Learn how to combine three stitches into one textured stitch with a treble crochet cluster! You can use this stitch on its own to make scarves and blankets, or combine it with other stitches to make borders, mandalas, afghan pieces, and more.
What is a Crochet Cluster Stitch?
Although any cluster stitch is a more intermediate level stitch, once you know the basics of crochet, it's easy to learn. There are several variations of cluster stitch, but they all come together the same way. To make a crochet cluster, you start a basic crochet stitch like double or triple crochet, but you don't complete the stitch. Then you make several more partial crochet stitches all in the same stitch base. Finally, with several active stitches on your hook, you do one final yarn over and draw it through all the loops. For this tutorial, we'll focus on the 3 treble crochet cluster, but some patterns may use other numbers of basic stitches in the cluster.
Each cluster contains multiple stitches, but when you work these stitches, they all work into one stitch and end with a single stitch at the top. That means they only count as one stitch. They are, however, as wide as the number of stitches in the cluster. To give them room, you can skip stitches between clusters or you can create a fuller and more bumpy texture by working them next to each other. This produces an effect that's closer to popcorn stitch, but not as puffy.
Things to Remember
A treble crochet cluster looks different from the front and back. Working rows of only these clusters will result in varied texture. To keep the stitches all facing the same way, work a row of single or double crochet between the rows of cluster stitch.
This tutorial uses US crochet terminology.
Ready to try this stitch for yourself? Pick up your yarn and hook to get started!
This sample started with a base that has 25 double crochet stitches. The turning chains count as stitches for this example, but you should always read through the instructions in the pattern you are following.
Chain four as a starting chain (counts as a treble crochet).
Start the first treble crochet cluster in the next stitch. Yarn over two times and insert the hook in the correct stitch. Draw up a loop.
Yarn over and draw through the first two loops. Yarn over and draw through the next two loops. You should now have two loops left on your hook.
For a typical treble crochet stitch, you would yarn over and draw through the loops one more time, but here you leave the stitch unfinished.
Repeat the previous step two more times so that you have three unfinished treble crochets. You should also have four loops on your hook. One of these is from the first stitch and the other three are the partial treble crochets from the cluster stitch.
Yarn over and draw up a loop through all the loops on the hook. This ends off all of the partial stitches and completes the treble crochet cluster stitch.
When working a row of treble crochet cluster stitches, chain one and skip the next stitch. Yarn over two times and start your next cluster.
This may be different in some patterns that use clusters in other ways.
Continue across the row, alternating treble crochet clusters and chain stitches. If you started with an odd number of stitches like the sample, at the end of the row you should have one last stitch. Work a standard treble crochet into that stitch.
Repeat steps 1–6 to add more rows to your work. Be sure to notice the difference between the rows that go back and forth. If you want all of the treble crochet clusters to look the same, work a row of stitches between the rows of clusters.
Remember, you can use this same technique to make other types of cluster stitches. Some patterns may call for a cluster with double crochets instead of treble crochets. Others use a different number of stitches worked together as one. But the process remains the same as you work everything into one stitch and you end them all of as one stitch.
Give this stitch a try and you'll be ready for your next intermediate-level crochet project!