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How to Identify a Crochet Stitch

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Have you ever set aside a project long enough to forget which crochet stitches you were using? Do you have an old family heirloom blanket that needs repaired, but you’re not sure what stitch Great Aunt Suzie used? You are in the right place! This post will help you to identify those crochet stitches.

How to Identify a Crochet Stitch

If you crochet long enough, you’ll naturally be able to tell one stitch from another. Basic crochet stitches all have unique attributes that, with practice, make them easily discernible from one another. Note that this information is not intended to encourage anything nefarious (such as deciphering a paid pattern, etc) but rather to further the understanding of crochet and to grow your skills as a crocheter.

crochet stitches by sight

In these examples, all swatches were made with the same yarn, Dishie cotton, and the same hook size. All swatches are 24 stitches wide and all are 20 rows tall. (Yes, all of them.) The white swatch was made using single crochet, the blue swatch was made using half double crochet, and the yellow swatch was made using double crochet.

identify crochet stitches

As you can see, single crochet stitches are much tighter and shorter than the half double crochet stitches, and much, MUCH shorter than the double crochet. This is why some items such as amigurumi and straps (like the straps on the Egg-cellent Apron) are made using single crochet.

It creates a much more dense, sturdy fabric that does not stretch as easily or have as many holes as half double or double crochet. This is also why a project using single crochet takes so much longer to work up than a project made using double crochet.

two rows of crochet stitches

The lines above indicate two rows of each stitch… for me the double crochet stitches are literally twice as tall as the single crochet – and then just a smidge taller than that, even!

Double crochet stitches are taller and thus produce a more airy fabric than that made using single crochet. It is the height of the double (and taller stitches yet including the Treble, and Double Treble, etc.) crochet stitches that create the holes. See how much more open the yellow fabric is than the white? I switched backgrounds here so that the holes are more apparent:

Now let’s take a look at each individual swatch…

single crochet stitch

Single Crochet

In single crochet you have just one “V” on the front of the stitch with no horizontal bars. This “V” is called the “base” of the stitch. The single crochet is a very short stitch – but not the shortest! That award goes to the slip stitch (which thankfully is rarely used in patterns other than to connect two stitches or two pieces).

half double crochet stitch

Half Double Crochet

In half double crochet you have the one “V”  on the front of the stitch (the base) with one horizontal bar above it. Because you are wrapping the hook one time, there is that visible line that adds height to the stitch.

double crochet stitches

Double Crochet

In the double crochet stitch you have the one “V” on the front of the stitch with the same horizontal bar as seen in the half double above, but with another bit coming out of that. The one horizontal bar means that you wrapped the hook one time and the second “V” (up top) is the second yarn over and pull through – the one that completes the double crochet stitch. That one extra yarn over at the end adds significant height to the stitch!

Isn’t it interesting to understand why things are the way they are, especially when it pertains to crochet? I hope these tips on identifying crochet stitches helps you on your quest for crochet glory!

how to identify a crochet stitch

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  1. I have searched internet for weeks trying to get help with the types of stitches on these baby blankets my sister n law’s late mother started. Sure hope you can help. Where do I leave pictures of stitches? Thanks Linda
  2. I was given a blanket to finish but I do not know the stitch Can I send you a picture and can you tell me how to do it Ty
  3. THANK YOU SO MUCH! SO HELPFUL! I’m kind of new to crocheting so this was just what I needed. I’m making a baby blanket and want to replicate the border I “designed” at the beginning but neglected to record. I couldn’t figure out what stitches I had done! So glad to find help to solve the mystery!
  4. Thank you for this webpage! I have two blankets that I've seen lately and I really love the stitch and the way they "feel", but I don't know what stitch they are .. can you tell me if I post the pictures?
    1. Hi! You could send photos in an email to support@hearthookhome.com and we can certainly try to decipher it. =)
  5. I received a crocheted washcloth as a gift several years ago and it is now falling apart. I would like to replicate it but I can’t figure out the stitch that was used. First I thought it was a triple, then perhaps a double, but nothing looks quite like it. It’s a tall stitch but doesn’t seem to have as loose of a weave. Any way you could help me? Thank you.
    1. Hi Char! If you could send me a pic of it to me, maybe we can figure it out. Email support@hearthookhome.com or message thru Heart Hook Home Facebook page. =)
  6. I feel like I am going to go insane. I have been looking on how to make this hat for 4 days now. I have no idea if it's Tunisian crochet or regular crochet. Would you be able to help me identify the different stitches. I know the top part is some kind of mesh stitch, the top middle is something else. The middle middle is something I have never seen and the bottom I thing are single crochets. Please help me. I am desperate.
  7. Hi I saw a crotchet pattern on pinterest but I haven't been able to figure out which pattern and stitches were used. I was thinking, maybe you could help me out . I'm going to leave my mail so hopefully you see this and get back to me.
  8. You are a lifesaver! I only wish this guide could be printed out so I could put it into my reference library notebook. I keep great ideas, stitch guides, hints on how to's, etc. in it and this definitely belongs there too. I'm a many-year crocheter and can't name how many times I've wished for this info. Just recently I was asked to repair an old afghan and just could NOT figure out what stitched was used to make it. This guide gives us the basic stitches and how to identify them. Would you consider also making it printable, AND including some more unusual stitches too? People like using different stitches, especially in afghans, and they can be terribly hard to identify later. Thanks SO MUCH for this guide! I've signed up for your newsletter and am excited to see what it will hold.