Learn how to increase crochet for beginners! As soon as you start to expand your crochet skills, you will want to start shaping your crochet fabric, moving away from basic squares and rectangles. If you work crochet increases into your fabric, it will make parts of your item wider by adding stitches. If you work crochet decreases, you will take stitches away, which will make the item narrower.
How to Increase Crochet Tutorial
What Is An Increase In Crochet?
To increase in crochet, you will need to add more stitches to your row, which will increase your stitch count. Whichever stitch you are making, the method of increasing is the same. To do this, you must work two stitches into a single stitch of the row below.
Abbreviations for Crochet Increases
The abbreviation for a crochet increase in patterns is sometimes written as ‘inc’, but more commonly, it is written as ‘2 sc in next sc’ (or whatever stitch you are working on.)
All instructions are written in US crochet terminology.
How To Increase Crochet Step By Step Instructions
This tutorial will show you how to increase crochet in single crochet stitches, double crochet and how to apply this to other stitches.
Single Crochet Increase
How to Do Single Crochet: Insert the hook into the next stitch. Yarn over and pull through a loop (2 loops on hook). Yarn over and pull through both loops. You should have one loop left on the hook.
Tips for Increasing Crochet
If the pattern says “increase 5 stitches evenly in the next row” or something similar, you will need to divide your total number of stitches in the row by the number of increases to work out how many stitches are between each increase.
So, for example, if you have 25 stitches in your row and have to make 5 increases, you will increase into every 5th stitch. Keep counting the stitches to make sure you have the correct number!
Read my article on single crochet decreases to learn more about decreasing and sc2tog.
Double Crochet Increase
- Work along the row with double crochet to where the increase is needed.
- Work 1 double crochet into the next stitch.
- Work the next double crochet into the same stitch.
You will have worked 2 dc into 1, thus increasing your stitches in the row by 1. The same formula given above applies if you need to increase multiple times in one row.
If you wish to increase more quickly by increasing 2 stitches at once, you can work 3 stitches into 1 from the previous row.
How to Increase Crochet With Other Stitches
Whichever stitch you happen to be working for your crochet fabric, the increase is made in exactly the same way. You just work two of those stitches into one stitch in the row below.
How to Increase Crochet at the Beginning or End of Rows
You will often be instructed to increase a stitch at the beginning of a row, or every 2nd row, for example.
When you increase at the start of a row, your work will slant to the right. All you need to do is work your turning chain, which acts as your first dc, then work the next stitch into the very first stitch (instead of missing a stitch) so you effectively have 2 stitches in one stitch below.
It is just as easy to increase at the end of a row. You will simply work 2 stitches into the last stitch (ie The top of the turning chain) of the previous row. In this case, your work will slant to the left.
How To Increase Crochet In The Round
When working in the round and wanting a flat crochet circle, this is where the increases really are important! Those are absolutely increases essential for keeping your circle flat! You will need to increase at set intervals (see table below) to prevent the circle from becoming ruffled or forming a cup shape.
How to Make a Circle With Single Crochet
- Foundation: Form a magic ring, or ch3 and sl st to close the ring. (Using a chain will give a small hole in the center of your circle,)
- Round 1: Work 8 sc stitches into the ring. Sl st to close the end of the round.
- Round 2: Increase into every stitch by working 2 sc into each stitch. (16 stitches.)
- Round 3: Make 2 sc into the first stitch, 1 sc into the next stitch. Continue all the way around. You are now increasing into every 2nd stitch.
- Round 4: Work 2 sc into 1st st, then 1 sc into each of next 2 sts. Continue all the way around. You are now increasing into every 3rd st.
- Round 5: Make 2 sc into first st, then 1 sc into each of next 3 sts. Repeat pattern all the way around. You are now increasing every 4th st.
- Continue in this way, working 1 more stitch between each increase crochet stitch. Keep this sequence until your circle is the required size.
Formula For Crochet Increases in the Round
The taller the stitch you are using, the more stitches you will need in the first round. In each case, start with a magic ring or a ch circle.
|Sts in round 1||7||11||14|
|Increases each round||7||11||14|
And so on….. You can see from this table that the number of increases is exactly the same in each round, (depending on the decided stitch), but the number of stitches between increases grows every time.
Troubleshooting Increasing In the Round
What can possibly go wrong? If you follow the formula, your perfect circles should turn out nice and flat. Now and again, you may have tension issues, forget a couple of increases, or accidentally repeat a row. If any of these happen, you may end up with:
Fixing a Ruffled Circle
Your circle turns out wonky with ruffled edges: This ruffling is caused by too many increases. If this happens to you, pull out a few rounds and then skip a round. For example, work round 5 instead of round 4. This will make you have fewer stitches and thus a flatter edge.
Bowl Shaped Circle
The sides of the circle curl up, making a bowl or a cup shape: This problem is caused by not enough increases, pulling up the edges of the circle tightly. If this happens, repeat a round. So if you have just worked row 5, pull back to where the circle lies flat, then work row 5 twice. This means you will be increasing by the same amount for 2 rows, thus creating more stitches and a flatter circle.
How to Increase Crochet Speed
You may have wanted to read this article hoping to increase your speed at crochet, which is not what I intended at all, but if you would like to increase your crochet speed, here are some quick tips:
- Use Chunky yarn and a thick hook.
- Practice makes perfect. The more familiar you are with each aspect of crochet, the faster you will be able to work.
- Find the way of holding your yarn and hook that suits you the best. Don’t worry about what your granny taught you; you will work more efficiently if your hands are comfortable.
- Multitask! Listen to music or an audiobook while you are crocheting, or crochet while you watch TV. Or chat with a friend. As long as you are confident with the stitch you are working on, you can easily crochet while doing something else. You will find that you don’t want to speed up the process and stop crocheting because you enjoy the combination of tasks, and you don’t want to go and do that ironing!
- Enjoy the crafting experience. If you really enjoy crocheting, you will not want it to finish too quickly! Enjoy the feel of the yarn, the look of the pattern, the mental exercise of understanding the pattern, and the satisfaction of creating something wonderful!
How to Increase Crochet – In Conclusion
Now you can now increase crochet easily! If you are making garments, you will need to increase to shape the garment, and your increases will be along the rows.
If you are making crochet toys or amigurumiyou will be working in the round and will be working your increases in the round.
Once you have mastered the formula for increasing crochet in the round, you can create all sorts of interesting things, such as rugs, coasters, decorative mandalas, or placemats. Anything based on a circle shape! You won’t even need a pattern you just keep working round after round until you have the right size!
You can also make hats, berets, and bags with a bit of combining increases and crochet decreases. Have fun and get creative!