The crochet shell stitch is created by working a number of crochet stitches together in one stitch, which causes them to fan out and create a shape that looks like a shell. This is an easy crochet stitch that you can learn after you learn the very basics of how to crochet. There are many, many different ways to crochet shell stitch. You can make the shell stitch in different heights, using half double crochet stitches or treble crochet stitches, for example. You can even make it with different heights in the same stitch; a common option is to work sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc all into one stitch. Another way to change up the crochet shell is to change the stitches that you use in between each shell. Once you have learned the basics of the crochet shell stitch, you can play with all of these different variations. But to get you started, let’s look at how to crochet a common shell stitch, one made with 5 dc stitches that are separated by double crochet stitches.
Crochet a chain that is a multiple of 6 stitches plus 3. The number of the multiple determines the number shells in the row. For example, we will do 36, which is 6 multiples of 6 or six shells. And then don’t forget to add 3 so our starting chain is 39.
Work five double crochet all into the fifth chain from the hook. (That gives you a double crochet on the right end.)
Skip one stitch and single crochet in the next stitch.
Skip one stitch and then 5 dc in next stitch. Repeat this across the row.
End with three double crochet stitches (which is considered a “half shell”) in the last stitch of the row.
Chain one to turn.
Single crochet in the first stitch.
Work one shell (5 dc) in the next chain one space between the half shell and the next shell.
Single crochet in the third dc of the 5 dc that make up the next shell.
Work across the row, putting a 5 dc shell stitch in each single crochet and a single crochet in the center dc of each shell.
End with three double crochet stitches (a half shell) in the last stitch.
And that’s it – keep repeating the pattern across the row. To recap, each row will be:
- Chain one to turn.
- Single crochet in first stitch, which is a double crochet.
- Work a shell of 5 dc in the single crochet stitch between the half shell and the first shell.
- Single crochet in the center double crochet of the next shell.
- Continue across row: 1 shell, 1 sc
- End with 3 dc (a half shell) in the final stitch of the row.