How to Increase and Decrease in Crochet
This crochet article was written by my friends at Knitter’s Pride.
How to Increase and Decrease in Crochet
Unless you are crocheting a simple blanket, or something of uniform shape, you are going to need to increase and decrease the stitches in your pattern while using your crochet hook.
Knowing how to increase and decrease in crochet is easily done. Today, we are going to talk you through increasing and decreasing in crochet. We’ll also offer you some pro tips on how to invisible decrease a single crochet, which is a great technique to use if you are working on an Amigurumi, or a stuffed toy.
How Do You Increase When You Crochet?
Increasing in crochet is super simple. Basically it means that you will be adding extra stitches so that you will have more stitches in the row than you previously did. You don’t need to change your crochet hook, or the crochet hook size!
To increase, you will work the stitch more than once. You can do that with any simple crochet stitch, i.e. double crochet or single crochet stitch.
The pattern will usually tell you where you have to increase and what kind of stitch you should be using. If you have been practicing with a crochet hook, this is really easy.
How Do You Decrease In Crocheting?
Decreasing in crochet means that you are reducing the number of stitches in a row.
A very simple form of decreasing can be achieved by simply skipping one stitch. This technique might be simple, but unfortunately, it is not invisible.
To make it less visible you will have to work one stitch across two stitches from the previous row. If it sounds complicated, don’t worry. With good technique and the right crochet hook it is in fact really simple.
Initially you will start with a stitch, but instead of completing it you will work the next stitch half way too, and then complete these two stitches together.
Make sure to make the decrease as invisible as possible, especially if you’re working on a project that is going to be stuffed, i.e. an Amigurumi.
How to Invisible Decrease:
- Insert the hook into the front loop of the next stitch. At this moment you will have the original stitch and the front loop on your crochet hook.
- Now insert the crochet hook into the front loop of the following stitch. Now you have a total of three stitches on your crochet hook (the original stitch and the front loops of the following two stitches).
- Yarn over and pull the yarn through the two front loops. You now have two stitches on your crochet hook.
- Yarn over and pull the yarn through these remaining two loops. You have now finished the invisible single crochet. Well done!
This decrease is completely invisible!
Increasing and decreasing is a very easy technique in crochet and can be done with any kind of crochet hook, whether you are using a single ended crochet hook or a double ended crochet hook.
Make sure that you follow the pattern precisely.
If you want to have a look at our crochet hook sets, make sure to visit our website. There you will be able to find different kinds of crochet hooks, i.e. single ended crochet hooks, double ended crochet hooks and Tunisian crochet hooks. The crochet hooks are available individually, or as crochet hook sets.
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Hi Verna, I don’t generally skip stitches myself unless I’m making something that can have stitches skipped at the very end of the row and it shapes it into an earflap or something like that 🙂 Then it is ok because I am usually working an edging around the earflap and it hides the skipped bit! Hope you are doing well Verna. Talk soon, Rhondda
Hi Rhonnda, Last week I was introduced to skipping the stitch. I’d never heard of it…hahaha, I tried it on a small amigurumi, but it felt odd not using all the stitches. For invisible, instead of going through the front loop of two stitches, I go through the front on the first, and the back on the second. I like this best method best, but as you point out, there are more than way to do it. Thank you.