The single crochet stitch is one of the most basic stitches we use in crochet. It is a great stitch to use when you want a denser fabric, such as when making a crocheted bag. Even though the single crochet stitch is a basic stitch, it is far from boring! You can change the look of the stitch simply by changing where it is worked into previous rows.
One of the ways you can change the look of the single crochet stitch is to work it inversely. The definition of inverse is ‘something that is the opposite or reverse of something else’. Simply by beginning our stitch in reverse (or opposite to how we work a single crochet), we can change the look of the basic single crochet stitch.
The front of an inverse single crochet stitch resembles the back of a single crochet stitch. So, when you work alternating rows of single crochet and inverse single crochet, the resulting fabric resembles single crochet worked in the round where the right side of the stitch is always on the right side of the fabric.
The inverse single crochet stitch is a great stitch to use when you have to alternate between working in rounds and in rows and want to keep the right side of the project looking the same, just like I did in my Striped Mini-Backpack.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to successfully work the inverse single crochet stitch! Before we begin, let’s go over a few stitch abbreviations and the materials I used for this crochet stitch tutorial.
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- Yarn: You can use any weight yarn you’d like. I used Lion Brand Yarn’s 24/7 cotton for my swatch. 100% Mercerized Cotton Yarn (186 yards / 170 m / 3.5 oz / 100 g). Available for purchase on the Lion Brand Website or AMAZON
- Crochet Hook: G/6/4.00mm (or hook size to match the weight of yarn you chose)
- Tapestry Needle
These items are available through our affiliates below.
- ch: chain
- sc: single crochet
- inverse sc: inverse single crochet
- yo: yarn over
- st(s): stitch(es)
- RS: right side
- WS: wrong side
- Inverse Single Crochet Stitch (inverse sc): With the working yarn IN FRONT of your work, insert your hook from back to front through the indicated stitch, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through both loops on your hook.
Inverse Single Crochet Stitch Tutorial
You can begin your swatch using the directions written in Step 1 below, or you can work any number of chains for the foundation chain.
Step 1 (Left): Begin making your swatch by working Row 1 as follows: using a 4mm crochet hook, ch 16, working into the back hump of the chain, sc in the 2nd ch from your hook, sc in each ch across. (15 sts) *This is the Right Side of the swatch.
Step 2 (Middle): Do not chain. Turn your work Counter Clockwise so that the working yarn is in Front of your work.
Step 3 (Right): Insert your hook from Back to Front into the stitch.
Step 4 (Left): With your working yarn still in front of your work, yarn over.
Step 5 (Middle): Pull yarn through to the back of your work and pull up a loop. You now have 2 loops on your hook.
Step 6 (Right): With the working yarn still in front of your work, yarn over.
Step 7 (Left): Pull through both loops on your hook to complete the first inverse single crochet stitch.
Step 8 (Middle): Repeat Steps 3 – 7 to work 1 inverse single crochet in each stitch across.
Step 9 (Right): Chain 1 and turn. Here you can see the right side of the swatch and the back side of the row of inverse single crochet stitches. *Shows 2 rows of the swatch completed.
Photo Above, Left: Work 1 sc in each stitch across. *Shows the right side of the swatch and 3 rows completed.
Photo Above, Middle: Turn counter clockwise. Do not chain. Work 1 inverse sc in each stitch across. *Shows the wrong side of the swatch and 4 rows completed.
Photo Above, Right: Chain 1 and turn. *Shows the right side of the swatch with the first 4 rows completed.
Photo Above, Left: Work 1 sc in each stitch across. *Shows the right side of the swatch and 5 rows completed.
Photo Above, Second from Left: Turn counter clockwise. Do not chain. Work 1 inverse sc in each stitch across. *Shows the wrong side of the swatch and 6 rows completed.
Photo Above, Third from Left: Chain 1 and turn. *Shows the right side of the swatch with 6 rows completed.
Photo Above, Right: Work 1 sc in each stitch across. *Shows the right side of the swatch with 7 rows completed.
Single Crochet versus Inverse Single Crochet
In the photo below, you’ll see a swatch I created of rows of single crochet sttiches and a swatch I created by alternating rows of single crochet and inverse single crochet stitches.
While the swatch on the bottom may not look exactly like you’ve worked single crochet stitches in the round, you have to agree that it looks much better than the swatch of single crochet alone.
Try the inverse single crochet stitch on a project!
I used the inverse single crochet stitch when designing my Striped Mini-Backpack. The pattern transitions from working single crochet in the round to working in rows when you split to begin the front and back panels. Click the photo below to see more pics of this stitch in action!
Are you intimidated by knit-look crochet? Would you love to learn my tips & tricks? Take an Annies Video Class with me and let me ease your fears and help you increase your skills! Click on the photo below to watch a free preview. You can also see the other 4 video classes I have available!