How to Work Reverse Single Crochet (Crab Stitch)

Completed reverse single crochet/crab stitch

Reverse single crochet, also known as crab stitch, creates a decorative cord-like effect. But if you’ve never done it, it can be tricky to understand exactly what the instructions are asking you to do.

The most important thing to understand is that you are going to be working in the opposite direction from ordinary crochet. If you are right-handed, you normally crochet from the right to the left.

Direction of normal crochet for right-handers
Right-handed crocheters usually work in this direction.

If you are left-handed, you normally crochet from the left to the right.

Direction of normal crochet for left-handers
Left-handed crocheters usually work in this direction.

But in reverse single crochet, you are going the other way!

Follow the instructions below, referring to the right-handed or left-handed images to for additional help. I’ve also included a helpful video which you’ll find at the bottom of the post.

Step-by-Step Instructions

At the end of the last row, chain 1, but do not turn the work.

As you crochet this row, keep your hook headed in the same direction that you have been working. (Pointed to the left for right-handers and to the right for left-handers.)

Keep your index finger on the stitch on the hook so that it doesn’t jump off the hook. Insert the hook into the first stitch.

Reverse single crochet: Insert hook into first stitch; right-handed
Right-handed
Reverse single crochet: Insert hook into first stitch; left-handed
Left-handed

Yarn over and pull up a loop. Remember to keep the hook pointing to the left or right as described above.

Reverse single crochet: Yarn over and pull up a loop; right-handed
Right-handed
Reverse single crochet: Yarn over and pull up a loop; left-handed
Left-handed

Now yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook to complete the first single crochet.

Reverse single crochet: Yarn over and pull through two loops; right-handed
Right-handed
Reverse single crochet: Yarn over and pull through two loops; left-handed
Left-handed

Holding the loop on the hook, insert the hook into the next stitch and complete a single crochet.

Reverse single crochet: Insert hook into next stitch and complete the next single crochet; right-handed
Right-handed
Reverse single crochet: Insert hook into next stitch and complete the next single crochet; left-handed
Left-handed

Continue working all the way across the row. Remember to keep your hook pointing to the left if it’s in your right hand, or to the right if it’s in your left hand. Use your index finger to keep the loops on the hook when they want to jump off.

And relax! Breathe! You’ve got this!

Completed reverse single crochet/crab stitch edging
A completed crab stitch edging

Watch Crab Stitch in Action

The following may contain affiliate links. If you buy something when you use one of those links, I may get a small income, but it won’t cost you anything extra.

You’ll find edgings that incorporate crab stitch/reverse single crochet in Around the Corner Crochet Borders and Every Which Way Crochet Borders. For more crochet tips and techniques, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

I’ve got more links to crochet resources at Crochet: Basics & Beyond.

The yarn I used in the photos and videos is Red Heart Chic Sheep. The crochet hook is Clover Amour, size 5 mm.

Easy Lacy Rib Knitting Stitch Pattern

Easy Lacy Rib swatch

This Easy Lacy Rib knitting stitch pattern is perfect for warm-weather knitting. With only a 3-stitch and 4-row repeat, you’ll soon get into the rhythm of the pattern without having to think too much.

Can’t you see this as a cotton summer wrap, or perhaps as a tunic to wear over your tank top or swimsuit? Or use a lightweight yarn to create a simple shawl for cooler weather.

The yarn I’m using is Chic Sheep by Marly Bird from Red Heart. I’m using US 8 [5 mm] Clover Takumi bamboo knitting needles. The grey yarn pictured below is Nifty Cotton from Cascade Yarns.

Easy Lacy Rib

Easy Lacy Rib stitch chart
Easy Lacy Rib stitch chart
Easy Lacy Rib stitch key
Easy Lacy Rib swatch in grey

Cast on a multiple of 3 sts + 1.

