Learning how to increase crochet stitches opens up your crochet world to a host of possibilities. Many crochet textures are made by simple increases and skipped stitches. Once you learn how to make a simple increase, then you can start to experiment with different crochet textures like bobble, puff, and popcorn stitches. The classic granny stitch is simply a series of increases in a space and a series of chains. Are you a newbie? Check out this post on how to crochet for beginners.
The concepts in this tutorial are written for the single crochet stitch, but they can easily be replaced with any crochet stitch and in a pattern will be written in the same format. We write a 1 stitch single crochet increase as 2 sc in st or sp indicated. If we were to increase 1 stitch in double crochet, it would be written as 2 dc in st or sp indicated so on.
How to Increase Single Crochet Stitches
For this tutorial, we are using Mary Maxim’s Woodlands Yarn in the color Blossom, and a size I-9 (5.50 mm) hook to make a corner to corner square by increasing and decreasing single crochet stitches. Make sure to follow along with our decreasing tutorial to finish the square.
Chain 2 Take a look at our video on How to Chain if you need a refresher.
Row 1: make 3 single crochet into the 2nd chain from the hook, then turn. At the end of this row you should have 3 single crochet stitches.
This would be written in your pattern as “3 sc in 2nd ch from hook, turn. (3 sc)”
Row 2: Chain one and make 2 single crochets in the first stitch. Single crochet in the next stitch and make 2 single crochet’s in the last stitch. When this row is completed, you will have 5 single crochet stitches in this row.
This row would be written in your pattern as ch 1, 2 sc in first stitch, sc in next st, 2 sc in last sc, turn. (5 sc)
Row 3: Chain one and make 2 single crochets in the first stitch. Single crochet in each of the next 3 stitches and make 2 single crochets in the last stitch. When this row is completed, you will have 7 single crochet stitches in this row.
This row would be written in your pattern as ch 1, 2 sc in first stitch, sc in each of next 3 sts, 2 sc in last sc. Turn. (7 sc)
You may have noticed that there isn’t a specific abbreviation for an increase like there is in a decrease, so you’ll have to pay particular attention to these when reading patterns. In general, when an increase is written into the pattern, it will read “2 sc in next sc”. We are just using single crochet as an example, so this same format can be used with any basic stitch like double crochet or half double crochet; there can also be any number of increases.
Many crochet patterns will stagger increases so they won’t be so apparent in the fabric of your work. This is contrary to many knit fabrics where the increase or decrease is part of the overall look or design of the completed item. Increasing evenly across a row or a round will shape your fabric evenly whereas clusters of increases will shape only one part, for instance, the heel of a slipper.
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