Crocheting Blog

What’s an Extended Single Crochet?

The single crochet is one of the basic crochet stitches that everyone is very familiar with. You can use it in rows or rounds and it creates a dense crochet fabric with hardly any gaps or holes. Although the sc is a simple stitch, don’t be fooled into thinking its not sophisticated. Making some very small changes in the way you do an sc can result in surprising results

In this tutorial, we’re going to look at the extended single crochet, a less dense stitch with a looser drape.

Extended single crochet and single crochet compared

Extended single crochet and single crochet compared.

About the extended single crochet

Like its name suggests, this is a single crochet stitch that has something extra to make it a bit taller. The first photo above demonstrates this well. I made a wide swatch using a 100% cotton aran weight yarn and a 6 mm hook to produce a fairly open fabric to show exactly what the stitches look like. The single crochet (lower part) shows this tight, closely woven format.

The top half contains only extended single crochet stitches and you can see that its completely different. The crochet fabric has more gaps, the stitches have extra texture and (although you can’t actually see this) it has more drape. This is very useful when making garments.

The stitch looks somewhat similar to a half double crochet, but it is slightly different. The main difference is that when making a HDC, you yarn over before inserting your hook to make the stitch; for an ESC, you don’t yarn over.

Various abbreviations are used for this stitch, but by far the most common in U.S. patterns is the ESC.

A note about patterns written in U.K. terms

One of the few annoying things about crochet is the different terminologies used by English speaking countries. In the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and some other countries, crocheters use different names for all the crochet stitches. In U.K. terminology the sc is called a double crochet (dc). Confusing or what? The extended sc may be called the chain double crochet in patterns using U.K. terms.

Step-by-step tutorial for the extended single crochet

Making the extended single crochet stitch is very easy. If you already know the single crochet, you’ll pick up this stitch in just a few minutes.

Extended single crochet tutorial step One

Step 1:

Start with a small swatch, about 10-15 chains. For ESC, you need a turning chain of one at the end of each row, so I made a swatch with 13 chains, which made the sample 12 stitches wide. I’ve worked a few rows to start with so that you can see more easily.

Step 2:

Insert your hook into the next stitch.

Extended single crochet tutorial step Two

Step 3:

Yarn over and pull up a loop. You will have two loops on your hook just as you do when making a standard sc.

Extended single crochet tutorial step Three

Step 4:

Yarn over and pull through only the first loop on the hook. You will still have two loops on your hook.

Extended single crochet tutorial step Four

Step 5: Yarn over and pull through both loops remaining on the hook. Extended single crochet complete!

The crochet fabric that you will produce with this stitch is fully reversible. The comparison below shows the front of the fabric on left and the back of the fabric on the right.

Extended single crochet back and front compared

Comparing the standard sc with the extended sc

When I finished my ESC swatch, I made a swatch of sc in the same yarn (a quality acrylic DK weight) with the same hook (Size E, or 3.5mm). Each has the same number of stitches and rows.

I expected the height of the stitches to be different, but I was surprised to see that the ESC sample was taller AND wider:

Extended single crochet and standard single crochet compared

Using the extended SC

The extended sc is easy to do and it gives a better drape than standard sc, so its very useful in crochet garment making. ESC in the body of a cardigan or sweater gives a beautiful drape without being too bulky or having too many holes.

Could the single crochet be more versatile?

After learning more about the ESC, I was excited to try it out. As a litte experiment, I decided to use it in some fingerless mittens I’d been working on.

These mitten are made entirely using variations on the single crochet (the rib in the cuffs is back loop only sc, two of the stripes use sc waistcoat stitch and the middle stripe uses extended sc). The top is finished with crab stitch — a variant of sc worked from right to left.

Finished fingerless mittens using extended single crochet

Get the Stormy Skies Crochet Fingerless Gloves Pattern here »

All the variations of the sc work perfectly in these mittens. The sc made in the back loops only provides a stretchy, comfortable cuff; the dense waistcoat stitch feels warm and snug and the extended sc provides that all-important flexibility around the thumb and knuckles. And the crab stitch gives a nice, unfussy finish.

If you want to try out extended single crochet and the other forms of the sc, this is a perfect project and the pattern is available right here on Craftsy!

Crochet With Feeling!

crochet textures

Elevate your crochet with three amazing textures! Learn how to stitch them all in this FREE Craftsy mini-class.Enroll FREE Now »

10 Comments

Bev Huhn- scott

Love the tutorials. I am between easy & intermediate

Reply
comocosews

Is the Extended single crochet the same as a half double crochet?

Reply
Kaelyn

No, hdc is: yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook.

Reply
Bev Huhn- scott

I cannot see any baby patterns

Reply
Kathryn Senior

There aren’t any in this post – its a stitch tutorial but do you mean you can’t find any baby patterns on Craftsy? If you go to the patterns section you can search using the term ‘baby clothes’ or use the filter for age group. I’m sure there are some there xxx

Reply
Vickie

If using the ESC to make a garment, how would you adjust for size since the ESC stitch is bigger then the regular sc stitch?

Reply
Kathryn Senior

I was really thinking that you could use the esc if you were designing a garment, or modifying it yourself. If you wanted to do the latter you could do a tension square of both stitches in the yarn you wanted to use and then make the adjustments – but I suspect the maths would be horrendous. As a very rough guide, my tension swatches showed that the esc came out about 20% larger, so I would reduce everything by 20% and try it out 🙂

Reply
Vickie

Thanks for your reply and I was never really that good at math, lol.

Reply
WheelyBad

Thank you for the note with regard to terminology in other English speaking counties. I can assure others that it does get easier to switch between UK and US! Please keep up with a mention of what new or unusual stitches are in UK terms please. It is very much appreciated.

Reply
Kathryn Senior

That’s a great idea – I am based in the UK so UK terms is my ‘native language’ but I find I am now quite good at working in both. Its just a matter of practice 🙂

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply