Crocodile Stitch Tutorial

Cyndee Kromminga
Crocodile Stitch Sample

This crochet tutorial will teach you how to crochet a basic crocodile stitch. The dimensional stitch creates a shell that resembles scales. This is a more advanced "stitch" that is actually made up of several basic crochet stitches.

Crocodile Stitch

There are an abundance of variations to crocheting the crocodile stitch. While the many steps may seem confusing, the accompanying photos of the following tutorial will provide you with visual clarity for caring out the instructions for this version and altering it to fit other variations.

Abbreviations

  • ch(s) = chain(s)
  • sc = single crochet
  • dc = double crochet
  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • sk = skip
  • sl = slip

Crochet a chain in multiples of 3. The example is 24.

Row 1: First Ladder Row

  1. Dc in third ch from the hook. The dc and the end ch count as a 2 dc pair.
  2. *Ch 2, sk 2 chs, 2 dc in the next ch.*
  3. Repeat from * to * across. End with two dc in the last ch. This is your first ladder row.
    First Ladder Row
    First Ladder Row

Row 2: Crochet Shells

  1. Ch 1. Turn your work with the last dc running horizontal at the top. Crochet 5 dc around the post of the dc. Ch 1.
    First half of the shell.
    First Half of Shell
  2. Ch 1. Turn your work 180 degrees and crochet 5 dc around the remaining post of the dc pair to complete the shell.
    Second half of shell.
    Second Half of Shell
  3. *Sk the next dc pair. Shell stitch in the next pair.* Repeat from * to * across.
  4. Ch 1, turn. Note: If there is a dc pair left at the end of the row, sl st between the posts of the pair. Ch 1, turn.
    First shell row.
    First Shell Row
  5. After Row 2 is complete, check gauge. Adjust gauge with a new beginning ch length in multiples of 3 or change to a smaller or larger hook.

Row 3: Second Ladder Row

  1. Sc in the center space of the first shell. Ch 3. Dc in the same space (first dc pair).
  2. *Ch 2, 2 dc in the space between the shells and through the center of the unworked dc pair on the ladder row behind the space. Ch 2, 2 dc in the center space of the next shell.* Repeat from * to * across.
  3. *End with 2 dc in the center space of the last shell. Ch 1.
    Second Ladder Row
    Second Ladder Row

Row 4:

  1. Sk the first dc pair.
    First Half of Shell-Row 4
    First Half of Shell-Row 4
  2. Crochet a shell around the next pair.
    Second Half of Shell-Row 4
    Second Half of Shell-Row 4
  3. Repeat Row 2 across. Sl st between posts of last dc pair. Note: All shells of this row will be centered between the previous row of shells.
    Second Shell Row
    Second Shell Row

Row 5:

  1. Ch 3, turn. Dc in the base of ch 3 (first dc pair).
  2. 2 dc in the center space of the first shell.
  3. *Ch 2, 2 dc in the space between the shells and through the center of the unworked dc pair behind the space. Ch 2, 2 dc in the center space of the next shell.* Repeat from * to * across.
  4. End with 2 dc in the end space of the last shell. Ch 1.

Repeat Rows 2 through 5 as many times as desired.

Repeat the rows.
Repeat the rows.

Modify Existing Patterns

When modifying an existing pattern, keep in mind the crocodile stitch is a layered stitch and only grows with the ladder rows. Plan on using two to three times more yarn than the pattern calls for.

Complex but Worthwhile

Learning to crochet the crocodile stitch is a bit complex, but after you've practiced and gotten the hang of it, you will enjoy the skill this stitch adds to your crochet abilities. It is versatile for many projects. Use it as trim for a blanket or make a scarf or shawl with the stitch used throughout. Give scale texture to crocheted animals with scales such as this mermaid tail blanket.

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Crocodile Stitch Tutorial