How to Make a Crochet Shell Stitch

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    Once you've mastered crochet basics, learn to combine stitches into groups to make decorative patterns. A shell stitch, or a fan stitch, is a common motif in afghans and sweaters. A shell can vary in size but the basic premise is the same -- multiple stitches made in one stitch from the row below followed by several skipped stitches to keep the rows and stitches even. The size of your pattern determines whether you do double or triple crochet stitches and how many of those stitches are in each shell.

    Things You'll Need

    • Yarn
    • Crochet hook in size to obtain proper gauge

    Five Triple Crochet Solid Shell Pattern

    Make a slip knot. Put your hook through the loop. Make a foundation chain of a multiple of six plus one. For example, to make three shells, make a chain of 19 -- six times three plus one.

    Chain one more. This is your turning chain. It's actually part of the next row.

    Skip three chains not counting the one you've just made.

    Make five triple crochet stitches in the next chain stitch, the fifth from the hook. This is your shell.

    Skip two chains. Single crochet in the next stitch. Skip two chains.

    Repeat the pattern of shell stitch, skip two, single crochet, skip two, until you reach the end of the row. You should end with a single crochet in the last chain stitch. Turn.

    Chain two. Make two triple crochet stitches in the last single crochet stitch from the row below.

    Skip the next two triple crochet stitches. Single crochet in the next triple crochet stitch. Skip the next two triple crochet stitches.

    Make a shell stitch in the next single crochet stitch.

    Repeat the pattern of skip two, single crochet, skip two, shell stitch until there is only the turning chain stitch left.

    Make three triple crochet stitches in the turning chain stitch. Chain one.

    Repeat the first and second row until you've reached the desired length.

    • Smaller hooks require that you use thinner, lighter weight, yarn. If you don't, you won't be able to see the pattern clearly.
    • Using a larger hook is faster, but may require that you double the yarn to keep your stitches from being too lacy.
    • Don't pull your stitches too tight. It is tempting to do so in order to maintain a consistent stitch size, but tight stitches are much harder to work in. This is especially true of a pattern like a shell that has multiple stitches in each foundation stitch.