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Lacy Treble Shell Stitch

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Lacy Treble Shell Stitch

Lacy Treble Shell Stitch

Photo © Amy Solovay

The lacy treble shell stitch is a variation of the ever-popular vintage shell stitch.

To crochet the lacy treble shell stitch, you combine treble crochets with chains to form the shells; then you alternate the shells with half double crochet stitches. When crocheted with worsted weight yarn, this stitch appears both bold and delicate at the same time. Bold because of the large size of the shells, and delicate because of the lace factor. Want the stitch to appear more delicate than bold? That’s easy; just reduce the size of the yarn you’re using; this stitch would be lovely if worked in a lace weight yarn or a fine crochet thread.

Materials Needed:

Yarn or Crochet Thread: You can work this stitch in any yarn or crochet thread you like. I’ve used two different colors of Caron Simply Soft yarn to crochet my sample swatch pictured here.

  • Color A: Strawberry, the bright pink colored yarn
  • Color B: The lighter pink colored yarn; I accidentally misplaced my yarn label, so I am not 100% sure which color this is. I think it is the color called "Soft Pink," but it's also possible that it could be "Victorian Rose" or another color.

Feel free to use other yarn colors and / or brands.

To crochet the striped design as pictured, work a row of color A, then a row of color B, then start the pattern over with another row of color A, then B, then A, then B, repeating again and again until the piece is the length you want it to be.

You can also crochet this stitch pattern in one color if you like, or you can vary the number of colors used. I've posted pictures of a scarf made using this stitch in three colors of yarn. If you'd like to take a look at those pictures, you can see a close-up here and several more scarf photos here.

Crochet Hook:

To crochet the swatch as pictured, I used a size I / 5.5 mm crochet hook, which works well with worsted weight yarn. If you use a different yarn weight, you’ll want to choose an appropriate hook for the yarn or thread you’ve chosen. Check your yarn label for a suggested hook size if you aren’t sure which hook to use.

Other: Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

Crochet Abbreviations Used on This Page:

Special Stitch: The Lacy Shell -- Work the following sequence into the same chain stitch or half double crochet stitch, as directed by the instructions below: *tr, ch 1, tr, ch 1, tr, ch 1, tr*

Design Notes:

When you are directed to work into the center of a lacy shell, work into the center ch-1 space in the shell – the second of the three ch-1 spaces you crocheted when working the lacy shell in the previous row.

If you want to work with more than one color, you’ll need to know how to change colors. Check out our free video on switching colors in crochet.

Before you complete the last step of the last stitch in each row, change to the next color you want to work with.

Starting Chain Formula:

This stitch is a multiple of 8 + 3 stitches.

Practice Projects:

If you want to try out this stitch, you could crochet a swatch of it. But wouldn’t it be better to crochet a useful project at the same time you’re making your sample? Here are a couple of choices:

Stitch Instructions:

Crochet a series of chain stitches that works with the starting chain formula for this stitch pattern.

Row 1: Work a hdc st in the third ch from your hook. [Skip 3 ch sts. In the next ch, work a lacy shell. Skip next 3 ch sts. Hdc in next ch st.] Rep the sequence in brackets all the way across the row.

Row 2: Ch 4, turn. Your turning chain counts as the first tr in the row. Work another tr into the same st, ch 1, then work another tr into the same st. [Work a hdc in the center of the next lacy shell, then work a lacy shell into the next hdc st.] Rep the sequence in brackets all the way across the row. At the end of the row, work a hdc st into the center of the last shell, then work a tr into the last hdc, ch 1, then work 2 more tr into the same st.

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. Hdc in first st. [Work a lacy shell in next hdc st, work a hdc st in the center of the next lacy shell.] Rep the sequence in brackets all the way across the row. End the row by working a lacy shell into the next hdc st, then working a hdc st into the turning chain.

Rep rows 2 and 3 for the pattern repeat.

Update: These instructions were updated on 1-6-2013 to correct a mistake in row 3. If your copy is older than that, you may wish to print out the update.

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