Working crochet increase stitches are vital if you want to be able to create different shapes, either flat or 3D ones. Here, we’ll show you how to use increase stitches to make the fabric slope at an angle.
Working increases will shape the fabric outwards and are especially useful when working in the round, and likewise decrease stitches will shape the work inwards. You can use increases to work flat shapes in rows or rounds, such as squares or flowers, or to create 3D shapes worked in the round.
How to crochet increase
Increasing crochet stitches is surprisingly simple – you just work two crochet stitches (or occasionally more) into the same stitch on the previous row, increasing the stitch count by one. You can work this increase anywhere along the row, but if you work the increase in the centre of the row, this will create a different effect to increasing at the start or end of the row. Increases worked on every row will create a different effect to increases worked on every other row.
Different patterns can refer to increase stitches in different ways, but as a general rule of thumb if you see ‘2dc’ – then that’s going to be two dc stitches worked in the same place, which makes an increase. If you see ‘dc in 2sts’ – then that’s one dc stitch in each of the next two stitches, so not an increase. We’ll always write our patterns in this way, but occasionally you may see a pattern that says ‘inc’ – if this is the case it will normally advise if this is a 2dc or something different in the pattern notes.
To practise increasing, first make a short chain (around 10-12 chains) and work 2-3 rows of double crochet. Then practise making increases, at various points on the row, to see the shaping effects.
You can find a full list of all abbreviations we use in our abbreviations and conversions guide. This how to crochet increase tutorial is written in UK terminology but you can easily convert it to US terms using the guide.
You Will Need
- Crochet hook
How to do a double crochet increase stitch
We’ll start by showing you how to work a double crochet increase at the start of the row, but it’s the same process for wherever you need to work an increase. An increase like this would be written as 2dc in a pattern. Remember that we use UK terminology, so in US terms this would be called how to do a single crochet increase.
To start off, make your ch1 turning chain as usual…
…Complete a dc stitch in the first stitch of your row as normal (insert hook into next stitch, yrh, pull yarn through, yrh, pull yarn through 2 loops on hook). Then to work your increase, you’re going to make your next stitch into the same place as your first dc stitch…
…and just complete your second dc stitch as normal.
That’s all there is to it! In the below example, you can see that we’ve worked 2dc increases in the first and last stitch, meaning our work has expanded by one extra stitch on each side.
How to do a treble crochet increase stitch
When it comes to treble crochet increase stitches, fundamentally you’re doing the same as double crochet stitches – just working 2 stitches into the same space. However, if you want to increase at the start of the row with treble crochet stitches, it’s ever so slightly little different – so we’ll show you how to increase at the start of the row as well as mid-way through the row. In US terminology this would be called how to do a double crochet increase.
To increase treble crochet stitches at the start of the row, we’re going to make a 3ch turning-chain as you usually would for a treble crochet row. Normally you wouldn’t work into the stitch at the base of your turning chains (because your turning chain counts as your first stitch), but because we’re making an increase we are actually going to make a treble stitch into that first stitch.
And that’s your increase made – this may seem like you haven’t really made an increase, but remember that when you work your next row in treble crochet stitches you work into the top of your turning chain, so that ch3 and treble in the first stitch counts as 2tr.
Other than increasing at the start of the row, the rest of your treble crochet increase stitches will be a simple case of working two stitches into the same place – we’ll show you how just so you’re clear. So work up to the point of your next increase, then make a treble crochet stitch into the next stitch…
…then simply make another treble crochet stitch in the same place as your last stitch!
And that’s your treble crochet increase stitch complete – simple isn’t it!
Like we mentioned before, remember that with treble crochet stitches, the 3ch turning chain counts as a stitch, so if you needed to work an increase at the end of your row you would simply work 2 treble crochet stitches into the top of the 3ch, like in the example below. We’ve also worked 2 sets of 2tr increases midway through the row – it can be a little tricky to spot, but with a little practice you’ll soon be able to identify your increase stitches by looking closely at your work.
Now that you’ve learnt how to increase your stitches, the next step is decreasing – check out our guide on How to decrease in crochet stitches. You could also check out our how to crochet a triangle tutorial to practice your crochet shaping!
Your pattern should tell you what sort of increase or decrease to work, and where. There are a few things to remember though…
- If you’re working in the round to create a circle shape, work the increases evenly on every round.
- To make a square shape in the round, you’ll need to work a 3dc increase to create the corners.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial on how to crochet increase, don’t forget if you need any help with your crochet stitches you can always check out our crochet for beginners guide. And if you’re looking to treat yourself, check out our list of the best crochet hooks and the best crochet kits for beginners.