Row 1 (WS): K1, *p2, k1; rep from *.
Row 2: P1, *yo, ssk, p1; rep from *.
Row 3: Rep Row 1.
Row 4: P1, *k2tog, yo, p1; rep from *.

Repeat Rows 1-4 for pattern.

That’s it! Watch the video for tips on how to read your knitting so that you can go “off pattern” and pick up wherever you left off.

Abbreviations
k: knit
k2tog: knit 2 sts together
p: purl
rep: repeat
ssk (slip, slip, knit): slip the next 2 sts one at a time knitwise, insert left needle into the fronts of these two sts, then knit them together through the back loops
st(s): stitch(es)
WS: wrong side
yo: yarn over

For more knitting stitch patterns, check out the list of stitch pattern dictionaries


Skill-Builder Crochet Blanket Crochet Along

Plan now to join me in the Skill-Builder Crochet Blanket Crochet Along. Whether you’ve mastered all the basic crochet stitches, or you just know how to chain and single crochet, you’ll learn new skills with each square you complete.

The Crochet Along (CAL) runs February 4-March 19 on Ravelry, but you can join anytime. Pattern clues will be released on Mondays and Thursdays; each will contain both text and charted instructions, and most will contain video technique lessons. 

The Construction

Red Crocheted Square Skill-Builder Crochet Blanket

The Skill-Builder Crochet Blanket is made up of 12 pieces crocheted separately. You’ll use a different stitch pattern for each square, and along with each stitch pattern you’ll learn a new skill. You’ll also pick up tips and tricks for making your crochet look its best.

When the squares are complete, you’ll block them, join them using a crocheted seam, then add an edging.

Skills Built

The list is long! You’ll learn to:

  • Crochet into the back bump of a chain
  • Understand the use of turning chains
  • Pick up stitches evenly along an edge
  • Read pattern instructions
  • Understand crochet symbol charts
  • Understand stitch multiples
  • Crochet twelve stitch patterns
  • Create linked stitches
  • Work rows without turning
  • AND MORE!

Crochet Blanket in 2 Sizes

Diagonal view of large blanket
  • 7″ squares for a baby blanket measuring about  24″ [61 cm] wide  by 33″ [84 cm] long, using three colors
  • 13″ squares for a large blanket measuring about 42″ [107 cm] wide by 57″ [145 cm] long, using four colors

The Yarn

Grey ball of Encore yarn Skill-Builder Crochet blanket

I recommend using Plymouth Encore, a worsted-weight blend of 75% acrylic/25% wool. The wool content allows the yarn to be blocked nicely, and this yarn holds up to washing! Each skein of Plymouth Encore contains about 200 yards [182 m].

You’ll need a total of about 4 balls for the small size and 13 balls for the large size. Details about yarn colors and amounts are included in the pattern introduction.

Plymouth Encore is available at your local yarn shop. However, to make it extra easy to find the yarn, you can order kits directly from The Knitter’s Edge, a full-service yarn shop in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Email or call 610-419-9276 to order the yarn kit. You can choose the colors I used, or let them help you decide on colors that fit your decor. Order now, and they’ll have the yarn to you in plenty of time to start crocheting on February 4.

How to Crochet Along With Us

Buy the pattern on Ravelry. You’ll receive the preliminary pattern information you need right away. Discussion will take place in my Ravelry group.

On February 4, and every Monday and Thursday through March 19, you’ll receive an updated pattern with the instructions for the next installment. The pattern price will go up when the CAL is over, so get it now and crochet along with us!

Be sure to check into the Ravelry group thread to ask questions and share your progress. #SkillbuilderCAL

Join the CAL button

To brush up on your crochet skills, check out Crochet: Basics & Beyond.

Join a New Yarn with Standing Crochet Stitches

Standing Double Crochet

Standing Double Crochet
Standing Double Crochet

A standing crochet stitch allows you to join a new yarn or a new color invisibly.  The technique is easy as pie, even for beginners. Once you see it, you’ll never go back to “join with slip stitch, chain” again!

