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The Crab Stitch Crochet Stitch (Reverse Single Crochet)

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What is the crab stitch you ask? Also known as the reverse single crochet stitch, I tend to only use this for a border in crochet because of the beautiful edge it gives. While it is not easy to go back through and continue crocheting after this stitch, it does make for a beautiful edge on baby blankets, big blankets, hats… anything to which you would normally add a border.

The Crab Stitch Crochet Stitch + Video Tutorial

Reverse Single Crochet Stitch

The crab stitch (a.k.a. reverse single crochet) is literally the single crochet stitch done in reverse. Instead of working as you normally would (right to left) you are working left to right.  For right handed crocheters, that is.  Ready for the video tutorial? Written instructions are given below.

YouTube video

Written instructions for Crab Stitch

Treat this stitch exactly like a single crochet, except that you are working into the stitch to the RIGHT of your hook (not the left).

The Crab Stitch Crochet Stitch + Video Tutorial

To start the row, chain one and insert hook into the next full stitch to the right. (see photo)The Crab Stitch Crochet Stitch + Video TutorialPull up a loop. Yarn over and pull through both loops on hook. First crab stitch (reverse single crochet) made. Continue in the same manner around your entire piece, until you reach the beginning. Fasten off and weave your end in, blending into the first crab stitch of the row.

Ready to try it in real life? Use our Easy Peasy 30-Minute Beanie pattern!

Easy Peasy 30-Minute Beanie Crochet Pattern

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Creative Ways to Use Yarn Ends (Instead of Tossing Them Out)
Foundation Single Crochet: How to Video + Why You Need to Learn
Yarn Hacks Every Crocheter and Knitter Needs to Know
How to Read a Crochet Pattern
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38 Comments

  1. Thanks for video instruction for the crab stitch, I am using for the top edge of a crocheted bag, but find that it makes it slightly wavy, am i doing it too loosely? Many thanks
  2. I have a question. I did an afghan using a ripple pattern. It basically it has groups of 3 DC create the pattern... the peaks are made with 3DC, 3CH, 3DC stitches while the valleys skip stitches to creat the valley. The border says to do one round of Single crochet around the entire blanket... but doesn't say how to deal with peaks or valleys.Do I single crochet in each of the 3 DC and Each of the 3 ch stitches at the peaks? Do I simply skip that one stitch in the Valley between the 3DC on right side of valley and the 3 DC on the left side of the valley? Or do I put one in that too? Row 2 of border says to do REVERSE Single crochet stitches in each of the single crochet stitches of border row 1. I am sort of confused as I only find directions for reverse single crochet in flat or straight edge projects. (Meaning no Peaks or Valleys shown in the tutorials). I am done with entire afghan except for border... and it is to be a graduation gift for one of my grand nieces- who does not live in the same state as I do do--- so I"ll have to mail it to her- hopefully on time for graduation ceremony day. Any helpful suggestions wold be greatly appreciated... If I can't figure it out I'll have to do some sort of border... but this looks interesting and would be a new skill for me. Thanks in advance.
    1. Hi Noreen! I think I would continue with the ripple pattern in sc on those peak and valleys...I'd probably do that for the crab stitch round as well, but it could get tricky at the peaks...your best bet would be to kind of experiment on one of the peaks to see what looks best. Not sure if this helps at all, lol...but I wish you luck on it!
  3. Thank you so much for the excellent tutorial, I learnt more in those few minutes than I did at a class. excellent manner :)
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  6. Wonderful! Thank you so much for showing how to do this. I was getting it wrong from the written instructions and had to watch the video and Bingo, problem solved! The written instructions doesn't specify to insert the hook from the front. Now I have a great boarder and I learned a new stitch. Awesomeness!
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  8. Great video, thank you so much! I couldn't wrap my head around this stitch from the written instructions, but this was very clear
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  11. Thank you so much, I have been looking for a crochet hat pattern, that was simple ,I am so happy right,Thank you again❤️
    1. Hi Catherine! It's the same concept for left handers, just in reverse. So, you will be working single crochets from right to left. Hope this helps!
      1. I also am left handed. My mother was a right hander. She taught me how to crochet by sitting me down in front of her and to pretend I was looking into a mirror. I now have been crocheting for 68 years and I still use this when using a pattern. Maybe this will help?
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  15. I used this crab stitch on a blanket I just finished. I absolutely love it. Thank you for sharing this stitch. I’ll be using a lot
  16. Brilliant pattern. I did it in blue and white with white crab stitch. I had never done crab stitch before and I love the finish it gives to this beanie. Thank you for sharing
  17. I made a beanie in red and black, and I'd like to do the crab stitch in just black. How do you start it with a different color?
  18. I'm very new at this....If you finish the beanie and use a different color for the crab stitch...how do you start the new color?? I can't seem to get it started. On another note....I love this site!! thanks,
  19. Thank you so much for the crab stitch video. Only yesterday I asked what a reverse stitch was, as I had read it as part of a beanie hat pattern, and now you have given me the answer. I am so grateful and can't wait to try it out.
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  21. When I learned this stitch 40 years ago it was called the pie crust stitch. I like the name better than crab stitch. Pie crust describes it perfectly. It is a beautiful edge!
  22. Thank you so much For sharing this pattern' I just finished the 30 minute hat. I made a child's hat using a smaller needle, I am going to use picot edging to give it a different look. Again thank you for sharing. I do not do hats to sell.
  23. Great instruction video! I like this stitch but it feels so awkward. I agree that it makes an excellent finish edge but it can be used for more than that. I first learned this stitch from an old pattern from Godey's for a baby blanket that has you alternate rows of half-double crochet and crab stitch (in the front loop) without ever turning your work. I've also used crab stitch to join crochet panels together for a raised rib design.
    1. Thanks for your suggestions they also sound great, like the alternating rows and JOINING great idea.
    2. That sounds interesting, being that you made the baby blanket without turning your work, would like to try it, may need a pattern
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