Crochet for Beginners: Learning the Shell Stitch
Shell stitches make a very pretty edging for lots of projects. This stitch is an advanced beginner crochet stitch that adds decorative appeal to many projects. Your pattern will tell you how many double crochet stitches to use for a shell. Crochet the shell stitch in a single color to create a beautiful texture or change colors from row to row for a more intricate design. Today I invite you to learn how to crochet shell stitch. Grab a hook in a size that matches your yarn weight and let’s dive in! Check the step-by-step guide on the bottom of the page.
Using your first color of yarn, work a starting or foundation chain.
The starting chain should have a series of chain stitches in a multiple of six stitches plus one. For example, when making a swatch, use a starting chain of 31 (five multiples of six plus one extra stitch). Work a single crochet stitch into the second chain stitch from your hook.
Skip the next two chain stitches, then work a double crochet stitch into the next chain stitch after that. Work four more double crochet stitches into the same chain stitch, for a total of five double crochets. This set of five double crochet stitches creates the shell.
Skip the next two chain stitches. Then work a single crochet stitch into the next chain stitch after the unworked chains. Now you have your first completed crochet shell, anchored on each side.
Now we have to change colors (if you use different colors) and make a turning chain. If you want to continue working in the same color, without doing any color changes, complete the single crochet stitch, but do not end off. Skip the color change instructions and then pick up when you get to the turning chain instructions. If you're working rows of shell stitch using different colors, work the last single crochet stitch without completing the last step of the stitch.
Work a turning chain of three chain stitches. This counts as your first double crochet stitch in the new row.
Turn your work around and work two double crochet stitches into the first stitch.
Skip the next two stitches, and make a single crochet stitch into the next double crochet. You should work into the center stitch in the grouping of shell stitches in the row below.
Skip the next two stitches. Work a group of five double crochets (another shell) into the next stitch. Repeat these steps over and over again across the row. When you reach the end of the row, work three double crochet stitches into the last single crochet, forming another half shell.
Change to your next color of yarn and chain one for the turning chain. Work a single crochet stitch into the first stitch. Repeat this sequence across the row, alternating shells and single crochet stitches all the way across. At the end of the row, work your last single crochet stitch into the turning chain. Repeat rows two and three for your pattern repeat until you reach the desired length for your crochet shell stitch project.