How to Shell Stitch


Crochet Maker 102


Lesson Info

How to Shell Stitch

All right, let's talk shell stitch. A shell stitch, you can really make shell stitch in many different ways, but really what it is, is it's a series of usually double or triple crochets all worked in one stitch, usually with a chain in between to break up even amounts of stitches. And I'll show you what I mean by this. So we're not only going to learn just a shell stitch, but we're going to sort of talk about how stitch patterns come together. So when you create, or when you work a shell stitch or any other sort of individual stitch like that, and you put it in a sequence with other stitches, it becomes an overall stitch pattern. And that usually means there's going to be several rows to create this overall look. And you can see here, this is my shell stitch swatch that I've grown... That I've grown. That I've birthed. (laughing) That I crocheted. And all it is is that it's a two row repeat after we've done our establishing row. And the practice swatch info, the pattern for it, will be...

a bonus material that you can nab off our course page. So to get started, you're going to do your foundation chain, which I've already done to get started. And then for row one, you need to double crochet in the fourth chain from the hook. So one, two, three, four. We create our double crochet. And those chains that we skipped just now, that will also count as a double crochet as well. So technically we have two double crochets in this one little area. All right, then we're going to chain one. We're going to skip two. One, two. And then we're going to single crochet in that next stitch. All right, from they're we're going to chain one again. We're going to skip two again. And this is where we're going to do our first shell stitch. So to do a shell stitch, we are going to double crochet twice in that same chain. Then, move that. Then we're going to chain one and we're going to double crochet two more times still in that same stitch. And so what that does is that lets the double crochets kind of fan out, or look like a shell. So that is a shell stitch. This could be done with triple crochets. It could also be done with additional double crochets. So you could do three and three, or four and four, it just depends on the look that you're going through. But no matter what, you want to have that chain in the center to help it fan out. All right, so we've created that first shell, and then we need to chain one again. And we're going to skip two again. One, two. And we're going to single crochet in the next stitch. And then we're going to repeat that whole process. So we're gong to chain one. One, two. And we're going to create a shell in the next stitch. So our shell is two double crochets, a chain one, and then two more double crochets. And when you're reading the pattern that you can get through the bonus materials, you'll notice that this, that the two double crochets, it will say 2DC, CH1, 2DC and it will have it in brackets. So that means that those are their little buddies. That's all one stitch. That's the shell. All right, so we've created our next shell. We're going to chain one. We're going to skip one, two. We're going to single crochet. We're going to chain one again. We're going to skip two again, and now we're going to do a half shell just to sort of bookend what we did when we started with our two double crochets. So we just need to do two double crochets. Try that again. Double crochets in the last chain. Okay. So that is your first row. So I had a piece ready for the second row, but I might as well just keep on with what I have. All right, so we flip it over, we turn it. And now, this is going to alternate a little bit, because it wouldn't really work to stack them directly on top of each other, the shells on top of the shells, because it creates kind of this wave pattern. You can see that that's not flat on top. You're going to want to place the new shells in the little valleys instead of in the peaks of your shell stitch. So for row two, we're going to chain one. And then we're going to single crochet in that same space, because that chain one isn't going to count as anything. It's just not really tall enough. And then we're going to chain one. And you're going to skip that double crochet, skip that chain space, and then we're going to work the shell in this single crochet from the row below. So our shell stitch we know is two double crochets. And then we chain one. And we do two more. And you can see how that kind of just nestles right in the little valley. It kind of puts its little arm around the one below, the shell below it. So then you're going to create a chain one. And you want to skip the chain one that's down there, and you want to skip these two double crochets. What we want to do is we want to get over to this chain one that's at the center of the shell from the row below. So once we're over there, we're just going to single crochet right through that space. And what that does is that anchors. That's going to anchor that shell to the shell below it. Kind of at an angle below it. All right. Then we're going to chain one again. We're going to skip those two double crochets. We're also going to skip the chain one, and we're going to go and do our shell in the next single crochet. Okay. So now we're going to chain one again, and we know, all right, we got to anchor this shell down, so we know that we're going to skip those next two double crochet and the chain one that was before that. We're going to go in to the chain space from the center of the shell from the row below, and anchor it by single crocheting in that. Chain one again. Skip the next two double crochets. Skip that next chain one. And we're going to work our last shell for the row right in that next single crochet. All right, that shell stitch done. We're going to chain one. You're going to skip the next chain one. Skip the next double crochet. And you're just going to single crochet in the top of the beginning chain three. Well, it's not exactly the beginning of chain three because it'll be in the chains at the beginning that you skipped, and you'll notice it will look a little bit different than the top of a double crochet. You just want to get into the top one of those chains and you just, honestly, there's not really a fine art to it. Just kind of get your hook in, do the job, and move on. All right, so that is the end of row two. All right, so for the last row of this repeat, we're going to start by chaining three, and that's getting us up to the height of a double crochet. So in that same stitch where we just were, we're going to do, we're going to work an actual double crochet. And so you'll notice that this is basically creating our half shell. So from here we're going to chain one. We're going to skip that space here, these two double crochets, and we see that we are at the center of the shell from the row below. So we know that that's an anchor stitch. We're going to go ahead and single crochet there. We're going to chain one. We're going to skip those two double crochets. We're going to skip the chain that's right there, the chain space right there, and we're going to work a shell in that single crochet. So you'll see now this is the pattern, is that you're just alternating where those shell stitches are placed to create the overall stitch pattern. All right, we've done that, so now we've chained one as well. We're skipping over to our next chain one space in the middle of a shell, anchoring it all down with a single crochet. Chain one again. We're going to do the same thing that we've been doing, skipping those two double crochets, skipping the chain one, and working a shell in that single crochet from the row below. Shell stitch is really great for blankets, if you ever wanted to make a blanket, especially like a baby gift blanket. It's a really sweet stitch. It can obviously get funkier the thicker yarn that you use, so just have fun with it, but it's a really solid, kind of decorative stitch. All right, we're skipping over these again. We're now at the center of the next shell, so we know we need to single crochet. And we're going to round this row off by chaining one, skipping over two, skipping to the last stitch, and doing our half shell, which is two double crochets in that last stitch. And then from there, for your swatch, you will just repeat rows two and three for as long as you want. And honestly, for the swatch, I say end at four inches, or ten centimeters, but with this, you could keep going and make, it's wide enough that you could make a little scarf out of this. You could just keep going for as long as you wanted a scarf, and it would be a really solid looking scarf. I'd probably add fringe at the end just because there isn't sort of a clean border, but it would be really sweet, and you would look pretty sweet. So let's move on to something new.

Class Description

If you are confident in your beginner projects and ready to explore the next level of crochet, this is the class for you!

In this advanced beginner class, Vickie Howell will teach you the tools and skills you need to crochet intermediate-level projects. You’ll build on your beginner crochet skills as you explore ways to create more complicated projects.

You’ll refresh your crochet and draping skills, and then learn how to:

  • Create straight-up stitches like: puff stitch, shell stitch, FP/BP rib, and basic cable
  • Shape projects by using increases and decreases
  • Crochet in the round
  • Read a crochet chart
  • Make a granny square, including step-by-step instructions

Don’t let your crochet skills stagnate! Join Vickie Howell for this fun and informative class and learn what it takes to start tackling advanced beginner crochet projects.