Increasing and Decreasing in Crochet {free crochet tutorial}

Here’s a crochet tutorial I’m very excited to share with you, that I originally wrote for Little Becky Homecky (who’s a fellow crochet and sewing gal!) and now am getting you in on the goodies. Here is your beginner’s guide to increasing and decreasing in crochet – an essential skill for working in the round to create hats, doilies, bags, amigurumi, and much much more!

First, let’s start with increasing. This is a crochet technique that is used to make the width of your project wider. A project is made longer by adding more rows, but it is made wider by adding increasing stitches. An increasing stitch is simply two of the same stitch in one space. So, for example, I have chosen to use working in the round (see my post on that here) as my example for you, because it is one of the most common projects in which there are increasing stitches. Working in the round is one of the most important techniques to master in crochet as you can make hats, flowers, dolls, clothes and more. See my crochet page for lots of hat and flower patterns!

Crochet For Beginners - How to Increase in the Round to Make Circles for Hats, Doilies, Bags and More!

  • Picture #1 – Chain 3, slip stitch to form a ring. Chain 2, 11 double crochet in the ring (for a total of 12 double crochet)
  • Picture #2 – This is an increasing round where we work 2 double crochet stitches into each space.
  • Picture #3 – Shows the completed round 2 which is an increasing round.
  • Picture #4 – This is another increasing round, but different from round 2. Chain 2, double crochet in the same space (so it looks like 2 double crochets have been worked). Now work just 1 double crochet in the next stitch. 2 double crochets in the next. 1 in the next. Repeat the 2, 1 pattern all the way around.
  • Picture #5 – Shows the almost finished round 3.
If you continued this circle, you would typically add one increasing stitch (2 of the same stitch, in this case, a double crochet) one time less each round. So, round 4 would be: 2 DC, 1DC, 1DC. Round 5: 2 DC, 1DC, 1DC, 1DC

Single Crochet Decrease

Now let’s move on to decreasing. Decreasing is important to learn in order to make things like ear flaps on a winter hat and clothing. There are different techniques for both single, half double and double crochet, and I have a photo tutorial for each of them for you! In each example, we’re going to make a triangle together. So, come follow along!
How to Work a Single Crochet Decrease - A Crochet Photo Tutorial by My Merry Messy Life
  • Photo #1 – Chain 12. In the 2nd chain from the hook, work a single crochet. Work 1 single crochet in each stitch all the way down.
    Row 2 – Chain 1. (We’re going to begin a decreasing stitch. You’re going to start the single crochet but not complete it the same way.) So, insert your hook into the first space and pull up a loop. There should be two loops on your hook
  • Photos #2 to #3 – Leave the two loops on the hook and insert the hook into the next space and pull up a loop. There are now 3 loops on your hook.
  • Photo #4 – Yarn over, and pull through the first two loops. There are two loops remaining.
  • Photo #5 – Yarn over, and pull through the last two loops. Finished! See how there is only one space now for two stitches?
Example of a Single Crochet Decrease - A Complete Photo Tutorial for Beginners

 

If you continue, the rest of row 2 will be to single crochet in the next 6 stitches, then work another decrease in the last two. (8 total stitches)
  • Row 3: Chain 1. Work a decrease in the next 2 stitches, work a single crochet in the next 4 stitches, then work a decrease with the last two stitches. (6 total stitches)
  • Row 4: Chain 1. Work a decrease in the next 2 stitches, work 1 single crochet in the next stitch, work a decrease in the last two stitches. (4 total stitches)
  • Row 5: Chain 1. Work a decrease in the next 2 stitches, work 1 single crochet in the last stitch. (2 total stitches)
  • Row 6: Chain 1. Work a decrease in the last 2 stitches to complete!

Half Double Crochet Decrease

How to Work a Half Double Decrease in Crochet - A Complete Photo Tutorial for Beginners
  • Photo #1 – Chain 12. In the 2nd chain from the hook, work a half double crochet. Work 1 half double crochet in each stitch all the way down. (10 half double crochet total)
    Row 2 – Chain 1. (We’re going to begin a decreasing stitch. You’re going to start the half double crochet but not complete it the same way.) So, yarn over and insert your hook into the first space and pull up a loop. There should be 3 loops on your hook
  • Photo #2 – Leave the 3 loops on the hook, yarn over and insert the hook into the next space.
  • Photo #3 –  Now pull up a loop. There are now 5 loops on the hook.
  • Photo #4 – Yarn over, and pull through the first 3 loops. There are 3 loops remaining.
  • Photo #5 – Yarn over, and pull through the last 3 loops.
Example of a Half Double Crochet Decrease in Crochet
If you continue, the rest of row 2 will be to half double crochet in the next 6 stitches, then work another decrease in the last two. (8 total stitches)
  • Row 3: Chain 1. Work a decrease in the next 2 stitches, work a half double crochet in the next 4 stitches, then work a decrease with the last two stitches. (6 total stitches)
  • Row 4: Chain 1. Work a decrease in the next 2 stitches, work 1 half double crochet in the next stitch, work a decrease in the last two stitches. (4 total stitches)
  • Row 5: Chain 1. Work a decrease in the next 2 stitches, work 1 half double crochet in the last stitch. (2 total stitches)
  • Row 6: Chain 1. Work a decrease in the last 2 stitches to complete!
 

