The crochet seed stitch is a simple stitch that any beginner can easily learn to do. It requires only the basic crochet knowledge of single crochet and double crochet stitches. Alternating the two stitches across each row, and from row to row creates a lovely closed-work fabric with a nubby checkerboard texture.
When worked in cotton, the crochet seed stitch is great for washcloths and dishcloths. In other yarns, it can be a great warm stitch for garments, blankets, and accessories. Anytime that you are looking for a dense fabric that isn't too "openwork" or "lacy" and you want to go with something a little more interesting than a basic single crochet or half double crochet project, consider seed stitch. It's also the perfect repetitive stitch for mindful crochet.
This tutorial teaches you how to do a basic crochet seed stitch and shows you a unique variation on it at the end, providing you with options for playing with this stitch pattern in lots of different projects.
When you are first learning the stitch, it is a good idea to work with a mid-weight yarn in a light or bright color that allows you to easily see your stitches and where to insert the hook. Cotton would be a good choice, and allow you turn your swatch into a washcloth!
Equipment / Tools
- US K/10.5 (6.5 mm) crochet hook
- 20 to 30 yard worsted weight yarn in light or bright color
Make a slip knot and place it on your hook. Chain 42 sts.
Begin the Foundation Row
The first 3 chain sts are your turning chain, and the chain counts as the first dc of the row. The next stitch will be an sc, the one after that a dc, and so on.
- sc in 4th ch from hook, *dc, sc; repeat from * to end of row.
Continue Across the Row
You should have 20 single crochet and 20 double crochet stitches alternating across the row—40 sts total. The turning chain that started the row counted as a dc, and the last stitch worked should be an sc.
Second Row: Turning Chain
For this stitch pattern, you will always work double crochet stitches into single crochet stitches of the row below, and always work single crochet stitches into double crochet stitches of the row below. Each row begins with a double crochet stitch (made by chaining 3) and ends with a single crochet stitch.
- Turn the work; ch 3 (counts as the first double crochet of the new row).
Notice the chain is created above the final single crochet of the previous row.
Second Row: Getting Started
Since the chain counts as a dc and is above the last sc of the row, the next stitch is an sc and is worked into the top of the second stitch of the previous row—the last dc of that row.
- Sc in first dc of previous row.
Second Row: Continue Across the Row
Sc above dc, so for the next stitch a dc goes above an sc. The repeat continues across the row, dc above sc, sc above dc; it's a good mantra to keep in mind as you work this stitch pattern.
- Continue the pattern: *dc, sc; repeat from * to last 2 sts, dc, sc in turning chain from previous row.
The last stitch of the row will always be worked into the turning chain of the previous row.
Make More Rows
Continue adding rows to your seed stitch crochet swatch. The stitch pattern's characteristic texture will start to be clear after 10 to 20 rows.
Ribbed Seed Stitch Variation
You can create a fun variation of the seed stitch by following the same instructions with only one change. Instead of crocheting under the top loops of stitches as you usually do, crochet into the back loop only (BLO). Doing so creates a ribbed version of the seed stitch. It grows more quickly and is a stretchier fabric.
Compare the seed stitch and its back loop variation below. The ridges created by working through the back loop are clearly visible. There are some other subtle differences between the two swatches, attributable to differences in hook size and fiber content. The regular seed stitch was worked with a slightly smaller crochet hook, and with acrylic yarn instead of cotton. Play around with different yarn and hooks as you explore the variations and possibilities of crochet seed stitch.