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Have you been wanting to learn how to crochet the crab stitch, but think it looks a bit too complicated? It really isn’t difficult and with this step by step photo tutorial, you can learn the crab stitch. If you can single crochet, you can do it in reverse!

The crab stitch is also known as a reverse single crochet because you are literally working in the opposite direction you would normally work. So for right-handed crocheters, you will be working from left to right and left-handed crocheters will be working from right to left. That’s it – the basic stitch is still a single crochet, just worked in the reverse direction.

The crab stitch is great for borders. It adds unique texture and detail without being complicated or frilly. (Not that there is anything wrong with frilly but sometimes you just want to keep it simple!) The stitch is also dense so it is great if you are looking for a border that does not have holes. Don’t forget to save this tutorial on Pinterest so you can come back to it later!

To get started I’ve crocheted a little rectangle with a single crochet border around the entire outside edge. If you are using the crab stitch as a border around something like a dish cloth or a blanket (see the Diamond Lace Baby Blanket or the Easy Crochet Baby Blanket), doing a round of regular single crochets before adding the reverse single crochet border can make the entire process much easier.  Scroll down for the left-handed tutorial of how to crochet a reverse single crochet.Pin image with text How to Crochet the crab stitch

How to Crochet the Crab Stitch | Right-Handed Tutorial

  1. Making sure the right side is facing you, join yarn and chain 1 or just ch 1 if you are using the same yarn as the body of your project. The reason the crab stitch is also called the reverse single crochet is because you are working in the opposite direction you normally work. Instead of going into the stitch to the left (when you are looking at it) you are going to work into the stitch to the right.
    joining gray yarn to tan yarn
  2. Insert your hook into the stitch to the right of your chain.
    start reverse single crochet in the stitch before
  3. Yarn over and pull up loop like a normal single crochet accept, as you can see, your stitches will be twisted.
    yarn over and pull through loop to complete crab stitch
  4. Yarn over and pull through both loops on hook.
    pull through loop of reverse single crochet
  5. Continue, inserting your hook in the next stitch to the right, yarn over and pull up loop. When you pull up the loop, it is helpful to hold your hook horizontal the the previous stitch so you are creating the same height with each stitch. Yarn over and pull through both loops on hook.
    two crab stitches completed
  6. As you add more stitches, you can see the twisted stitches forming the solid crab stitch border. Continue to reverse single crochet around the entire edge putting a crab stitch in each stitch below.
    row of crab stitches
  7. To complete your crab stitch border, stop when you’ve reached the stitch you started in.
    showing where to sl st to finish crab stitch
  8. Instead of adding a crab stitch in that starting stitch, slip stitch into the same stitch you started in.
    finishing reverse single crochet
  9. Cut your yarn and pull through. When you weave in your ends, you’ll want to weave the tail through the stitches to the right.
    completed crab stitch border

There you go! Now you know how to crochet the crab stitch! Where will you use it?

 completed square with crab left handed stitch border

Don’t forget to check out these patterns where you can use the crab stitch border:

Mini Hanging Basket
Diamond Lace Crochet Baby Blanket
Easy Crochet Baby Blanket Pattern for a Girl

How to Crochet the Crab Stitch | Left-Handed Tutorial

    1. Making sure the right side is facing you, join yarn and chain 1 or just ch 1 if you are using the same yarn as the body of your project. The reason the crab stitch is also called the reverse single crochet is because you are working in the opposite direction you normally work. Instead of going into the stitch to the right (when you are looking at it) you are going to work into the stitch to the left.join yarn for left hand reverse sc
    2. Insert your hook into the stitch to the left of your chain.Left handed crab stitch
    3. Yarn over and pull up loop like a normal single crochet accept, as you can see, your stitches will be twisted.
    4. Yarn over and pull through both loops on hook.completed reverse sc
    5. Continue, inserting your hook in the next stitch to the left, yarn over and pull up loop. When you pull up the loop, it is helpful to hold your hook horizontal the the previous stitch so you are creating the same height with each stitch. Yarn over and pull through both loops on hook.two crochet crab stitches left handed
    6. As you add more stitches, you can see the twisted stitches forming the solid crab stitch border. Continue to reverse single crochet around the entire edge putting a crab stitch in each stitch below.six left handed reverse single crochets
    7. To complete the crab stitch border, stop when you’ve reached the stitch you started in.showing first stitch of reverse single crochet
    8. Instead of adding a crab stitch in that starting stitch, slip stitch into the same stitch you started in.Finishing left handed reverse single crochet
    9. Cut your yarn and pull through. When you weave in your ends, you’ll want to weave the tail through the stitches to the left.

finish crab stitch border left

There you go! Now you know how to crochet the crab stitch! Where will you use it?

Finished crab stitch border right handed

Don’t forget to check out these patterns where you can use the crab stitch border:

Mini Hanging Basket
Diamond Lace Crochet Baby Blanket
Easy Crochet Baby Blanket Pattern for a Girl

If you prefer videos for learning, Moogly has a very helpful video tutorial on the reverse single crochet.

If you like this project, save to your Pinterest or share to FB!

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