How to Decrease in Crochet – Tutorial and Video

Learn how to decrease in crochet with this simple beginner tutorial. Follow along to crochet a triangle using single crochets (sc2tog).

We talked about increasing, so now it’s time to learn how to decrease in crochet! Decreasing can be used for pretty much everything increasing can — shaping in garments, creating triangles (like this bunting) or other shapes, crocheting ripples (like the Mystic Ripple Blanket or Ripple Dish Towel) or chevrons, etc. It’s a little trickier than increasing, because we need to crochet two stitches together instead of simply adding an extra stitch.

hand holding a purple hook with a teal crocheted triangle and text "how to crochet decreases (dec) - beginner crochet tutorial from: you should craft"

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After today’s lesson (Day 28 of the Newbie Series), crocheters will be able to:

  • Describe and crochet a standard decrease
  • Identify the decrease abbreviation in written patterns, as well as other related abbreviations

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Identifying Decreases in Patterns and Charts

If you’re looking at a chart, you’ll see a decrease represented by two stitches leaning into each other. Here’s an example of a the symbol for a single crochet increase (sc2tog).

[Image from Craft Yarn Council]

If you’re reading a written pattern, you might see a decrease written in one of the following ways:

  • abbreviated as “dec” or stitch-dec (e.g. sc-dec)
  • written as sc2tog (or any stitch, e.g. hdc2tog, dc2tog, etc.), which stands for “single crochet two stitches together”

Supplies / Materials

You can practice with any hook and yarn!

For the tutorial, I used:

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


  • ch – chain
  • sc – single crochet
  • sc2tog – single crochet two stitches together
  • yo – yarn over
  • st – stitch

How to Decrease in Crochet – Video Tutorial

In the video, I crochet a small triangle using single crochet stitches. However, the same techniques apply to the other basic stitches.

How to Decrease in Crochet – Photo Tutorial

To sc2tog:

  • b.) insert hook into first st, yo, pull up a loop (you should have two loops on your hook)
  • c.) insert hook into next st
  • d.) yo, pull up a loop (you should have three loops on your hook)
  • yo and pull through all loops on your hook

For steps (b) and (c/d), you’re crocheting all but the last step in the single crochet. You can use that same technique to decrease with other stitches.

To practice decreasing, let’s work up a small triangle.

ch 11

ROW 1: sc into second ch from hook, sc across (10)

ROW 2: ch 1 and turn, sc2tog, sc in next six stitches, sc2tog (8)

ROW 3: ch 1 and turn, sc2tog, sc in next four stitches, sc2tog (6)

ROW 4: ch 1 and turn, sc2tog, sc in next two stitches, sc2tog (4)

ROW 5: ch 1 and turn, sc2tog x2 (2)

ROW 6: ch 1 and turn, sc2tog (1)