When you decrease in crochet, you essentially make two stitches next to each other that are linked together at the top. In double crochet, this means that you link together 2 side-by-side double crochet stitches. This is also known as "double crochet two together" and is abbreviated in crochet patterns as dc2tog.
How to Double Crochet Two Together
This tutorial shows you how to dc2tog, linking two double crochet stitches together into one. This tutorial is specific to double crochet but it will also give you a basic understanding not only of clusters but also of decreasing in other stitches (such as sc2tog and hdc2tog as well as more complex stitches such as fpdc2tog). Learning the concept with a basic stitch as simple as double crochet offers a great foundation for learning decreasing and crochet clusters for all basic stitches.
01 of 12
Crochet To The Point Where You Want to Decrease
First you will work your crochet as normal until you get to the point where you want to create the decrease.
In the photo here, you will see that we have created a starting chain and we have added some standard double crochet stitches.
We have also done the first yarn over, which will be discussed in the next step, but as long as you know how to double crochet, this should all feel very familiar.
02 of 12
Yarn Over And Insert Into Next Stitch
When you crochet two stitches together, you begin by starting the first of the two stitches in normal fashion. For the dc2tog stitch, this means that you will yarn over and insert into the next stitch, just like you would if you were crocheting a regular double crochet stitch.
03 of 12
04 of 12
Still continuing as normal, you will pull the "yarn over" through the stitch. There will be two loops on the hook.
Now, if you were just completing the double crochet then at this stage you would do another yarn over and pull through the loops on the hook, right? But we're not going to do that; this is where we begin the differences that make it a dc2tog stitch, rather than 2 dc stitches that are simply side-by-side.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
05 of 12
Yarn Over and Insert Into Next Stitch
You already have the base of your first double crochet in the cluster. Now you're ready to create the base of the second double crochet in the cluster.
So, yarn over and insert the hook into the next stitch. Basically, you want to pretend that you're creating another double crochet, even though you haven't quite finished working the first one. Just ignore the loops already on your crochet hook and proceed as normal with the first steps of this second double crochet stitch.
06 of 12
07 of 12
08 of 12
Yarn Over Again
Now you're going to yarn over again. At this point, you're working to complete the top portions of both of the double crochet stitches, linking them together.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
09 of 12
10 of 12
11 of 12
You Know How To Decrease Double Crochet
You now know how to dc2tog! That's it; you've placed 2 dc stitches side-by-side, starting each one on its own but finishing them off together. Practice it a few more times to really get the hang of it but basically you now know what you're doing.
You can use what you've learned here to decrease other crochet stitches as well. You can sc2tog, for example, by starting a single crochet, starting a second single crochet next to it, and then finishing them together.
12 of 12
Understanding Double Crochet Clusters
The same technique used for decreasing in double crochet is also sometimes known as the two double crochet cluster stitch. Clusters, similar to decreasing, link side-by-side stitches at the top. If you link only two, this is the exact same thing as dc2tog, and it is a 2 dc cluster.
If you were to create a 3 dc cluster, it would mean linking three side-by-side stitches; this is also known as dc3tog, which makes sense since what you are doing is double crocheting three stitches together into one. You can make crochet clusters of various sizes.
A cluster of just two stitches is most common for a decrease,which is something that you do for shaping items, including garments and accessories. Clusters of more stitches are used as a texture design detail.
You may find several sets of these clusters in a row, depending on your pattern. This photo shows a row featuring (from right to left) 4 dc stitches, 2 side-by-side clusters of dc2tog and then 2 dc. The finger are pointing at the two double crochet clusters.
Remember to pay attention to the details in any crochet pattern, because even though this is the classic way to dc2tog, occasionally pattern designers have their own instructions.