A crochet cluster stitch is made when you work a number of stitches into an equal number of stitches in the row below and then join them at the top. This forms a triangle, which looks a bit like an upside-down shell stitch! It can be effectively used in combination with a shell stitch.
Crochet Cluster Stitch Tutorial
- Yarn in the thickness and color of your choice.
- Crochet hook in a suitable size for your yarn.
- Tapestry needle.
Abbreviation for Cluster Stitch Crochet
In crochet abbreviation, cluster is written as cl
All instructions for cluster crochet stitch are written in US terms.
- sc= single crochet stitches
- hdc=half double crochet
- dc= double crochet
- ch=chain stitch
- tr= treble crochet
- dtr= double treble
- st(s) stitch(es)
- sl st= slip stitch
- yo= yarn over
- tog= together
How to Crochet Cluster Stitch (Double Crochet Cluster Stitch)
Making a cluster stitch is almost the same as decreasing a stitch in crochet. If you are working with double crochet (dc), to decrease, you would dc2tog, creating a small cluster of 2 double crochets. You will use the same process to create a cluster stitch, just grouping more stitches together.
This is how you make a 4 double crochet cluster stitch, step by step.
First Double Crochet Cluster
The first stitch is made up of 4 incomplete double crochets.
Step 1 - First Incomplete Double Crochet
- Start with your foundation chain. Work your foundation chain in a multiple of 4 + 3
- Yarn over
- Insert hook into 4th chain of the foundation chain
- Yarn over, draw up a loop (You will have 3 loops on your hook. This is just how you would start your normal dc.)
- Yarn over, pull through 2 loops. (2 loops left on your hook. This is 1 incomplete dc.)
Step 2 - Second Incomplete Double Crochet
- Yarn over
- Insert hook into next stitch
- Yarn over, draw up a loop (4 loops on hook)
- Yarn over, pull through 2 loops (3 loops on hook. This is the 2nd incomplete dc.)
Step 3- Third Incomplete Double Crochet Stitch
- Yarn over, insert hook into next stitch
- Yarn over, draw up a loop (5 loops on hook)
- Yarn over, pull through 2 loops (4 loops left on hook. This is the 3rd incomplete dc.)
Step 4 - Fourth Incomplete Double Crochet Stitch
- Yarn over, insert hook into next stitch
- Yarn over, draw up a loop (6 loops on hook)
- Yarn over, pull through 2 loops (5 loops left on the hook. This is the 4th incomplete dc.)
Step 5 - Pull Through
- Yarn over, pull through all 5 loops (1 loop on hook)
This will draw all your incomplete dc stitches together at the top, and complete all of them. You have now completed a cluster stitch.
First Row of Cluster Stitches
Now you have done your first dc cluster, you will need to continue to the first row.
- Now you will need to work 3 chains between clusters
- Start your second cluster stitch, inserting the hook into the next stitch on the foundation chain, or into the next stitch on the row below
- Keep going with 1 cluster, 3 chains, all the way across the row
- Your last stitch should just be 1 dc
More Rows of Cluster Stitch
- Work ch3 turning chain and continue with the 1 cluster, 3 ch across the row again
When working the second row, some patterns require you to work into the top of your cluster stitch to make each new cluster, and some require that you work into the chain spaces between clusters.
Cluster Stitch in Top
Working into the top of the cluster looks like this: (It loses its triangle shape)
Cluster Stitch into Chains
Working into the top of the chain looks like this:
Cluster Stitch with Single Crochet
I feel that the easiest and neatest method is to work 1 row of single crochet in between each row of clusters.
Single Crochet Cluster Stitch:
So, you would complete your cluster row, ch1, turn, 3 sc into 3 chain space between clusters, and sc into the top of the cluster. Continue in this way across the row.
- Then ch3, turn and continue with the next cluster row. Work into each sc stitch.
- Repeat 1 row of clusters, 1 row sc until you reach the desired length of your fabric.
I really like this effect! If you are using larger or smaller clusters, you will need to alter the number of chain stitches between each cluster, and then the number of sc into each chain space.
What About Granny Clusters?
Granny clusters are comprised of 3 double crochet stitches separated by 2 chains. They can be used to make granny squares or granny stripes for blankets.
Crochet Cluster Stitch Variations
How to Crochet Cluster Stitch In The Round
As always, when working in the round, start with a magic ring, or 4 chains joined into a ring with a slip stitch.
I am working in 3 dc clusters for this project.
- 8 sc into the circle
- Join up with a slip stitch
- Chain 3 (Counts as 1st hdc + ch1.)
