How to Crochet Seed Stitch

Getting Started

Crochet seed stitch project
Kathryn Vercillo / The Spruce

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 creates a lovely closed-work fabric that resembles the seed stitch in knitting, where it likely derived its name.

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 the seed stitch. It's also a great repetitive stitch for mindful crochet.

This tutorial teaches you how to do a basic crochet seed stitch and also shows you a unique variation on it at the end, providing you with options for playing around with this design in lots of different projects.

Crochet a Foundation Chain

Foundation chain, 40 stitches
Kathryn Vercillo / The Spruce

Crochet a foundation chain that is an even number of stitches. In this example, the foundation chain is 40 stitches long. The length of your chain depends on the yarn and hook that you're using and the project that you're making but as long as you begin with an even number then you'll be able to accomplish this alternating stitch pattern.

Note that you can use any type of yarn and hook for this crochet stitch, simply depending on what you are making. When you are first learning the stitch, it is a good idea to work with a mid-weight yarn that allows you to easily see the stitch definition. A worsted weight cotton yarn worked with a size G or H crochet hook is ideal for many people but the important thing is to choose what you are comfortable using.

Turning Chain and First Stitch

First stitches in seed stitch crochet
Kathryn Vercillo / The Spruce

Add three additional stitches to your foundation crochet stitches. This serves as your first double crochet of Row 1. Single crochet in the fourth chain from hook. You will now have your first set of alternating dc, sc stitches.

Alternate Between DC and SC

Alternating double and single crochet stitches for seed stitch
Kathryn Vercillo / The Spruce

Double crochet in the next chain. Single crochet in the following chain. This is the basic repeat that you are going to do throughout the crochet seed stitch—dc then sc, over and over again.

Repeat Across Row

First row, crochet seed stitch
Kathryn Vercillo / The Spruce

Continue to repeat Step 3 across the entire row, ending with a single crochet stitch in the last chain. In the example of beginning with 40 plus 3 stitches, there are 20 stitches each of double and single crochet stitches alternating across the row. Note that you began the row with a double crochet stitch and will end it with a single crochet stitch.

Crochet Turning Chain

Turning chain for crochet seed stitch
Kathryn Vercillo / The Spruce

Chain three and turn the work. This will be the first double crochet of the new row. It is created above the final single crochet of the previous row. Throughout the project, you will always work your double crochets into the single crochet of the row below and vice versa; you will always begin your row with a double crochet and end it with a single crochet.

Single Crochet in Double Crochet

Seed stitch crochet fabric
Kathryn Vercillo / The Spruce

Single crochet in the first double crochet of the previous row. Again, notice that you are starting with a dc, sc in the same manner as last time, but because you have turned the row you'll be working each stitch into its opposite—dc goes above sc, sc above dc; that's a good mantra to keep in mind as you begin working with this crochet stitch.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4

Crochet seed stitch
Kathryn Vercillo / The Spruce

Repeat steps 3 and 4 to finish the row. In other words, continue to alternate dc, sc across the entire row to the end, ending with a sc in the last stitch.

Additional Rows in Seed Stitch Crochet

Seed stitch crochet fabric chunk
Kathryn Vercillo / The Spruce

Repeat Steps 5 through 7 to continue creating additional rows for your seed stitch crochet fabric. You can create a project as short or as long as you'd like. Beginning with a chain of 40 plus 3 in worsted weight yarn with a mid-sized hook, you can create a nice small sized cotton crochet washcloth in about 30 rows. However, your decisions will vary by project. This crochet stitch can be used across all different sorts of projects.

Ribbed Seed Stitch Variation

Ribbed crochet seed stitch
Kathryn Vercillo / The Spruce

You can create a variation of the seed stitch by following the same instructions with the exception that you will always crochet only into the back loop only (BLO). This creates a ribbed version of the seed stitch. It grows more quickly and is a stretchier fabric.

This photo shows a regular seed stitch against a ribbed seed stitch variation. However, the regular seed stitch was worked with a slightly smaller crochet hook and with acrylic yarn instead of cotton yarn, so some of the size difference is due to these differences. If working in the same yarn, the ribbed seed stitch would be taller, as it is here, but it would not be a wider stitch. Play around with different yarn and hooks as you explore the variations and possibilities of crochet seed stitch.