Decreasing~Increasing~Shaping

Decreasing:

Common Pattern Abbreviation: dec

dc (US sc) decrease at beginning of row: insert hook into first stitch & draw up a loop (2 loops on hook), insert hook into next stitch & draw up a loop (3 loops on hook), YO & draw through all 3 loops on hook. This method can also be worked to decrease anywhere mid row.

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dc (US sc) decrease at end of row: when you have last 2 stitches of the row to work, insert hook into next stitch & draw up a loop (2 loops on hook), insert hook into last stitch & draw up a loop (3 loops on hook), YO & draw through all 3 loops on hook.

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tr (US dc) decrease at beginning of row: 2 ch, YO & insert hook into next stitch & draw up a loop (3 loops on hook), YO & draw through 2 loops (2 loops on hook), YO & draw through both loops on hook.

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tr (US dc) decrease at end of row: when you have last 2 stitches of the row to work, YO, insert hook into next stitch & draw up a loop (3 loops on hook), YO & draw through 2 loops (2 loops on hook), YO, insert hook into last stitch & draw up a loop (4 loops on hook), YO & draw through 2 loops (3 loops on hook), YO & draw through all 3 loops on hook. This method can also be worked to decrease anywhere mid row.

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Increasing:

Common Pattern Abbreviation: inc

dc (US sc) increase: work 2 dc (US sc) in first/last stitch or anywhere mid row where the increase is required.


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tr (US dc) increase: work one tr (US dc) in same stitch as 3-ch beginning chain ~ work 2 tr (US dc) last stitch or anywhere mid row where the increase is required.

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Shaping:

1) one of the easiest ways to shape in crochet is to vary the stitch height – you can do this dramatically by working a higher post stitch each time or gradually by working the same stitch a number of times before moving onto a higher post stitch – this method can be used at the beginning, end or anywhere in between where the shaping is required

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2) Another interesting method to shape crochet can be worked at the end of the row by working a slip stitch in the last stitch & drawing up a long loop, turn work, skip a number of stitches & slip stitch where you want start the new row before continuing

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3) This method is worked at the end of a row (before turning your work) when extra stitches are required for the new row – after completing last stitch of row make the number of chains required for shaping, remember to allow for the extra chains to accommodate the turning chain (1 ch = dc (US sc), 2 ch = htr (US hdc), 3 ch = tr (US dc) & so on), turn work, & depending on stitch used work first stitch in appropriate chain (2nd ch from hook for dc (US sc), 3rd ch from hook for htr (US hdc), 4th ch from hook for tr (US dc) & so on), work along the chains & then back into the body of work

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4) where shaping is required on both ends a similar method as above is used, however, the extra chains must be made at the beginning of the previous row to ensure that the entire row will be the same height…

For example: to increase by 4 stitches working in dc (US sc)  – when at end of row make 1 ch (beginning chain), turn (you are now at the beginning of a new row but not the row that requires the increase), make the number of chains required for the increase + 1 ch, work a slip stitch into 2nd chain from hook & in each chain across but not into the beginning chain, now you are back to the body of your work & can continue working in dc (US sc) – work your next row as usual across in all stitches & in each slip stitch of previous row

For higher post stitches remember to make your turning (beginning) chain first (2 ch = htr (US hdc), 3 ch = tr (US dc) & so on) before making the increase chains + 1 ch, then slip stitch back to the beginning ch (counted as the first st of the row) & work as usual across – work your next row as usual across in all stitches & in each slip stitch of previous row

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5) Another method to increase at both ends is to follow instructions as for (3) at the beginning end & at the other end, bring in new yarn with a slip knot & make the number of chains required for the increase (& finish off), work across the row in each stitch & in each of these new chains – remember to weave in or crochet over the tail ends

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6) this last method isn’t as neat as any of the above but I use it a lot in my freeform work when I decide to just go that extra stitch or two

work in the side loop of stitch just made until the desired increase is made

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20 Responses to Decreasing~Increasing~Shaping

  1. rensfibreart says:

    Dee, I’m sorry but, without seeing the pattern I can’t really help,…. Have you tried contacting the designer of the pattern? You can also check out Ravelry, hope you find the answer…

  2. Dee says:

    Hi can you help me with increase at each end of row of slanted shell stitch. I’m making a small cardigan & have to increase both ends of 6th & following 8th row.

