Crochet Decrease

How to do crochet decrease

(scroll down for more detailed instructions with photos and video tutorial)

You are a beginner and have mastered the basic crochet stitches, but so far have only been able to work in squares and rectangles. This is great - there are so many things you can make such as scarves, blankets and even jumpers.

Now you can go one step further and learn how to decrease and increase your stitches to make other shapes. This will open up a whole new world of possibilites with your designs and the type of patterns you can follow. You will be able to make raglan sleeves, halter tops, shaped hats and berets, gloves, teddies and other toys and much more.

You will also be able to learn a lot more stitches too because just like knitting, you can decrease in one place and then increase in another place on a row to make fancy patterned fabrics.

Decreasing is simple and easy to learn. Put simply, what you do is work a stitch until you have 2 loops on the hook and do not make the final pull through (with half double crochet - or half trebles if you are British - you will have 3 loops on your hook).

Work the next stitch the same way so that you now have 3 loops on your hook. Pull the yarn through all 3 loops. (With half double crochet you will have 5 loops) You now have one stitch instead of two. If you want to decrease by 2 stitches then do the above over three stitches instead of two.

Do not be tempted to do a crochet decrease by missing out a stitch unless you want a wee hole as part of the pattern.

In patterns you will probably find the following abbreviations or something similar

sc2tog = single crochet 2 together (UK double crochet)

sc3tog = single crochet 3 together

hdc2tog = half double crochet 2 together (UK half treble)

dc2tog = double crochet 2 together (UK treble)

tr2tog = treble crochet 2 together (UK double treble)


You can also crochet several stitches together but all into one stitch. This will not actually decrease the number of stitches in your row, but is used in stitch patterns. it's a nice easy way of making a bobble similar to the bobbles used in afghan patterns by working the group of stitches in a longer stitch than the main fabric - but don't be fretting about this now if you are a beginner.

If a pattern says: sc2tog into next 2 stitches, or sc3tog into next 3 stitches, you know it is a crochet decrease. If it says something like: dc5tog into next stitch, then it is not a decrease - the stitches are all worked into the same stitch and you start with one stitch and end with one stitch - this is part of the fabric pattern.

You can also decrease to make an L shape by working a slip stitch along the first part of the row. Make a turning chain after these slip stitches instead of at the end of the last row, then carry on along the remainder of the row as normal.

For more detailed instructions see below

VIDEO TUTORIAL- How to crochet decrease

Crochet Decrease Instructions for Single Crochet (UK double crochet)

1. Insert hook into stitch and hook the yarn

2. Pull yarn through so you now have 2 loops on your hook

3. Insert hook into next stitch and hook the yarn

4. Pull yarn through so that you now have 3 loops on your hook

5. Hook the yarn

6. Pull the yarn through all 3 loops on hook

You now have one stitch instead of two.

Double Crochet (UK Trebles)

1. Hook yarn,  insert hook into stitch, hook up yarn again

2. Pull yarn through so that you now have 3 loops on hook,  hook up yarn again

3. Pull yarn through first 2 loops on hook so that you now have 2 loops on your hook

4. Hook yarn.   Insert hook into next stitch, hook yarn again

5. Pull yarn through so that you now have 4 loops on hook, hook up yarn

6. Pull yarn through first 2 loops on hook. Now you have 3 loops on hook

7. Finally hook the yarn up and pull it through all three loops.

This leaves you with one stitch where there were two

Half Double Crochet (UK Half trebles)

1. Hook the yarn

2. Insert hook into stitch, hook the yarn again and pull it through the stitch

3. You now have three loops on your hook

4. Hook the yarn again

5. Insert hook into nextstitch, hook the yarn again and pull it through the stitch

6. You now have 5 loops on your hook

7. Hook the yarn one last time

8.Pull yarn through all 5 loops

9. You are now left with one stitch where there were two

Now you have learned to do a crochet decrease you can do so much more with shaping and stitch patterns.






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