The bullion stitch is a unique crochet stitch that is worked by wrapping the yarn around the hook multiple times and then pulling through all of those yarn overs at once. The result is a highly textured detailed stitch also known as the roll stitch, a name that accurately describes what it looks like. The bullion stitch is a terrific stitch for adding highly textured, almost three-dimensional, details to any crochet item.
Skill Level: Intermediate - Advanced
This crochet stitch consists of a coil of wraps around the hook, through which the thread is drawn. It is not a stitch for crochet beginners but instead is recommended for experienced crocheters who are looking to advance their crochet skills. It is not exactly that the stitch is difficult but it takes some practice to learn how to pull the thread through so many loops at once and this is best achieved after practicing with basic crochet stitches for some time until you've developed a familiarity with the art of pulling yarn through loops.
How to Crochet Bullion Stitch
The bullion stitch requires only a few basic crochet movements:
- Yarn over as many times as your pattern calls for. Bullion stitch can be worked in different lengths / heights, which are determined by the number of times that you wind the yarn around the hooks. It is common to have at least 5-6 yarn overs and it is not uncommon to have as many as 10. Practice with fewer to begin with as you get used to working this stitch.
- After completing all of the yarn overs, insert your hook into your work where you want to place the bullion crochet stitch.
- Yarn over and pull through.
- Yarn over and pull through all of the loops on the hook.
- Yarn over and pull through last loop on hook to secure the bullion stitch in place.
Tips for Bullion Crochet Stitch
The most difficult part of this crochet stitch is making sure that you are able to pull the yarn through all of the coils on the hook. Here are some tips:
- Wrap the yarn loosely so that there is a lot of space between the yarn over and the hook.
- Try to make sure that each time it is wrapped it has the same amount of tension.
- Pull the work through slowly.
- Use your fingers to lift each yarn over as you pull through. Alternatively, use a tapestry needle to help you pull the yarn through. Even better, use a latch hook, which is recommended by B.Hooked Crochet in her bullion stitch flower crochet pattern.
Here is an additional tip from crochet history:
Handbook of Crochet, published in the early 1900s, says this about the roll stitch (a.k.a. bullion stitch): "A slender needle, tapering to the hook, is better for the purpose than a straight one, and its passage through the coil or roll is facilitated if the latter be held firmly between the thumb and finger of the left hand as the hook is worked through by the right."
The best tip of all is to remember that practice makes perfect. This is really a stitch that is easy enough to accomplish but just requires that your body get used to the movements necessary to make the stitch. Get that body memory going by crocheting a lot of bullion stitches.
Split Bullion Stitch
Tamara Kelly of Moogly has come up with a smart, fun variation on the bullion stitch, which she calls the split bullion. It's a thick bullion but it is worked across two stitches so it's easier to accomplish than if you tried to do all of those yarn overs in one fell swoop. You can see how she has used this bullion stitch variation in her Squish one-skein cowl free crochet pattern.
This article edited/ updated by Kathryn Vercillo. Image from Beads and Bullions Clay and Crochet Boho Necklace Tutorial on Crochet Concupiscence.