  3. rensfibreart says:

    Pat, sorry, but I’m unable to help without the pattern or seeing your project – I suggest you do it by measurement or look at other patterns to give you the idea… 😦

  4. Pat says:

    i need to know when to decrease for sweater sleeves and how

  5. rensfibreart says:

    That’s lovely, Teresa… thank you for sharing… Take your time learning to crochet & start with small, simple & achievable projects. I’m so glad the tutorial has been of help… enjoy 🙂

  6. Teresa says:

    This so well done, thank you! It is hard to see what’s happening in photo tutorials, but your diagrams with highlighting are just the thing. I am so glad to have found your site, as i am just getting started crocheting. My grandmama crocheted beautifully and tried to teach me once as a teen, but i couldnt figure it out and she was so speedy it seemed she couldn’t slow down enough to really show me! She passed to her eternal reward a few months ago and now i am suddenly seized with a compulsive desire to learn her hobby. I realized the other night that maybe this is how i am trying to grieve finally and also carry on a family tradition. Too much info, sorry, but i just read the preview to your book on your personal life and felt like you have an appreciation for these kinds of things. So thank you for taking the time to make and post such clear directions!

  7. rensfibreart says:

    You’re most welcome, Eleonora, glad it’s been helpful & thank you for your kind comment 🙂

  8. Wow- thankyou so much for this post! It’s really helped me get to grips with decreasing treble crochet at the start of a row. These are the best instructions I’ve found anywhere 😊

  9. rensfibreart says:

    Thanks, Kathleen… it’s always so rewarding getting feedback about these posts being helpful.
    You sound very enthusiastic & it’s a shame there are no other freeformers in your area to connect with… however,if you haven’t already, have you thought about joining a freeform group on the net… you might find that helpful… Ravelry & International free Form Fiberarts Guild, are 2 that come to mind… 🙂

  10. kathleen lancaster says:

    Thank you so very much for you clearly written instructions. I have purchased all of your books. Freeform crochet was the reason I took lessons to learn how to crochet. I told the instructor I wanted to begin with flowers, motifs and squares as opposed to the traditional scarf. I wanted to learn as much as possible in a short period of time so that I could free form. Unfortunately, I can not find anyone in my area who does free form and thus I frequently become discouraged. Just bought the reprint of the Cosh/Walter book. I tried repeatedly to follow their directions on shaping and couldn’t get it from the visual. Went to bed frustrated. Woke this AM and decided to cruise the web. Found your instructions….success…..thank you for this post.

  11. rensfibreart says:

    It’s a bit difficult for me to work out your question without seeing what you’re actually trying to do… but as I understand what you’re asking…
    foundation ch = work number of chains required for number of stitches + 1 (turning ch)
    row 1 = work number of stitches
    row 2 & subsequent rows = increase in first & last stitch
    (this way of increasing gives you a gradual increase)

    if you’re after a more severe increase then make the required number of chains (+1) at the end of the row, turn, work your first sc in the 2nd ch from the hook, then work your stitches into the remaining chains & stitches across

    as to working in the back loops only… working in one or both loops of the chain shouldn’t make any difference….

    not sure if I’ve answered your questions but I hope it’s been somewhat helpful…

  12. Jodie says:

    I am trying to do a kit that I have for a teddy bear and am a bit confused about the instructions. It is all worked in dc (US sc) and in rows. It says that to increase at the beginning of the row, you need to work the number of chain required for the extra stitches plus 1 ch for the turning chain. So does this mean that if I had 3 dc in the 1st row and then 6 dc on the 2nd row (with the increase of the 3 stitches at the beginning of the row), I should do my 3 dc, turn my work, 4 ch (1 for each additional dc plus the turning chain), then dc in each of the 3 extra ch and then continue with the 3 dc from the 1st row? Each row (apart from the 1st row) is supposed to be worked into the back of the previous row, so does that mean that I should be working into the 1 strand of the chain stitches, or should I be taking it through the 2?

  13. rensfibreart says:

    You’re most welcome, Diane.. glad I could help… 🙂

  14. Diane Snarski says:

    This is such a Great Help in the process of shaping in crochet. Thank You, Thank You. Please, keep the crochet tip and tricks coming.

  15. Erin says:

    Thank you for this! I’m an amateur crocheter and have a lot of wonderful ideas for projects, but I seem to be stuck. I would like to accomplish them by crocheting in freeform style and would love more tutorials like this one on shaping. If anyone knows of any tutorials or information on shaping, increasing, decreasing or just freeform tips in general, please list them here! Thanks again for all your help!

  16. rensfibreart says:

    whenever you decrease, the 2 stitches that you have decreased become one stitch, you can continue to decrease each row to the desired size or decrease every other row or just continue with sc along the row – hope that helps

  17. kim says:

    how do you decrease a row and then sc the next row? do you decrease the decrease from the previous row?

    thanks

  18. rensfibreart says:

    Thanks Marge, can’t tell how happy it makes me knowing I’m helping to keep the hook moving along

  19. Marge Rohrer says:

    Thank you so much for your very clear instructions. I know it is a lot of work but do want you to know how very much I appreciate it. I’m a neophyte crocheter and they are so helpful to me. I really enjoy your blog. Marge

  20. Pingback: Crochet Tips & tricks update… decreasing~increasing~shaping | Renate Kirkpatrick's Freeform Crochet Designs

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