Make Edges Neater With the Reverse Single Crochet Stitch

Can you spot a reverse single crochet stitch? Reverse single crochet, sometimes called crab stitch, is most often used to make edges look smooth and neat. If you’ve mastered single crochet but aren’t sure what reverse single crochet is, don’t worry. The tricky part is working the stitch from left to right — the total opposite from the way you’d work a single crochet.

How to do the reverse single crochet

The reverse single crochet is, essentially, the same as a regular single crochet. The only difference is that you work it in the next stitch to the right instead of to the left.

Generally, pattern designers use this stitch to create a straighter edge, so you’ll typically work a whole row of reverse single crochets, moving from left to right.

Step-by-step instructions:

1. Insert your hook into the next space to the right (or indicated space), working from front to back.
2. Yarn over and draw up a loop.
3. Yarn over and pull the yarn through both loops on the hook.

Practice the reverse single crochet on your crochet edges with one of these patterns.

Spiral flower crochet headwrap

Photo via yarntwisted

1. Spiral Flower Headwrap

Reverse single crochet is clearly at work in this pretty headwrap, since the stitches are helping to define the edges of the flower petals.

Sticks & Stones crochet bag

Photo via Wolffcub

2. Sticks & Stones Bag

Reverse single crochet is totally optional for this bag, but I bet you’ll want to use it to make those flap edges neater. I’m digging the variegated yarn used for this version, but I could also see it crocheted in a bright solid color.

Crochet pinwheel beanie cocoon set

Photo via crochetbyjen

3. Pinwheel Beanie & Cocoon Set

Notice those smooth, even edges on the beanie brim and cocoon? That’s thanks to reverse single crochet!

Crochet cabled owl neckwarmer

Photo via knotsewcute

4. Cabled Owl Neck Warmer

Three wise owls line the edge of this neck warmer, while reverse single crochet adds texture and durability to the edges. Don’t worry about this neck warmer slipping off. Not only does it have the three buttons in the front for closure, but it also has a hidden button to keep everything in place.

Crochet Om earrings

Photo via AimarroPatterns

5. Om Earrings

Talk about a neat finish! When you finish off after a row of single crochet in the round, the stitches can look bumpy and uneven. Here, the reverse single crochet stitch helps make these earrings perfectly round. You’ll need a few jewelry supplies to finish these off, too.

Crochet chunky textured beanie

Photo via yarntwisted

6. Unisex Chunky Textured Slouchy Beanie

The miracle of working in back loops combined with reverse single crochet and other basic crochet stitches give this hat its texture. And because it’s crocheted using a chunky-weight yarn, it works up in just an hour or two — perfect for a weekend project!

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