Crab Stitch Tutorial (Reverse Single Crochet)

The Crab Stitch aka Reverse Single Crochet is a great border option for many projects. To be honest, if I’m not quite sure how I want to finish a project, I will just add the Crab Stitch. It’s simplicity and versatility make it a great option for cozies, coasters, placemats, blankets…almost anything!

Now, this stitch really is quite simple. It’s literally just a single crochet. The difference is that you will be working in reverse, which can certainly take some getting used to. It’s kind of like trying to do something with your non-dominant hand. If you’re right handed and you try writing something with your left hand, not only does is feel awkward, but your hand writing is going to look a little sloppy too. So please give yourself grace when first learning this stitch. It may take some practice to get used to it.

Here is a video tutorial for all of my visual learners:


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Working the Crab Stitch flat:

We normally crochet from right to left, but when working the Crab Stitch (Reverse Single Crochet), instead of turning your work, you will start to work backwards, or, from left to right. Hence the name: Reverse Single Crochet.

To work your first Crab Stitch:

  1. ch 1 (do NOT turn your work)
  2. turn your hook so that the hook is pointing straight down
  3. insert your hook down through the stitch
  4. yarn under (do not yarn over)
  5. draw up a loop
  6. yarn over and draw through both loops on your hook

Here are some step by step photo tutorials for reference:

  • turn your hook so that the hook is pointing straight down
  • insert your hook down through the stitch
  • yarn under (do not yarn over)
  • draw up a loop
  • yarn over
  • draw through both loops on your hook
  • Working the crab stitch in the round works pretty much the same way. When you get to the end of your last round (before starting the crab stitch round), instead of continuing in the same direction, ch 1 and start working your crab stitches counterclockwise.

    After making several Crab Stitches, you should have this lovely rope-like border.

    Are you ready to use the Crab Stitch now? Check out these designs that use it:


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