Who doesn’t love the look of the crocodile stitch? It adds a fun texture and really completes those dragon-esque projects! While it can be intimidating at first, this stitch is easy to get the hang of and is created using a combination of double crochet (dc) and slip stitches (sl st).
Each row of scales is created in two separate rows. The first row creates the base on which the scales are stitched, while the second row will create the actual scales. The information provided here is less of a step by step tutorial, and more of a guide for understanding the stitch from foundation to completion.
Calculating your Foundation
Whether integrating your crocodile stitch into an existing piece or starting with a chain, you will need to have a specific number of stitches in your foundation to properly space your scales. Your foundation will be your beginning chain or the previous row of crochet stitches, depending on your project. Each 5 stitches in your foundation row will become one complete scale.
Flat Pieces: Your foundation will need to be a multiple of 5, plus 2 to ensure that you have a scale at the very end of both ends of your first row of scales. This does not include additional chains that will become the first dc of the next row. To include your first dc, add an additional 2 chains to the end of your foundation.
Round Pieces: Your foundation will need to be a multiple of 5 when working in the round. For bags in which you are creating a circular bottom, I recommend working in a half double crochet (hdc), beginning with 10 stitches in a magic circle, increasing by 10 stitches in each round. This will give you a lot of flexibility to modify the size of your bag, while ensuring that you will have the required multiple of 5 stitches in your foundation row.
Creating the Base
Once you have your foundation, you can begin your first base row to create your scales. When you make a chain in this row, you will skip the corresponding stitch in the foundation row. This row will vary slightly depending on your foundation:
Flat Pieces: Turn your work and dc into the 3rd stitch from your hook to begin the first row of what will become your crocodile stitch. Continue this pattern to the end of the row: [chain, dc, chain, dc, dc].
Round Pieces: Chain 3 to count as first dc, then dc into the next stitch. Continue this pattern to the end of the row: [chain, dc, chain, dc, dc]. You will end after a single dc and chain, and join to your beginning chain.
Creating the Scales
Your scales will be completed by making double crochet stitches into the paired double crochets of the base row, doubling crocheting down one stitch and back up the next stitch.
Flat Pieces: Chain 3 and turn your work. Working into the side of the last dc of the previous row, make 4 dc. Turn your work and continue to make 5 dc in the opposite side of the next dc. This will form a scale. Sl st into the next dc of the previous row, and continue to make the next scale.
Round Pieces: Continuing to work in the round, chain 3 to count as first dc. Working into the side of the last dc of the previous row, make 4 dc. Turn your work and continue to make 5 dc in the opposite side of the next dc. This will form a scale. Sl st into the next dc of the previous row, and continue to make the next scale.
Continuing your Piece
Continue to follow the established patterns for each type of row, alternating your base row and scale row. When adding a base row over an existing scale row, you will dc in the center of each scale, chain, dc on each side of the dc from the previous base row, chain, and continue. This ensures that your scales will be correctly offset from one another.
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