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How to Decrease Crochet for Beginners

Decrease Crochet Stitches sc2tog Video

Learning how to decrease crochet stitches opens up your crochet world to a host of possibilities. We can work and mold yarn into virtually any shape. The concepts in this tutorial are written for the single crochet stitch, but they can easily be replaced with any crochet stitch and in a pattern will be written in the same format. We write a 1 stitch single crochet decrease as sc2tog. If we were to decrease 1 stitch in double crochet, it would be written as dc2tog and so on. The tutorial below is a follow up to our How to Increase Crochet Stitches for Beginners tutorial, so make sure to check that out before proceeding.

How to Decrease Single Crochet stitches (sc2tog)

To begin decreasing, we are going to single crochet 2 stitches together, which is written as sc2tog in your pattern. To complete a sc2tog insert your hook into the next stitch (or into a space if required) and draw up a loop. Then insert your hook into the next stitch (or space) again and draw up a loop. Yarn over and draw your hook through all three loops.  

Row 3: Chain one and single crochet 2 stitches together (see previous paragraph). Single crochet in each of the next 3 stitches, then single crochet the last 2 stitches together. When this row is completed, you will have 5 single crochet stitches in this row.  

This row would be written in your pattern as ch 1, sc2tog, sc in each of next 5 sts, sc2tog, turn. (7 sc)

increase crochet stitches

Row 5: Chain one and single crochet 2 stitches together. Single crochet in the next stitch, then single crochet the last 2 stitches together.  When this row is completed you will have 3 single crochet stitches in this row.  

This row would be written in your pattern as ch 1, sc2tog, sc in next st, sc2tog, turn. (3 sc)

how to decrease crochet stitches
How to Decrease Crochet Stitches

Row 4: Chain one and single crochet 2 stitches together. Single crochet in the next stitch, then single crochet the last 2 stitches together.  When this row is completed you will have 3 single crochet stitches in this row.  

This row would be written in your pattern as ch 1, sc2tog, sc in next 3 st, sc2tog, turn. (5 sc)

Row 6: Chain one and single crochet 3 stitches together. Fasten off 

This row would be written in your pattern as ch 1, sc3tog.

Fasten off.  Weave in all ends.

Decrease Crochet Stitches

Just as with increases, you can decrease more than one stitch at a time. Notice when decreases are written in the pattern the number between the single crochet “sc” and together “tog” may change depending on how many stitches you are decreasing at a time. For instance, in Row 2, the decrease is written as sc2tog, and in Row 3, it is written as sc3tog. When we sc2tog it is a decrease of one stitch, and a sc3tog is a decrease of 2 stitches and so on.

Many crochet patterns will stagger decreases so they won’t be so apparent in the fabric of your work. This is contrary to many knit patterns where the increases or decreases are part of the overall look or design of the fabric or completed design. Increasing or decreasing evenly across a row or a round will shape your fabric evenly whereas clusters of increases or decreases will shape only one part of the item, for instance, when shaping the heel or toe of a slipper.  

As you get more proficient with increasing and decreasing when needed, they will disappear into the fabric or will become part of the design elements such as the shaping of armholes or pocket placements.

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