Once you learn how to treble crochet, you will want to take it to the next level and learn how to increase and decrease with this basic crochet stitch (as opposed to when you just work even). Increasing and decreasing is how you get different shapes besides squares and rectangles, so it is how you work garments as well as many accessories including crochet shawls. Even if you only know the basic stitches, you can make all different types of projects once you know shaping. Increasing treble crochet is easy; you just work two regular treble crochet stitches into the same stitch where it is time to increase.
Decreasing in treble crochet, like decreasing in the other basic crochet stitches, is slightly more complicated than increasing but not all that difficult once you understand the process. Basically, you are going to work two treble crochet stitches side-by-side (in adjoining stitches) but you will leave the final step off of each of those stitches and then use a single stitch at the end to link the tops of the two stitches together. This effectively turns the two stitches into one stitch. Because of this, the stitch is also called the "treble crochet two together" and uses the crochet abbreviation tr2tog. It may also be abbreviated with "dec" (for decrease). This is also known as a cluster of two; crochet clusters can consist of many more stitches linked together at the top; decreases are generally considered to be just clusters of two.
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How to tr2tog: Step One in Treble Crochet Decrease
The first portion of working a treble crochet decrease is going to be exactly the same as working a regular treble crochet.
We are going to work it step-by-step here as a recap but just for an overview, here are the steps of a classic treble crochet:
- Yarn over twice.
- Insert hook into next stitch.
- Yarn over and pull through.
- Yarn over and pull through two loops on hook.
- Yarn over and pull through two loops on hook again.
- Yarn over and pull through remaining two loops on hook.
The first portion of your treble crochet decrease will consist of the first five of these steps. You will NOT complete the sixth step.
For now, let's just start with step one: yarn over twice.
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How to tr2tog: Step Four in Treble Crochet Decrease
So here we are on step four. It continues with the same process as the conventional triple crochet stitch. So you are going to yarn over and pull through the first two loops on the hook. When you complete this step, you will have three loops remaining on your crochet hook.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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How to tr2tog: Step Six in Treble Crochet Decrease
As mentioned before, the treble crochet decrease begins with the same steps as the regular treble crochet. However, you don't complete step six of the classic tr crochet when you are making a tr2tog decrease. Here we are on step six, so now what?
You're going to begin working the second of the two treble crochet stitches that make up the pair that you crochet together. So, you're going to keep the two loops on the hook that are already there and you are going to yarn over twice.
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How to tr2tog: Step Seven in Treble Crochet Decrease
You're basically just making another treble crochet right next to the one that you just started. So, you're going to insert your hook into the next stitch. This is the stitch just to the left of the stitch you were just working (assuming that you are a right-handed crocheter).
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How to tr2tog: Step Eight in Treble Crochet Decrease
Continuing on with our treble crochet stitch, we are going to yarn and pull through.
At this stage of your regular treble crochet stitch (which would be step three above) there would be four loops on your crochet hook. Note that there are five loops on your crochet hook. Remember that this is because you have an extra loop on the hook from the unfinished first treble crochet of the pair.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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How to tr2tog: Step Nine in Treble Crochet Decrease
Repeat Steps Four and Five.
You will yarn over and pull through the first two loops on the hook, leaving you with four loops on the hook.
Then you will repeat and you will be left with three loops on the hook.
Notice that you have now completed steps 1-5 of the classic treble crochet stitch, which means that your first and second stitches of the tr2tog pair are now the same height.
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How to tr2tog: Step Ten in Treble Crochet Decrease
You have essentially created your two treble crochet stitches. All that is left to do is to turn the two side-by-side stitches into a single stitch, completing the "treble crochet two together".
So, yarn over and pull through all three loops remaining on hook. That's it; you've completed your treble crochet decrease!