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Beginner Basics: Crochet.101

Increasing


Learning how to increase and decrease gives you the key that unlocks the door to all sorts of wonderful pattern stitches and shaping of garment pieces. Although your first projects should be straight and narrow scarves—so you can practice chaining and turning, and making stitches uniform in size—you’ll soon have the itch to advance to something a little more challenging. When you’ve mastered increasing and decreasing you’ll have the know-how to flex your creative muscles!

increasing within the row
increasing within the row    

This increase is nothing more than working two (or sometimes more) stitches into one stitch. When a direction states “increase one stitch,” this is the increase you’ll want to use. Let’s say you are making a sleeve and need to increase one stitch at each side edge. Simply work two stitches in the first stitch and two stitches in the last stitch—one stitch increased each side.

   
increasing at the beginning of a row


increasing at beginning of row increasing at beginning of row  

1. Use this increase when you need to increase two or more stitches at the beginning of a row. Make as many chain stitches as stitches needed to be increased, then chain for the height of the stitch you are working in. Here, three stitches are going to be increased at the beginning of a single crochet row, so chain three for the increase and chain one for the height of the single crochet stitch—four chain stitches in total.

2. Work one single crochet in the 2nd chain from the hook, then work one single crochet in each of the next two chain stitches—three single crochet stitches made. Continue to work across the rest of the row.  


increasing at the end of a row
increasing at end of row increasing at end of row  

1. Use this increase when you need to increase two or more stitches at the end of a row. Here, the example is worked in single crochet, but you can do it in any basic stitch. To make the first increase stitch, insert the hook under the left vertical strand of the last single crochet stitch. Yarn over and draw up a loop. Yarn over and draw through both loops on the hook to complete the new single crochet stitch.

2. To make the next and all following increase stitches, insert the hook under the left vertical strand of the last single crochet stitch made. Yarn over and draw up a loop. Yarn over and draw through both loops on the hook to complete the new single crochet stitch.  

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