How to crochet your very own crab stitch edging,

even if youíre really really scared.


Story (feel free to skip)

I have this wonderful zip-up sweater that Iíve been wearing for years, and I could not for the life of me figure out what the edging was.  It was a lovely, thick corded edge.  It wasnít until I started looking for an alternative edging for a cuff that I found out it was crab stitch.  At first, I didnít get it.  I tried crocheting backwards Ė and it just looked like crochet!  Most of the instructions I found did not explain the little twist you need to do to make it work.  So here you go, crab stitch tutorial.  Try it on your next project!



Crab stitch is also known as reverse single crochet or shrimp stitch.

It gives you a thick but light, decorative corded edging.   

You can work it on a crocheted or knitted fabric. 

Itís CROCHET, so you need a hook.  Got that, knitters? 

Firm up the edge of your work, keeps it from rolling. 

I found my cuff edge tight at first, but it stretched nicely (in wool) after a few wears.  You want to do it pretty loose.


Technique (real low-tech-like, for baby crocheters)

I like to work this edging on a row of single crochet.  So first, I cast off loosely in single crochet. 


At the end of your row/round of single crochet, do not turn your work.  You will be working from left to right.  Do one chain stitch.  (not illustrated)



Insert the hook in the first stitch to the right.  Ok, in this photo itís not actually the first stitch, because Iíve done some already.  But you see how to insert the hook through two loops on the top there, to the right of your working yarn. 



Wrap the yarn around the hook and pull up a single loop.  Completed, here:



So, you see above that I pulled a loop through and it is to the right of the loop that was on my hook originally.  We need to swoop the hook tip, shown above at 12:00, clockwise and down and get that new stitch to the LEFT of the first loop.  That will follow the path shown here:



Ö and all the way around to the working yarn at 10:00, see below.



So if you did this right, the new stitch is now to the LEFT of the loop originally on the hook, shown above.  Now you can pick up a loop and pull it through both loops already on the hook. 



Done, ready to repeat from ** until the end of the row/round.  At the end, knitting in the round, I join with one more crabby stitch, cut the yarn, and pull that last loop through.  Thread it onto a sewing needle, poke through the first stitch and sew in the ends.  That probably isnít very clear, but youíll see what to do when you get there to make it invisible.  I have confidence in you.  And, itís pretty obvious.


Here are a couple of .avi videos.   I have to warn you, they are kind of fast.  I played them and they look much faster than they did when I took them.  So just keep your finger on the pause button, and enjoy the background noise of suburbia. 


Crabby Movie 1

Crabby Movie 2


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Corrections or questions?  Contact me at pamelamama at woolywonder dot com!


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