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How to Crochet a Shell

The shell stitch creates a nice texture on its own or you can dress it up by adding stripes.

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Video: How to Crochet a Shell

To crochet the shell foundation chain, each shell requires four chains, plus one for the end single crochet and one for the turning chain. For the three shell sample, it required a 14-chain foundation chain (3 x 4 = 12 + 1 + 1 = 14).

Shell sc rowRow one begins and ends with a single crochet. After completing your foundation chain, make a single crochet in the second chain from the hook. Skip one chain and in the next chain made five double crochets. Usually shells are made with a double crochet or a triple crochet. They always are an odd number so there is a center stitch. Skip one chain and make a single crochet in the next chain. Continue across alternating between a shell and single crochet, ending the row with a single crochet. Chain 3 and turn.

Shell half shell rowRow two begins and ends with a half shell. Since there are five double crochets in this pattern, half of a shell is three double crochets. The chain 3 is the first double crochet. Make two more double crochets in the same space. Work a single crochet in the center double crochet (#3) of the previous row shell. Make five double crochets in the next single crochet of the previous row. Continue working across, alternating shells and single crochets in the top of the previous row shell, ending with three double crochets in the last single crochet (half shell). Chain 1 and turn.

Row three begins and ends with a single crochet. Make a single crochet in the top of the previous half shell. Make a five double crochet shell in the next single crochet. Work across the row alternating a shell and single crochet, ending with a single crochet. Chain 3 and turn.

Continue alternating Row 2 and Row 3 until half of desired length is reached.

You notice one edge of your fabric has a wavy shell edge and the other side is flat. When you are using a shell pattern to make a scarf, afghan or baby blanket, make the flat edge your center. After finishing one side, work the flat edge with the shell pattern by turning the fabric around. Begin again with a single crochet row. Continue alternating the pattern rows in this new direction. When you finish, both sides will have a lovely wavy shell edging.

Because of the number of stitches in one space, the shell stitch makes a thick, textured fabric. This stitch creates a pretty pattern even without changing colors. However, it also is the perfect stitch for creating stripes using your stash to crochet some beautiful items.

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