Learn How to Crochet the Shell Stitch with this step-by-step photo tutorial. This pretty stitch is simple to learn and great for many different types of crochet projects! A version of this post was originally shared by me at Crafts Unleashed. This post contains affiliate links, which help to support this blog. Thanks!
Hey there! Today I have another stitch tutorial to share with you all of one of my very favorite stitch patterns – the Shell Stitch. I love this stitch because it creates so much pretty texture and it is simple to learn and remember. It was one of the very first stitch patterns I learned when I was relearning how to crochet, and I still use it all the time!
This stitch looks a bit complicated, but it is really pretty simple to learn. It is one of my go-to stitches because of its simplicity and its lovely scalloped shape. There are different versions of the shell stitch pattern, but the one I am teaching you today produces a nice tight fabric with lots of texture and not many holes, which makes it perfect for cozy scarves or blankets and for washcloths that are as pretty as they are functional. I’m currently even working on a backpack that uses the shell stitch (can’t wait for you guys to see that! Coming soon).
So, anyway, if you have been wanting to learn how to crochet the shell stitch, you are in the right place! I am going to walk you through the stitch pattern and share a few tips for working with this stitch. You are going to be a shell stitch expert in no time!
Crochet Shell Stitch Supplies:
- Yarn (For my sample swatch I used Caron Simply Soft and for my little shell scarf I used Wool Ease Thick & Quick)
- A Crochet Hook (I used an H (5.00 mm) hook for the swatch and an N (9.00 mm) hook for the scarf)
- Yarn Needle
How to Crochet the Shell Stitch
Row 1: To start off our little swatch, we will begin with a row of single crochet. You can either start with a chain and single crochet in each chain stitch or try out one of my favorite crochet tricks, the foundation single crochet stitch. (If you have never tried the foundation single crochet stitch, I highly recommend giving it a try! I have a video and photo tutorial to walk you through it right HERE.) Whichever way you choose to make your row of single crochet stitches, you need end up with a multiple of six stitches plus one. For this sample, I started with 31 single crochet stitches, which equals five shells across.
Row 2: Once we have our first single crochet row ready, we are all set to get going with our pattern!
- Start the second row by chaining one and working a single crochet in the same stitch.
- Next, skip two stitches, and work 5 double crochet stitches in the next stitch.
- Skip two stitches and work a single crochet in the next stitch. Your first shell is formed!
- Continue repeating the skip 2 stitches, work 5 double crochet in the next stitch, skip 2 stitches, single crochet in next stitch pattern until you reach the end of the row.
Row 3: Row 3 is worked very similar to Row 2 except we will start with a half shell instead of a full shell. This way the shells we are working this row will be positioned in between the shells from the previous row.
- Start by chaining 3 and working two double crochet in the same stitch
- Next, work a single crochet in the center double crochet of the first shell from the previous row. Your first half shell is formed!
- Work five double crochet in the next single crochet (it’s between the shells on the previous row) and then work a single crochet in the center double crochet of the next shell. (First full shell formed!)
- Repeat this pattern until you reach the end of the row.
- Finally, work 3 dc in the last single crochet stitch of the previous row.
For the remaining rows, you simply need to repeat rows 2 and 3 until your piece reaches the desired length. Easy Peasy!
As I said before, the crochet shell stitch is one of my favorite stitch patterns. You can use it for so many things, but I especially love it for scarfs. I used a chunky yarn and a large hook to work up a pretty, chunky scarf in just a couple of hours. And there you have a perfect little gift all ready for the holiday season – no pattern required! I love projects like this because I can work on it mindlessly while watching TV or relaxing at night without having to constantly reference a pattern.
For this scarf, I started with 19 single crochet and my scarf was 3 shells across. I just kept on repeating the pattern until my scarf was as long as I wanted. I love how quickly it worked out, and I love the look of the shell stitch in this chunky yarn – it’s so cozy!
I hope this has helped you learn how to crochet the shell stitch. If you have any questions about the stitch, just leave it in the comments, and I will do my best to help!
If this tutorial was helpful for you and you make your own project using the shell stitch, I would LOVE to see it! Share your photos to my facebook page or tag me on instagram or twitter (@persialou), and don’t forget to use the hashtag #persialou for a chance to be featured.
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