How to Crochet in the Back Loops – Tutorial and Video

Create ribbing in projects by learning how to crochet in the back loops. This tutorial features photos and video to teach newbie crocheters.
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So far, we’ve half-double crocheted in rounds, rows, and stripes. Today, we’ll learn how to crochet in the back loops only. This technique creates ribbing that can be used in any project, with any stitch. Back loop ribbing is often seen along the bottoms of hats and the edges of garments.

blue skein of yarn and a small ribbed swatch and crochet hook with the text "how to crochet in the back loops (blo) - beginner crochet tutorial from: you should craft"

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If you’re following along in the Newbie Series, welcome to Day 16! After today’s lesson, crocheters will be able to:

  • Crochet in the back loops of their stitches
  • Identify the back loops only abbreviation in patterns

NOTE: You can crochet into the back loops with any stitch, but this tutorial uses half-double crochet stitches.

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Identifying When to Crochet in the Back Loops

In written crochet patterns, “back loops only” is most often abbreviated as “blo,” but you may sometimes see it as “tbl,” which stands for “through back loop.”

These abbreviations are sometimes written into the row instructions, and sometimes attached to a specific stitch. For example, “ROW 2: ch 1 and turn, hdc-blo in first five st, hdc until end” means that only the first five half-double crochets are crocheted in the back loops. However, if the row was written as, “ROW 2: (blo) ch 1 and turn, hdc across,” you would crochet into the back loops for the whole row.

Often, you’ll see ribbed patterns where the last stitch of each row is crocheted into both loops. This helps to create a straighter edge. This may be written as a note within the pattern, or it may have stitch-by-stitch instructions.

light blue skein of yarn and a small ribbed swatch and crochet hook with the text "how to crochet in the back loops (blo) - beginner crochet tutorial from: you should craft"

Tools / Materials

You just need a hook and yarn to get going!

For this tutorial, I used:

NOTE: My friends at WeCrochet provided the materials for the Newbie Series.

Video Tutorial

How to Crochet in the Back Loops

  • Prepare you stitch as you normally would (e.g. for hdc, I yarned over)
  • Insert your hook into the back loop and complete the stitch
  • Continue until you reach the last stitch in the row
two hands crocheting in the back loops of a light blue swatch
  • When you’ve reached the last stitch, crochet into both loops. This makes a cleaner, straighter edge than a blo stitch.
two hands crocheting into both loops on a light blue swatch

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