Crochet Science

A Study of Single Crochet Stitches

This post is all about Single Crochet stitches (Part 2 of our crochet study). You can also check out Part 1 – A Study of Double Crochet and Part 3 – A Study of Half Double Crochet.

Note: This article is written using American Crochet terms. It’s been updated Nov 9, 2020.

Traditional and untraditional crochet styles are not right or wrong in my opinion. They both are fully functional to get different results, or you may want to stick with one of them for life. Here are some interesting details we discovered.

Yarn Over Method (Traditional) – Insert the hook into the stitch, Yarn Over & pull up a loop, yarn over & pull through 2 loops on the hook.

Hook Over Method (Untraditional) – Insert the hook into the stitch, Hook Over & pull up a loop, yarn over & pull through 2 loops on the hook.

Illustrations and video for LEFT-handed crochet:

So, the main difference between making these stitches is that one of the yarn-overs in untraditional sc is worked as hook-over, which is also known as Yarn Under.

Stitch Appearance

The traditional (yarn over) sc is formed by 2 nearly parallel legs (II) that keep the stitch straight, while the untraditional (hook over) sc is slightly slanted due to its crossed legs (X). The samples below are made by working in the round, where rounds are joined with sl st in top of beg st.

Overall Project Appearance

Based on the offset stitch placement that I described in our Study of Double Crochet, the traditional (yarn over) method creates a slanted joining seam…while the untraditional (hook over) stitches make a nice and straight joining seam, balanced by the stitch slanting in the opposite direction.

Right-handed crochet:

  • Traditional (yarn over) method creates a right-leaning seam 
  • Untraditional (hook over) method creates a straight seam

Left-handed crochet:

  • Traditional (yarn over) method creates a left-leaning seam 
  • Untraditional (hook over) method creates a straight seam

Gauge & Symmetry

Just like for traditional and untraditional dc, the gauge and symmetry of your sc projects may be affected, depending on your crochet style.

  • Gauge: If you’ve matched your stitch gauge but having difficulty with the row gauge, switching styles can do the trick.  
  • Symmetry: If you are making symmetrical pieces that are done in the round (such as crochet soles, ovals with symmetrical details, rectangles, etc)…you might want to switch to untraditional method, as traditional crochet will be offsetting your stitches in every round, which distorts symmetry.

What Are Your Benefits

I use untraditional sc for just about everything, as I love its unique x-shape, straight seams, and symmetry of finished shapes. However, the traditional sc is much easier to handle if you have sore wrists, especially when you are working on a large project.

  • Traditional sc stitches are straight with parallel legs (II), but the joined seams are slanted. These stitches look nice and straight when you crochet in rows (back & forth crochet). Traditional crochet style prevents exaggerated movements, protecting your hands and wrists from pain.
  • Untraditional sc stitches are slanted with crossed legs (X), but the joined seams are straight. These stitches have a charming cross-stitch appearance, loved by amigurumi artists. It’s a perfect stitch for making symmetrical shapes, amigurumi projects, pillows, and even hats.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are using one style or the other, it’s very important to not switch them in the middle of the work. Crochet your entire project using the same style.