Crochet shells are really fun and easy to make. And there are so, so many different ways to crochet them! One of the classic ways to crochet a shell is to make five double crochet stitches in a single stitch. Although they are all the same height, the stitch at the center stands taller than those on the sides, creating the appearance of a rounded shell.
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to crochet a variation on this classic double crochet shell stitch, where you make four double crochet... stitches with a chain stitch in between them. They are all worked into the same stitch from the previous row or round. The result is a shell stitch that looks similar to the classic design and yet has a twist. Each half of the shell looks a bit like a crochet v-stitch, a popular crochet stitch on its own.
This crochet stitch is a very open, lacy crochet stitch. Repeated across rows it gives you a light, airy fabric - especially when worked in a lightweight yarn or crochet thread. It is great for scarves and shawls, but it is a versatile stitch that can also be used to make items as small as coffee cup sleeves or as large as crochet afghans.
This crochet tutorial shows you step-by-step how to crochet this stitch. But to give you an understanding of the stitch as a foundation, you should know that it is really simple: you are going to crochet 2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc all worked into the same stitch. This is one shell. It's that easy. Let's take a look:
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V-Stitch DC Shell Tutorial: Step One
The first step of this stitch is to create a double crochet in the next stitch, which begins, of course, with a "yarn over".
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V-Stitch DC Shell Tutorial: Step Two
Insert your crochet hook into the next stitch.
The specific location of the stitch depends upon the pattern that you are working. In the example shown here, we are creating rows of these shells, one upon the other. To do this, we insert the hook into the chain space of the next shell in the previous row. (Alternatively, we could insert the crochet hook into the chain itself, rather than into the chain space.)
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V-Stitch DC Shell Tutorial: Step Three
Remember that you are making a double crochet stitch. So, you already did your first yarn over and inserted your crochet hook. Now you need to yarn over again.
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V-Stitch DC Shell Tutorial: Step Four
Pull through. Once you have completed this step, there should be three loops on your crochet hook. Again, this is just your basic double crochet stitch.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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V-Stitch DC Shell Tutorial: Step Five
Yarn over again and pull through two of the three loops on the hook.
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V-Stitch DC Shell Tutorial: Step Six
There are now two loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook.
You have now completed the first double crochet stitch of the shell.
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V-Stitch DC Shell Tutorial: Step Seven
So, you now have the first double crochet stitch of the shell completed. You are going to make a second double crochet stitch right next to it. To do so, simply repeat steps 1-6.
- Yarn over.
- Insert hook into stitch (the same place as where you worked the first stitch, in our case the chain space from the shell stitch in the previous row).
- Yarn over again and pull through.
- Yarn over and pull through two of the three loops on the hook.
- Yarn over and pull through the remaining two loops.
Note... that you are making two double crochet stitches right next to each other. This is not the same as when you dc2tog. These are two entirely separate double crochet stitches worked side-by-side in the same stitch.
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V-Stitch DC Shell Tutorial: Step Eight
This step is a simple one: just chain one.
This creates the chain one space between the two sets of two double crochet in the crochet shell.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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V-Stitch DC Shell Tutorial: Step Nine
It is time to start the next pair of double crochet stitches in the shell. Repeat Step Seven.
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V-Stitch DC Shell Tutorial: Step Ten
And repeat Step Seven one more time. This gives you the final (fourth) double crochet stitch of the shell.
And that's it, you have crocheted one v-stitch double crochet shell. Repeat steps 1-10 to continue with an entire row of these stitches.
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How to Crochet Rows of V-stitch DC Shells
The above tutorial is the basic crochet guide to creating this stitch. However, if you want to create an entire item using this stitch (for example, a blanket made entirely of this stitch) then you need to know how to begin the rows and create the first v-stitch shells. Here's how:
- Crochet a foundation chain.
- Turn and chain three.
- 2 double crochet in base of chain 3.
- Skip one. In next stitch, make your first shell. (This is done using steps 1-10 as shown here. In other words, 2 dc, ch, 2 dc all... in same stitch.)
- Repeat the previous step across the entire row until you reach the last two stitches.
- Skip one. 3 dc in last stitch.
That completes the first row of shell stitches. To continue making rows:
- Turn and chain three.
- Make your first shell in the chain space of the shell from the previous row. (Again, repeat steps 1-10 as described in this tutorial - so 2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc in the chain 1 space of the previous row's shell.)
- Repeat across row, creating shell stitches in each chain space across.
- Dc in last stitch.
Repeat the four steps immediately above to continue making rows of this stitch!
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V-Stitch Crochet Shell Stitch Edging
Crochet shells are often used as edging for different projects. This version of the shell is no different. To work it as an edging, you'll follow the same basic steps that you would follow for working the stitch in rows:
- Insert your hook into one corner. Slip stitch and chain three.
- Double crochet in same space.
- Skip one. In next stitch, make your first shell.
- Repeat previous step across row.
- In corner: work one shell, chain 1, work one more shell.
- Repeat the previous steps all the way around to... the first corner where you began.
- To complete that corner, work one shell, chain 1, 2 dc, ch 1, slip stitch into top of chain three.
This gives you a V-stitch crochet shell border around an entire square or rectangular project such as a placemat, dishcloth or blanket.