Getting back to basics...

For all of those beginning crocheters hot to make an army of crafted critters, but a little bit fuzzy on this "inc" and "dec" business, I'm putting together a quick crash course in basic crocheted toy making.

Today's topics are single crochet increases, decreases, and working in the round (as a spiral and as concentric rounds)

Click here to go on to the tutorial....

Also, please feel free to leave comments with questions or suggested future topics!

Single Crochet Increase

(also written as inc, or sc 2 in 1)

Step 1: sc 1 in the space where the increase is to be made

Step 2: Begin another sc in the same space

Step 3: Finish the second sc normally. You should have two single crochet stitches fanning out from the one space.

Single Crochet Decrease

(also written as dec, or sc 1 in 2)

Step 1: Make the first loop of a single crochet stitch in the next available space.

Step 2: Continue without finishing the first sc and make the first loop of another single crochet stitch in the available space after the first.

Step 3: Draw the yarn through all of the loops remaining on the hook to finish the decrease. You should have a small cluster of two single crochet stitches bundled into one.

Working in the round (Single Crochet)

The only difference between working in spirals versus working in rounds is how you transition from one row to the next. In a piece made as a spiral, you simply continue working around and around in an unbroken spiral. With rounds, there is a slip stitch to end the current row and some number of chain stitches to "jump" up to the next row.

Working in a spiral is easier for some, and also allows one to avoid the seam that results from each row's slip stitch join when working in rounds.

There are also some advantages to working in rounds: I find that it is somewhat easier to count how many stitches have been already made in the current row when working in rounds instead of a spiral, and each row is more evenly horizontal

(working in a spiral means that each row slants slighty upwards, like a spring. This effect is more pronounced in pieces with a small number of stitches and/or rows)

Also, when fastening off, there is more likely to be a small "step" in the finished piece if working in a spiral.

If a smooth edge is desired, one can choose to work in rounds, or finish off the piece with a few slip stitches.

Working in the round (spiral)

Step 1: Start with a finished row of stitches (I started with a row a 6 single crochets in this example)

Step 2: Your next stitch goes in the space at the beginning of the round. Finish the sc normally.

Step 3: Continue to work stitches around. One complete turn around the piece counts as a row.

Working in the round (rounds)

Step 1: Start with a finished row of stitches (I started with a row a 6 single crochets in this example)

Step 2: Your slip stitch goes in the space at the beginning of the round.

Step 3: Chain stich 1 to "jump" up to the next row

Step 4: Continue to work around normally.

Repeat these steps at the end of each row.

Can't get it right!

Anonymous   |   Sat, 2011-11-05 06:04

I am working on the skeleton groom's hat and I always end up with more or less stitches in each row. According to the book, it increases from 6,11,23 ... I think I'm not inserting the hook to the correct stitch when closing, after the ch 1 at the end of the round and the 1st sc in the same.

I'll be grateful if u can give me some pointers on that!

I love you book! So awesome and fun!

Stitch counts

NeedleNoodles   |   Wed, 2012-01-25 22:02

Well, first off, to make sure that we're on the same page, I don't include the chain stitches or slip stitches in the stitch counts at the end of each row.

From there, are you consistently getting too many stitches, or too few? If you're always ending up with fewer stitches, I would guess that you're either skipping a space, or closing your rounds too far over. If you're always getting too many stitches, then you might not be closing your rounds far enough over, or are adding an extra space. If you're sometimes over and sometimes under, you might just need practice to consistently place your stitches in the right place.

Attaching head to body

Anonymous   |   Sun, 2011-03-20 22:52

ohmygoodess! You authored that book???
That book is what got me into this whole amigurami mess!!! Just Kidding!
I've done a few projects and have always wondered, how do you attach the head to the body, using both stitches or front or back loop?
Thanks so much!!!!
Ericka in Il

Hmm... this is easier to

NeedleNoodles   |   Fri, 2012-04-20 14:15

Hmm... this is easier to just show.

I have a video of how I attach the head to the body here:

Number of stitches

Anonymous   |   Sat, 2011-01-15 08:11

Does the slip stitch count as a stitch to be included in the {25}?

Stitch counts

NeedleNoodles   |   Wed, 2012-01-25 21:23

I generally don't include slip stitches or chain stitches in my stitch counts

trouble getting the right number of stitches.

KellyA-M   |   Thu, 2010-04-01 14:45

I'm having some difficulty getting the correct number of stitches at the end of a round; I'm trying to make a basic head- row 6 says to chain one, sc around, sl st and you should have 25 stitches; I keep coming up with 26 (and then 27 on the next row, 28 on the one after). . .

Hmm... well, Rows 6, 7 and 8

NeedleNoodles   |   Fri, 2010-04-02 15:44

Hmm... well, Rows 6, 7 and 8 should each have the same number of stitches, so, if instead you're increasing by one stitch each row, I would guess that you're either starting the row one space ahead of where it should go, or ending the row one space after where it should end. Do your rows 1 through 5 have the suggested number of stitches? Are you getting in the rhythm of doing the "sc 1 in same" at the beginning of the row, and accidentally continuing with it in rows 6 through 8? (I could see myself doing that. :) )

I have the same problem. By

Anonymous   |   Fri, 2010-06-18 02:39

I have the same problem. By doing the ch 1 at the beginning of row 6, doesn't it "add" a stitch to the row?

More help for beginners (like me)

FableKnit   |   Tue, 2008-09-09 06:32
FableKnit's picture

I would like to add a link that other noobs like myself might find helpful:
The Art of Crocheting

Creepy Cute Crochet has made crocheting wicked cool - literally! Heh, but seriously, if there's anyone else like me out there, I bet they are craving a real live person to help get through some of the beginner questions. Plus, I don't have time to go to a store where I'll be tempted to buy a bunch of yarn I'll never use before I'm 80 (oo, Bernat Bling Bling, pretty!!!). So big muchos gracias to Teresa. *grins*

Bonus: she has left-hand crochet video tutorials.

Here's one for making a magic ring, the second half of it is in slow motion: How to make a Magic Circle

Have fun!


FableKnit   |   Tue, 2008-09-02 03:22
FableKnit's picture

This is exactly what I'm looking for! I haven't delved into it deeply yet, but I can't wait to!

A Couple of Questions

firefly5003   |   Fri, 2008-07-25 18:22

Hi, I am completely new at this, and I think I figured most of it out, but I am just a little confused about a couple of thing.

I did the Magic Ring, and I am still not sure exactly where the next stitch goes for the spiral (body) or the slip stitch does for the rounds (head).

It also looks like I have one more stitch that is pictured here (I have a little loop at the end (from the first chain stitch I think), then 6 stitches, with the loop with my hook in it through the last stitch). Is that right, or does that first little loop at the beginning count as a stitch?

Then, does the next stitch go through that little loop or the actual stitch? I am also a little confused exactly where the slip stitch goes at the end of each row for the rounds too.

I hope that made sense, I really want to finish one of these guys. I am doing a report on The Call of Cthulhu and I would love to hand him in with it. Thanks!

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