Read on for more information and how to work standing single crochet, standing double crochet, and standing half double crochet. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the video tutorials.

What is a standing crochet stitch?

A standing crochet stitch is just a term for any stitch that has started “in the air” rather than from a previous stitch. You simply begin with a slip knot on the hook, then make the stitch called for in the pattern.

You can use standing stitches anytime you would otherwise join the yarn with a slip stitch, then do a turning chain or build-up chain to reach the level of the current (or new) row of stitches.

Why “standing”?

While the technique itself has been around for a long time, a lot of crocheters don’t know about it. In patterns, the instructions would be “Join (yarn) with sc in first st,”, or “Join (yarn) with dc in first st.” They were just telling you to do this standing stitch technique.

When I was writing Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs, my research didn’t turn up a a generally accepted term for the technique, so I called them standing stitches because they stand on their own without relying on a turning or build-up chain to connect them to the piece in progress.

I think that, by labeling the technique and having it become commonly used, we can help spread the information to crocheters everywhere.

Standing Single Crochet

Standing single crochet
Standing single crochet

To work a standing single crochet, begin with a slip knot on the hook, then work a single crochet into the stitch or space indicated in the pattern, as follows:

Standing single crochet step 1
Standing single crochet Steps 1 & 2

Step 1: Begin with a slip knot on the hook.

Step 2: Insert hook into first stitch.

Standing single crochet Step 3
Standing single crochet Step 3

Step 3: Yarn over and pull up a loop. Continue reading “Join a New Yarn with Standing Crochet Stitches”

Sunset Hill Hat Crochet Pattern

Sunset Hill HatThis post contains affiliate links.

Mini-skeins of yarn in beautiful colors are so hard to resist. Make the most of those gradient mini-skeins with this crocheted hat sized for adult women. Lightweight, soft and warm, the slouchy style is kind to your hair. No hat hair here!

About the Yarn

Cloudborn Fibers Merino Superwash Sock Twist Mini SetUse your favorite mini-skeins, or draw from stash. It’s a perfect stash-buster for those leftover sock yarns. As a bonus, you’ll have a hat to match your socks!

The sample used Cloudborn Fibers Merino Superwash Sock Twist Mini Set in the Blue Jay Colorway. I really love the Amaranthine colorway shown here.

About the Construction

closeup of Sunset Hill Hat fabricDespite its complex look, the fabric is deceptively simple to crochet. There are only two stitch patterns, and you can carry the yarns up the wrong side to minimize weaving in ends. Work the band back and forth in crocheted seed stitch, then overlap the ends. Pick up stitches from the band and work in rounds to the top of the crown.

About the Pattern

Thesample of first page Sunset Hill Hat Sunset Hill Hat crochet pattern includes both text and crochet stitch diagrams. An independent tech editor has checked it for errors, and an enthusiastic team of crocheters have already tested the pattern.

You’ll find explanations of special techniques, and video links to help you learn techniques that may be new to you.

Be sure to share photos of your completed #SunsetHillHat on your favorite social media channels! We want to see what you’ve made!

CTA Buy the Pattern


Knitting Pattern: Absaroka Poncho

Knit Absaroka Poncho by Edie Eckman

Fall in love with this season-spanning wrap and the yarn it’s made of. The Absaroka Poncho, a knit poncho pattern, is easy enough for advanced beginning knitters. Better yet, when you’re ready to wear it, it can be styled several ways: worn over the shoulder as an asymmetric wrap, draped over the back neck to show off the striking colorwork, or left as a rectangular shawl to be worn over the shoulders.

The Construction

Absaroka Poncho cast-on edge
Knit two rectangular panels from the bottom up, and graft them together at the center. Sew the sides together, or use clasps or screw-in leather closures to create the poncho style.

And don’t stress over the need to graft the pieces together; there’s a video tutorial on How to Graft Knit Garter Stitch, as well as written instructions. Continue reading “Knitting Pattern: Absaroka Poncho”