Crochet Basics: How to Decrease in Crochet
Learning how to increase and decrease in crochet properly is a must if you are making home decor or crochet garments that require shaping. Yesterday we covered crochet increases. Now it is time to learn how to decrease in crochet. Learning how to decrease is not quite as easy as increasing, but it is simple and becomes second nature once you have done it a few times. In this post, I’ll provide instructions for a single crochet decrease, and the next to come would be half double crochet decrease and double crochet decrease with no holes or gaps. Learn how to decrease in single crochet with this easy to follow step-by-step guide.
Decreases are abbreviated in patterns as ‘dec’, but sometimes the designer will simply tell you to “sc 2 tog” which means to “single crochet 2 together”, etc. In garments, increases and decreases are often paired so that the shaping occurs simultaneously on both sides. This decrease is used in some decorative stitches and shaping.
The single crochet stitch is one of the easiest to decrease. Before you start to decrease your single crochets in a project, practice on a gauge swatch.
The basic technique:
To single crochet decrease at the beginning of a row, start to make a single crochet, stopping just before pulling a loop through the 2 loops on the hook.
Place the hook into the next stitch and pull up a loop. Now there are 3 loops on the hook.
Yarn over and then pull through all 3 loops. You’ve just learned how to decrease in crochet!
Working a decrease at the end of the row works the same way. In the 2nd to last stitch, begin to making a single crochet, stopping when there are 2 loops on the hook. Put the hook into the last stitch and pull up a loop. Then yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on hook.
A single crochet decrease! Notice how a decrease makes the work slant inward. So this decrease at the end of the row, makes the work slant in towards the right. The decrease worked earlier at the start of the row, does the opposite, it makes the work slant in towards the left.
Easy! Next time we'll talk about the invisible decrease, which is also a great technique to learn!
Have you ever experienced difficulties with increasing or decreasing? Tell me in comments! Happy crocheting!