Treble crochet produces a lovely tall stitch, which means your fabric works up quickly! It is also sometimes called triple crochet. The abbreviation for it in patterns is tr. It creates a fairly loose, flexible, and soft fabric, which is not as heavy and solid as a single crochet. If you have mastered the hand movements of single and double crochet this stitch will be easy to learn. It simply involves wrapping your yarn over the hook twice, instead of only once as in double crochet.
US versus UK stitches
Because the terminology regarding crochet stitches varies, depending on where your pattern originates from, a US treble crochet is the same as a UK double treble crochet.
If you know where the designer of your pattern is from, you can easily convert any UK pattern to a US pattern and vice versa.
This tutorial will show you how to do US treble (or UK double treble) crochet.
|United States (US)||United Kingdom (UK)|
|single crochet (sc)||double crochet (dc)|
|double crochet (dc)||treble crochet (tr)|
|treble (tr)||double treble (dtr)|
More Crochet Stitches
Treble Crochet – Supplies
Basically just a crochet hook and a suitable yarn.
- HOOK – Use the recommended hook for your yarn thickness, which is usually printed on the yarn band which is wrapped around your skein. Read more about crochet hooks.
- YARN – If you are using scraps to practice on, use a lightweight yarn (Double Knit) and a G/6 to H/8 (4-5 mm) hook. Read more about types of yarn for crochet.
- EXTRAS – It is also useful to have a pair of scissors and a tape measure handy, once you start working on specific items. Stitch markers are also useful, but not essential accessories.
How To Treble Crochet (US)
Step 1 – Foundation Chain
Start with a slip knot and then make a foundation chain. You can make this as long as you want the width of your crochet fabric to be. For practice purposes, try 15 chain stitches.
Please note that in all pictures, my stitches are looser than they should be, for clarity.
Step 2 – Yarn Over Twice
Chain 4 more stitches for your turning chain. You need 4 stitches to equal the height of the treble crochet stitch. Wrap the yarn around the hook twice, from back to front.
Step 3 – Insert Hook
Insert the hook into the fifth chain from the hook. The first four chain stitches form the equivalent of a treble crochet.
Step 4 – Yarn Over and Pull
Wrap the yarn over once again and draw this loop through the chain stitch only. You will have four loops on your hook.
Step 5 – Yarn Over and Pull Through 2
Wrap the yarn over again and draw through the first two loops only. You should now have three loops on your hook.
Step 6 – Yarn Over and Pull Through 2
Yarn over again and draw through the next two loops. Now you will have two loops left on the hook.
Step 7 – Yarn Over and Pull Through 2
Wrap the yarn over once again and draw through the last two loops on the hook. You are now left with one loop on the hook.
Step 8 – Finish Row
You have made your first treble crochet stitch. To continue, wrap your yarn over twice, insert hook into the top of the next stitch and repeat from step three all over again. Continue all the way along the foundation chain. Do not insert the hook into your slip knot.
How To Work Row Two
Turn your work around so that the wrong side is facing you, and your stitches will be formed from left to right. (Left handers may prefer to work from right to left)
To turn when you have completed a row, you must bring the yarn up to the correct height. To do this, you must chain 4 every time you turn. This is called the ‘turning chain’.
These 4 chain stitches actually take the place of the first treble stitch in the new row. Skip the first stitch of the previous row and work a treble into the second stitch. Insert the hook into the top two loops of each stitch.
The turning chain appears to be sticking out from the first row, but it will straighten out by itself as you work your way along the row.
When following a pattern you may sometimes be instructed to insert the hook into just the front or the back loop, but this will give a different texture and appearance to your fabric. A standard treble crochet is made by always inserting the hook into both loops at the top of the previous row.
Continue to work into each treble from the previous row, with the last treble being inserted into the top chain of your turning chain. Count your stitches! You should now have 16 treble stitches, counting the turning chain as one treble. Keep checking, and counting your stitches, so that you don’t end up inadvertently increasing or decreasing stitches.
To End Off
When you have completed the last row and the last stitch, cut your yarn, leaving a tail of about 2” (5cm). Draw this tail through the last loop on your hook and pull it tight.
If you want to leave some yarn for stitching up your item, you can leave a much longer tail and just pull it through the last loop in the same way.
Longer Basic Stitches around your hook
These stitches are made using exactly the same skills as single and double crochet, just wrapping the yarn around the hook more times. They have a more twisted and textured appearance and result in a looser fabric.
If you look at the progression of basic stitches, you will see that each longer stitch simply involves more wraps around the hook each time. So, following this principle, you can continue to make longer stitches by wrapping the yarn around the hook 3, 4 or 5 times, and continuing to draw a loop through over and over, repeating from step four above, until you are left with only one loop on your hook. These stitches are called Double Treble (dtr), Triple Treble (ttr), quadruple treble(quadtr) and so on. They are not used nearly as often as single, double, and treble stitches. Each stitch turns out a little taller than the one before it!
In this picture you can see how the height of the stitches varies.
Treble Crochet Stitch Variations
Once you have mastered the hand movements for the three basic stitches, ( sc, dc and tr.) you have a multitude of stitch possibilities available to you. You can start experimenting with combinations and variations of them. Even the most elaborate crochet patterns are made using combinations of these stitches. Keep that in mind when you are eyeing a scarf made from delicate, exquisite Irish crochet, and feeling that you could not attempt that!
Crochet shells are a very common variation on treble crochet stitches, and create a lovely effect. They are made by working several treble stitches into one space. So a five treble shell will have 5 stitches all worked into one chain, or into one space from the previous row. This causes the stitches to fan out and form a shell like shape.
If you place a chain stitch in between each shell, it creates a lovely open, lacy stitch that is light and quick to crochet up into fabric.
Instructions For Treble Shell Stitch
- Start, as always, with your foundation chain.
- Add the extra 4 stitches for your turning chain.
- Work 5 treble into the fifth chain from the hook.
- Skip two stitches and make 1 single crochet into the next chain
- Repeat across the row.
- When you get to the last stitch of the row, work only 3 tr into this chain. This is called a half shell. You need half-shells on either side of your work to keep the edges straight.
- Ch 1 to turn. Single crochet into the first stitch. ie. The third treble of your half shell.
- Work 1 shell (5tr) into the single crochet stitch from the previous row. Between the shell and half shell.
- Single crochet into the middle of the next shell. ie. into the third stitch of the shell.
- Work across the row, putting a 5 tr shell into each sc, and a sc into the centre of each shell.
- End the row with 3 tr in last stitch. (half shell).
- Turn again and continue.
You can see how the shells form an interlocking pattern. The tall part of one shell fits into the shorter part of the shell above it in an alternating sequence.
This makes a very attractive fabric which is perfect for scarves, shawls and baby blankets.
Treble Crochet Stitch – In Conclusion
Whatever you decide to crochet with your treble crochet stitches, remember that the final product will have a totally different appearance if different yarns are used. Crochet items lend themselves to self striping yarns and yarn cakes which give an ombre effect over the whole garment or blanket. While practising and mastering the treble crochet stitch, try creating it with different textured yarns, and different sized crochet hooks. You will be amazed at what variations you can achieve, all with the same basic treble crochet stitch!