Double Crochet Decrease

How to Work a Double Crochet Decrease - A Complete Photo Tutorial for Beginners
  • Photo #1 – Chain 13. In the 3rd chain from the hook, work a double crochet. Work 1 double crochet in each stitch all the way down. (10 double crochet total)
    Row 2 – Chain 2. (We’re going to begin a decreasing stitch. You’re going to start the double crochet but not complete it the same way.) So, yarn over and insert your hook into the first space and pull up a loop. There should be 3 loops on your hook
  • Photo #2 – Yarn over and pull that loop through the 3 loops. There are now two loops remaining.
  • Photo #3 –  Yarn over, and insert the hook into the next space and pull up a loop. There are now 4 loops on the hook.
  • Photo #4 – Yarn over, and pull through the first 2 loops. There are 3 loops remaining.
  • Photo #5 – Yarn over, and pull through the last 3 loops.
Example of a Double Crochet Decrease in Crochet - A Complete Photo Tutorial for Beginners
If you continue, the rest of row 2 will be to double crochet in the next 6 stitches, then work another decrease in the last two. (8 total stitches)
  • Row 3: Chain 1. Work a decrease in the next 2 stitches, work a double crochet in the next 4 stitches, then work a decrease with the last two stitches. (6 total stitches)
  • Row 4: Chain 1. Work a decrease in the next 2 stitches, work 1 double in the next stitch, work a decrease in the last two stitches. (4 total stitches)
  • Row 5: Chain 1. Work a decrease in the next 2 stitches, work 1 double crochet in the last stitch. (2 total stitches)
  • Row 6: Chain 1. Work a decrease in the last 2 stitches to complete!
Merry Crocheting!
About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.

Comments

  1. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  2. The brand new model goes to be referred to as Tube Traffic Secrets and
    techniques 2017” and also as Tube Traffic Secrets All-New 2017 Edition”.

  3. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts
    in this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this
    web site. Studying this info So i am glad to express that I’ve a very excellent uncanny feeling I found out exactly what
    I needed. I such a lot surely will make certain to do not
    put out of your mind this website and provides
    it a look on a continuing basis.

  4. Hello to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this site, and your
    views are nice for new users.

  5. Yahoo – If there’s a default platform for small enterprise
    e-commerce, it is Yahoo’s Small Business platform.

  6. Thanks for the good writeup. It actually used
    to be a leisure account it. Look complex to more introduced agreeable from you!
    However, how can we be in contact?

  7. I pay a quick visit daily a few web pages and sites to read articles,
    but this website provides feature based articles.

  8. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  9. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse
    your website on my iphone during lunch break. I love the knowledge you provide here and can’t
    wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how quick your
    blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..
    Anyways, wonderful blog!

  10. I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thanks, I’ll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your site?

  11. F*ckin’ tremendous issues here. I’m very glad to see your post. Thanks so much and i am looking ahead to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  12. This design is incredible! You definitely know how to keep a reader
    entertained. Between your wit and your videos,
    I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  13. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  14. Hello, Neat post. There is an issue with your web site in internet explorer, might check this¡K IE still is the marketplace leader and a large element of folks will omit your fantastic writing due to this problem.

  15. Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but
    I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Appreciate it

  16. I every time used to read post in news papers but now as
    I am a user of net thus from now I am using net for posts, thanks
    to web.

  17. Somebody essentially assist to make severely posts I’d state. That is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular submit extraordinary. Wonderful job!

  18. This happens without having my knowledge. This network marketing leads me to lose my book marks, settings and is such a nuisance. How can i stop Opera from shedding my settings and book marks? Thank you..

  19. The hack works for all Android and IOS game users.

  20. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  21. Amazing article, thank you so much

  22. I am really loving the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility issues? A handful of my blog audience have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?

  23. I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thank you, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site?

  24. Thanks for another fantastic post. The place else may anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect manner of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such information.

  25. You completed a few fine points there. I did a search on the theme and found most folks will have the same opinion with your blog.

  26. I am glad for writing to make you be aware of of the excellent discovery my girl gained viewing your web page. She picked up such a lot of things, not to mention how it is like to have an amazing teaching nature to have folks easily fully grasp specific hard to do issues. You really exceeded our own expected results. I appreciate you for offering these helpful, safe, explanatory and even unique tips on the topic to Kate.

Speak Your Mind

*