As you master the basic crochet stitches and move on to more complicated patterns, you might find the need to decrease in your project. I previously shared a tutorial for decreasing using single crochets, but today we’ll talk about decreasing with double crochets. This strategy is called “double crochet together” and the most common variations are the dc2tog and dc3tog stitches. It’s an advanced beginner technique.
Once you know how to crochet two stitches together, you’ll be on your way to making garments, ripples, and shapes. Read on for the full tutorial! Can’t wait? Jump ahead to the dc2tog | dc3tog | videos
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Why double crochet together?
Good question! I started to write a list of the main uses for double crochet together stitches, but it all boiled down to one thing: SHAPING. Literally, you use dc2tog or dc3tog stitches to make shapes.
That’s a little vague, so let me throw down some examples:
- Ripples – the placement of your decrease stitches determines whether your ripples have a sharp point or a rolling wave like the Ripple Dish Towel (technically this uses sc2tog)
- Garment and accessory shaping – consider the triangle shape of a bikini top, the way a bottom-up hat closes at the top, and the subtle curve of a sweater shoulder. dc2tog, baby!
- Actual shapes (2D and 3D) – I used dc2tog and dc3tog stitches to create the 2D curved leaf shapes in my Falling Leaves Granny Square. Decreases are also used when crocheting 3D objects like amigurumi.
Recognizing in Crochet Patterns
Crochet patterns will use either an abbreviation or chart symbol to denote stitches. If you see the abbreviation “dc2tog,” you’ll double crochet two stitches together. Similarly, “dc3tog” means that you’ll double crochet three stitches together. I’ve included a picture of the chart symbols below. Basically, both symbols feature double crochets leaning toward the center.
Supplies / Materials
Any yarn and any matching hook will work for your swatch, so feel free to shop your stash! If you landed on this tutorial due to a specific pattern/project, make sure to use the recommended yarn/hook.
For the tutorial, I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in “Mystical” and a 10.0 mm Virgo Streamline Swirl from Furls Fiberarts.
Abbreviations / Techniques
- yo – yarn over
- dc – double crochet
- st – stitch
- dc2tog – dc two together
- dc3tog – dc three together
In order to double crochet multiple dc stitches together, you’ll basically be crocheting 2/3 of a double crochet, then starting the next stitch. When you finish up, you’ll have the base of multiple stitches, but only one “top.”
The basic written instructions for a dc2tog are: yo, insert hook, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through two loops, yo and insert hook into next st, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through two loops, yo and pull through all loops.
The basic written instructions for a dc3tog are: yo, insert hook, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through two loops, yo and insert hook into next st, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through two loops, yo and insert hook into third st, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through two loops, yo and pull through all loops.
How to dc2tog
- a. yo and insert hook into first st, yo
- b. pull up a loop (you should have three loops on your hook)
- c. yo and pull through two loops (you should have two loops on your hook). This is the first of two 2/3 double crochets.
- d. yo and insert hook into next st, yo
- e. pull up a loop (you should have four loops on your hook)
- f. yo and pull through two loops (you should have three loops on your hook). Do you see the two 2/3 double crochets?
- g. yo and pull through all loops
How to dc3tog
- Follow steps a-f for the dc2tog (above). You should have three loops on your hook and two 2/3 double crochet stitches
- a. yo
- b. insert hook into third st
- c. yo and pull up a loop (you should have five loops on your hook)
- d. yo and pull through two loops (you should have four loops on your hook), yo and pull through all the loops.
dc2tog/dc3tog Video Tutorials
Many of you have asked for more video tutorials, so here ya go! I’ve included my original dc2tog/dc3tog tutorial as well as flipped version for those of you that are left-handed.