The alpine stitch is a textured crochet stitch that creates a raised, diamond-like pattern in the fabric. It’s crocheted by alternating rows of front-post double crochet stitches and rows of single crochet stitches. You can use the alpine stitch (sometimes called the “billows stitch”) to crochet literally anything, including accessories (like my Alpine Cowl and Headband), blankets, pillows, and even a Christmas stocking.
Since it includes post stitches, the alpine stitch is typically categorized as an intermediate-level technique. However, front-post double crochets stitches are only slightly different than regular double crochets. If you can double crochet and single crochet, don’t be afraid to give this stitch a try! With a little practice, beginners can crochet the alpine stitch too.
My alpine stitch crochet tutorial features photos, videos, text, and a crochet diagram, so you’re covered no matter your learning style. Keep reading to learn how to add fun, alpine stitch texture to your projects! And if you want to learn more crochet stitches, browse the rest of my stitch tutorials.
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Is the Alpine Stitch a yarn-eater?
This is kind of loaded question, as most special crochet stitches use more yarn than the standard stitches. But everyone always asks, so let’s figure it out!
To determine if the alpine stitch crochet technique was a yarn-eater, I crocheted three swatches of the same size using the same yarn (Wool-Ease Thick & Quick), and the same crochet hook (10 mm Virgo Streamline Swirl). One used all double crochets, one used all single crochets, and the last swatch was the alpine stitch. Once I’d finished crocheting and measuring, I weighed all the swatches on my kitchen scale.
The double crochet swatch was the lightest, weighing 25 grams. Next was the single crochet swatch, which weighed 29 grams. The heaviest swatch was the alpine stitch swatch, which weighed 31 grams. This means that over the same area, the alpine stitch used 6.9% more yarn than plain single crochet and 24% more yarn than plain double crochet stitches.
In conclusion, yes. The alpine stitch is a bit of a yarn-eater.
Supplies / Materials
You can use any yarn and any matching hook for your alpine stitch crochet project. I find that textured stitches are more obvious when crocheted with lighter, more solid colors of yarn. Tweed flecks, speckling, and dark colors can sometimes make everything blend together. This is totally a personal preference though, so try it out with whatever materials you have on hand!
For the tutorial and photos, I used:
- Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Mystical (discontinued color)
- Furls Fiberarts P / 10 mm Virgo Streamline Swirl
Techniques / Abbreviations
- ch – chain
- sl st – slip stitch
- sc – single crochet
- dc – double crochet
- fpdc – front-post double crochet
- st – stitch
- RS – right side
- WS – wrong side
Alpine Stitch Pattern Notes
- Turning ch-2 counts as a st throughout
- Turning ch-1 does not count as a st
- You may choose to begin your dc/fpdc rows with either a ch-2 that counts as a dc, or a ch-1 that does not count
- If your alpine stitch project starts to curl, I recommend blocking it when you’re done.
- This tutorial utilizes US crochet terminology.
Alpine Stitch Crochet Diagram / Chart
Some readers prefer to crochet diagrams over written patterns, so here are the first nine rows of an alpine stitch swatch. The chart begins with 16 chains and has 15 stitches in each row.
It’s super easy to modify the size. If you’re crocheting in rows, ch any even number to start. This will give you an add number of stitches. If you’re crocheting in the round, ch any even number to start, then join to the first st with a sl st. This will give you an even number of stitches. Keep repeating rows 2 – 5 until your swatch (or project) reaches your desired size.
Photo Tutorial & Written Pattern
Okay, so we’ve talked about the charts and materials, now it’s time to actually learn how to crochet the alpine stitch!
The alpine stitch begins with a foundation row of double crochet stitches, then has a four-row repeat. I chained 14 for the pictures, but you can begin with any even number of chains.
You’ll alternate between rows of single crochet stitches and dc/fpdc stitches. The four-row repeat creates an offset or staggered pattern with the post stitches. As you add more rows, you’ll start to see the yummy diamond texture emerge.
Quick note: In the pictures, I began my dc/fpdc rows with a ch-1, then double crocheted into the first stitch. In the chart, video, and written instructions, I’m beginning with a ch-2, which is counted as a stitch. It doesn’t matter which way you choose to do it — so go with whichever way is easier for you.
ch 14 (or any even number)
ROW 1: dc in third ch from hook, dc across (13)
ROW 2: ch 1 and turn, sc across (13)(a.)
ROW 3: ch 2 and turn, fpdc in second st from two rows earlier (b.), dc, *fpdc, dc* across (13)
ROW 4: ch 1 and turn, sc across (13)
ROW 5: ch 2 and turn, dc in second st, fpdc in dc from two rows earlier, *dc, fpdc* across, dc in last two st (13)
Repeat ROWS 2 – 5 until your swatch reaches your desired size.
I usually stop when my swatch is between 4 – 6 inches tall, but you could keep going to create a simple scarf!
I’ve created a video tutorial to help you learn the alpine stitch crochet technique. If you’re left-handed, I’ve got a flipped video for you too! Click here to watch the left-handed alpine stitch tutorial.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is the alpine stitch a yarn eater? – Yes, I did a little experiment and found that alpine stitch swatches used more yarn than both single crochet and double crochet swatches of the same size. Click here to read more.
- What if I’m left-handed? – No worries! Here’s a flipped video tutorial to help you out.
- How do I change colors? – Since the alpine stitch is crocheted in straight, back-and-forth rows, you change colors like you normally would — just finish the stitch with the new color. Here’s a tutorial if you’re a little rusty.
- How do I stop the alpine stitch from curling? – Your project will naturally flatten as it gets bigger, but if curling is still an issue when you’re done, blocking will help a lot! If you have super tight tension, you might want to go a step further and use front-post treble crochets instead of front-post double crochets.
- How do I crochet a blanket with the alpine stitch? – Good question! Chain any even number, dc in the third ch from your hook, and dc across. Repeat the four-row alpine stitch pattern, following the instructions outlined below.
- Can you crochet the alpine stitch in the round? – Yep! Ch any even number and join to the first ch with a sl st. ch 2, dc around. Follow the alpine stitch tutorial below. For an idea of what to expect, check out my Alpine Cowl.
- Can you crochet the alpine stitch corner-to-corner? – Yes! Here’s a helpful video tutorial from Jolie Knots Crochet.