single chain spaces, and skip and chain over the two crochets in the previous row. Those two rows make up a pattern that looks something like a leaf when it's made up.

The double stitch is similar to the alternate stitch, but instead of making two single crochets in one stitch, it spans two stitches. Insert your crochet hook in the stitch to be worked, wrap the yarn over it so you pull back a loop, then insert the crochet hook into the next stitch. Yarn over so you'll pull back an additional loop, then pull the yarn through all three loops on the hook. Repeat the double stitch over each pair of stitches in the row. With a soft, washable crochet yarn, this pattern makes a warm baby blanket.

Other texture stitches include:

  • Up and down, which alternates single and double stitches.
  • Checker board pattern created by alternating groups of three or four single and double crochet stitches.
  • Woven stitch made by crocheting a single crochet in a chain stitch, chaining one and skipping the next stitch, and then crocheting another single crochet. Repeat this across the first row, then crochet one in the chain space of the previous row, skipping and chaining one over the single crochets in the previous row.
  • Diagonal stitch, which uses long stitches pulled across groups of three single or double crochet stitches.

There are many more texture stitches. Once you've tried a few, you may start coming up with textures of your own.

Shell or Fan Pattern Stitches

The shell or fan stitch is one of the most popular designs for baby blankets, throws and afghans. A shell is a group of three to five stitches worked into a single stitch or chain space. The group will be closer together at the bottom and spread out at the top, so each group looks like a fan or seashell.

A simple shell has a double crochet in one stitch, then two double crochet, a single chain, and two more double crochets all in the next stitch. Another double crochet is made in the next stitch, but the loop is carried across three skipped stitches, and a smaller fan is made. Each large shell is crocheted into the skipped stitch of the shell below it, creating a scalloped edge.

Variations on the shell can be made by crocheting small shells in narrow chain spaces, creating an open, delicate pattern ideal for baby clothes or blankets. By making large shells over large open areas, you can create an arch-like pattern. Make a fan opening upward over one opening down, and you'll have a beautiful starburst pattern.

Cluster Crochet Stitch Patterns
The best known cluster stitch is probably the bobble stitch. The bobble is usually between a pair of single crochet stitches, and is created by doing a yarn over, inserting the crochet hook into the bobble's base stitch and pulling a loop out. You then do another yarn over, pulling the yarn through two of the stitches on the hook. This is repeated five times in the base stitch, resulting in six loops remaining on the hook. The yarn is pulled through all six loops to create the bobble, then secured by making a single crochet in the stitch that follows it.

Another popular cluster pattern is the pineapple stitch. Worked on a multiple of two plus four, the pineapple is made by doing a yarn over, inserting the crochet hook in a single stitch, and pulling up a loop four times, making a yarn over. Draw the crochet yarn through eight loops, then make another yarn over and pull the yarn through the last two loops. Unlike bobbles, pineapples aren't usually anchored with single crochet stitches. Instead, a stitch is skipped between each pineapple, and a chain is made over the skipped stitch. In the next row, the pineapples are made in the chain space between the pineapples on the previous row. The top of the pineapple is skipped and a chain is made above it.

You should now have a better idea of the kind of designs you can make with basic crochet stitches. Find some crochet books, search the Web and, after making some patterns, try creating some of your own. 

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