- Hdc, ch1 into each stitch around the circle
- Join to 2nd chain of the chain 3 with a slip stitch (This will be 8hdc, 8 spaces)
- Chain 3
- Work 1 cluster, ch2 into each ch sp
- Slip stitch into the beginning cluster
- Slip stitch to the next space
- Work (1 cluster, ch2, 1 cluster, ch 2) into each ch2 sp (This group of clusters and chains into one space is an increasing cluster. [16 clusters, 16 sps])
- Slip stitch to the next space
- Chain 3
- *Work (1 cluster ch2, 1 cluster ch2) into first space, then (1 cluster ch2) into the following space (so you will alternate 1 cluster then 2 clusters)
- Repeat all the way round (24 clusters, 24 spaces)
- *(Work 1 cluster , ch1, 1 cluster, ch1) into next space, then (1 cluster ch1 ) into next two spaces.
- Repeat from * all the way round (32 clusters, 32 spaces)
- *Work (1 cluster, ch1, 1 cluster ch1 )into next sp, 1 cluster, ch1 in next three spaces (40 clusters, 40 spaces)
Continue working like this in rounds until the circle is the required size. As you work each subsequent round, increase the number of spaces between your increasing cluster by 1 each round.
How to Crochet Cluster V-Stitches
These are similar in appearance and method to ordinary crochet v-stitches, but instead of working dc or tr into the v-shapes, you will be creating v-shaped clusters. This makes a thicker, warmer fabric than normal v-stitches. Lovely and puffy and squishy!
- Start with s foundation chain in a multiple of 3.
The clusters for this are 3 dc clusters
- *Insert hook into 5th ch from hook, pull up loop (3 loops on hook)
- Yo, pull through first 2 loops (2 loops remain)
- Yo, insert hook into SAME chain space, pull up loop (4 loops remain)
- Yo, pull through 1st 2 loops (3 loops remain)
- Yo, pull through last 3 loops. (This is half a cluster v-stitch)
- Chain 2
- Repeat from * into SAME chain stitch (This makes 1 cluster v-stitch)
- Skip 2 chains
- Work another cluster v-stitch into the next chain stitch
- Continue across the row
- At the end of the row, you should have 1 chain stitch left. Work 1 dc into that chain.
- Chain 3 (Turning chain)
- Work 1 cluster v-stitch into each ch2 space of the v below
- At the end of the row, work 1 dc into the top of your ch5
- Repeat row 2 until the fabric is the required length
Crochet Cluster Stitch FAQs
Can I Change Stitches for Cluster Stitch?
Of course, you can easily change the number of stitches you want to include in your cluster. Use more stitches joined together for a larger cluster and less for a smaller cluster.
You can also change the stitch you use for your clusters; you can make clusters with anything from hdc to dtr, as long as it is tall enough to pull together to make the cluster.
What Is The Difference Between a Cluster and a Bobble Stitch?
With both stitches, you make incomplete stitches and then finish by pulling the yarn through all the leftover stitches on your hook to draw them together. But while a cluster stitch is made by working into subsequent stitches, a bobble stitch is made by working all your stitches into a single base stitch.
Crochet Cluster Stitch - In Conclusion
Cluster stitch is a very popular crochet stitch. It is easy to do and gives a thick and satisfying result. You can use it to make absolutely anything - blankets, throws, shawls, scarves, bags, flowers, cushion covers, even slippers!
It also makes great dishcloths which are very absorbent when made from cotton or bamboo. Try your hand at creating some crochet cluster stitches and their variations, and then decide what you will make with this useful stitch. Crochet cluster stitch is an interesting variation of the conventional crochet stitches!
- Crochet Hook
- Tapestry Needle
- Crochet your foundation chain in a multiple of 4+3 *First Incomplete DC - Yarn over, insert into 4th chain. Yarn over, draw through (3 loops on hook). Yarn over pull through 2 (2 loops on hook).
- Second Incomplete DC - Yarn over, insert into next stitch. Yarn over, draw through (4 loops on hook). Yarn over pull through 2 (3 loops on hook).
- Third Incomplete DC - Yarn over, insert into next stitch. Yarn over, draw through (5 loops on hook). Yarn over pull through 2 (4 loops on hook).
- Fourth Incomplete DC - Yarn over, insert into next stitch. Yarn over, draw through (6 loops on hook). Yarn over pull through 2 (5 loops on hook).
- Yarn over, pull through all 5 loops (1 loop on hook).
- Chain 3. Insert hook into next chain and crochet the next cluster from *. Repeat to the end of the row.
- At end of the row, 1dc. Chain 3 and repeat the pattern of cluster separated by 2 chains into the chain spaces.
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