Shell Stitch: How to Crochet

how to shell stitch

So you’ve got down the basics to crochet- great! But how do I make my project look unique and different? One way to do this is with the crochet shell stitch, which is explained below (photo tutorial).

There are two different ways to make your project stand out: using colors that complement the design, or using textured crochet stitches to add dimension to your project. Textured stitches are great for all sorts of creations: add scrubbiness to a washcloth, make a cool design on the side of a basket. I have also seen it used for wall art, as this is a way to bring a 3D look into your piece. I’ll be going over 4 really unique stitches over the next week- the shell stitch, the puff stitch, the bullion stitch, and the V-stitch. There are many more stitches out there that will add texture to your work, but these create a really cool pattern that is different from the usual ridges and varying single/double crochets.

This particular article will focus on crocheting the shell stitch, and the upcoming post will be going over the V-Stitch, a personal favorite of mine.

The shell stitch is great for many projects. It creates a border around a blanket or on the edge of a boot cuff. When the color is changed every other shell stitch row, it creates a really cool effect that is similar to a wave. The shell stitch also works up fine with a single color and will add dimension to whatever it is incorporated into.

1. Shell Stitch

The shell stitch is based off a foundation stitch of 6+1. To do multiple chain stitches, simply add 6 chains to your foundation for each additional stitch. For example, if you were going to do 5 shell stitches, chain 30 + 1= 31 chains.

  • Chain 31. Chain 1 and turn (32 stitches total)
  • Row 1: In the 5th chain from the hook, make 5 triple crochets in the stitch. This is your shell stitch

shell stitch tutorial (3)

  • Skip 2 stitches. Single crochet. Skip 2 more stitches. Make 5 triple crochets in this stitch.
  • Continue in this manner until the end of the first row. If done correctly, the last stitch will be a single crochet in the last chain. Turn

shell stitch tutorial (2)

  • Row 2: Chain 2. Make 2 triple crochets in the single crochet.
  • Skip 2 stitches. Single crochet in the 3rd triple crochet (the center one of the shell stitch)
  • Skip 2 stitches. Make 5 triple crochets (this is in the single crochet in-between the shell stitches)

shell stitch tutorial

  • Continue in this manner until you reach the end. Make 3 triple crochets in the turning chain from the first row.

shell stitch tutorial

  • Continue repeating rows 1 and 2 until desired length is reached.

A Few Tips:

  1. Use a crochet hook that is suited for the yarn you’ve chosen for you’re project. A hook that is too small for the yarn (for example, a small hook with a bulky yarn) will cause the pattern to not show through.
  2. As someone that crochets very tightly, take it from me- DO NOT crochet the shell stitch tightly. It makes it extremely difficult to work into the triple crochet and will cause your shell stitch to warp and not be the desired shape.

This wraps up the tutorial on the Shell Stitch. Stay tuned for more…. Do you use the Shell Stitch? Comment below on how you’ve used it! I have used this stitch for blankets and as edging for several projects.


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