How to Crochet: Triple Crochet, Increase and Decrease


We are continuing our How to Crochet series with learning the triple crochet! Triple crochet (sometimes called “treble crochet”) is the last of the basic stitches. Combine it with a knowledge of how to increase and decrease and you’ll have a complete repertoire for crocheting just about any project. From here it’s just a matter of patience and practice!

How to Triple Crochet

Similar to the double crochet, with the triple crochet (abbreviated tc) you yarn over before inserting your hook to create this stitch. However, you yarn over two times (I think of it as a “loop-de-loop” action around my hook). So before inserting your hook you should have three loops on your hook: the working loop you started with and then two additional from your yarn overs.

Insert your hook through the stitch in the row previous, yarn over and pull it through the stitch. You will now have four loops on your hook! Yarn over and pull the yarn through the first two loops. You’ll have three loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull the yarn through two loops. You’ll have two loops remaining. Yarn over and pull through these last two loops. That’s the triple! You did it! There is a photo tutorial at the end of this post. Watch a video tutorial on this stitch here.

How to Increase and Decrease

Though washcloths, simple scarves and even some boxy sweaters can be crocheted in simple rectangular shapes, more advanced patterns will require you to change the shape of the fabric you are working—making it larger and smaller in places or even turning it to form a shoulder. This is accomplished through “increasing” and “decreasing.” Adding stitches is called “increasing,” and, you guessed it, subtracting stitches is called “decreasing.” (This terminology is the same for knitting and crochet.) Increases (abbreviated inc) and decreases (abbreviated dec) can also be used to create patterns such as the beautiful zigzags you see in some afghans or ponchos. Or ruffles! My Spring Frills Scarf calls for lots and lots of increases, but it is so easy once you learn how.

Knitting has a number of ways of increasing but with crochet you can only add a stitch by working an extra stitch into the stitch on the row previous. For example, say you are working rows of double crochet. You would do this by creating one double crochet stitch in each double crochet stitch on the previous row. To work an increase the pattern will direct you to “work 2dc in the next dc stitch.” You will have increased your number of stitches by one. Simple enough, right? A pattern may direct you to increase one or two or even more stitches in an existing stitch, and you may do it multiple times across a row counting to place the increase in the correct stitch. This pattern of increases will start to shape the fabric. You can view a photo tutorial for increase double crochet in my pattern for the Spring Frills Scarf pictured below.

Decreases subtract stitches from your work by skipping a stitch, such as the one at the end of the row, or by working two stitches together. It all depends on the shape you are supposed to create. Leaving a stitch unworked is just like it sounds: you abandon it and just turn your work early, likely with a turning chain (see last week’s article for the how-to on turning chains).

Working two stitches together is a bit more tricky but not difficult once you understand the objective. The idea is to combine two stitches by working the first most of the way through, but leaving loops on your hook and then moving to the next stitch and finishing them both together. A pattern will direct you to “dec dc” “sc next 2 sts tog” or “dec over 2 hdc” or “work a two tc dec” depending on the stitches being worked (sc, dc, hdc, or tc) on the row and the way the author chooses to abbreviate (a pattern will always include an explanation of abbreviations used to make this simpler!). Here is a great step-by-step on working a dec dc. And here is one for a dec sc, and a dec tc and even a dec hdc video tutorial.

With more complicated stitches as these I would recommend working on your project with the instructions in front of you and going slowly, step-by-step. Seems the most difficult part is remembering where you are in the process –find your place by counting the loops on your hook.

What’s Next?

Now you know the basic stitches, which means you can combine them to create some interesting shapes and patterns. One of the beautiful things about crochet is that there are so many textural patterns that can be created with a solid color of yarn, and the possibilities are exponential when you throw in color changes. We’ll talk more about patterns in a couple weeks, but next week we’ll dive into crocheting in the round, my favorite way to work.

In the meantime keep up the practice with this Simple Kerchief using all double crochet and increase double crochet and check out some other great online references such as this site and this one for more photos and video tutorials.

Step 4: How to Crochet: triple crochet, increase and decrease


all crafts Basic Crochet Stitches: Beginner Ruffled Scarf Pattern Anneliese shares her creative, authentic, and inspiring creations at Aesthetic Nest.  She is driven to beautify the space around her, and has a knack for creating gorgeous, original items that enhance her space.  At Aesthetic Nest, you’ll find a creative journal where Anneliese showcases things she makes including sewingknittingcrochetcookingpainting (not often enough), room decorating, and party designing.

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  1. I enjoy your work. I first found you on Scribd and made the little bonnet you have as a free download. It came out beautifully by the way. You design such feminine gentle stuff.
    Thanks for this introduction to crochet – it will help others just starting out.

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