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Crocodile Stitch Crochet Tutorial

How to Crochet the Crocodile Stitch: 18 Crocodile Stitch Patterns

By: Julia Wiatr, Editor,
Updated February 01, 2018

Learn how to work the crochet crocodile stitch with this video and photo tutorial.  Also known as the scale stitch, this crochet stitch is not only beautiful but it can turn your entire project into an art piece. 

Crocodile stitch crochet patterns are great to add a bit of flair to your style. This look is modern, yet chic and can give the look of sophistication. Any crocodile stitch pattern will give your crochet design just the right amount of texture and will fancy up any crochet bag or even a simple crochet scarf.

If you're stuck on how to work this amazing scale stitch, watch and learn from the video tutorial below on how to crochet the crocodile stitch. Be sure to keep reading beyond the tutorial for some stunning crocodile patterns.

How to Work the Crocodile Stitch

  1. Begin with a slip knot, then ch multiples of 5 + 1. (The number of chains is determined by the type of project you're making, so your project might specify something different)

  2. Turn and, working into the back loops, dc in 2nd ch from hook. Ch 1, *sk 2 ch, 2 dc into next st*. Rep from * to * across row. - crocodile scales will be made over the double set of stitches, not the lone dc, one post at a time.

  3. Turn, sc at base of ch. Working around back of first post (not both of the posts, just the first one), 5 dc around the same post. Your stitches will stack on top of each other.

  4. Rotate your work to go back up the other side and to finish your scale - working around the second post right next to the one you were just working with, fp stitch from the bottom of the stitch up to the top and work in 5 dc. One scale complete.

  5. Sc into the top of the single post (right next to the set of two you've been working with) to hold everything you just did in place, and then continue working across the row.

  6. Once you complete your row of scales, you need to set up another foundation row before you begin your next set of scales: ch 1 at the end of your scale row, turn, sc into the base of the ch you just made. Sc into the middle of the scale, 2 dc into the top ch in between scales. Continue across row in that way, paying attention to what's on the front - scale or space.

  7. When you reach the end of the row, ch 1, turn and work across, making scales. 

  8. Continue working pattern, alternating between foundation rows and scale rows as shown. 

Top Crocodile Stitch Patterns

You can add the crocodile crochet stitch to any type of project you want to give it a ruffled edge. As you're working through the projects below, if you find yourself struggling, don't fret! New crochet stitches are so fun to learn, but what's the best way to do it? Watching crochet video tutorials is a great way to learn and practice a new stitch, but remember that everyone out there has their own way of working up a crochet stitch.

If you're following along and still find yourself confused by what you're watching, feel free to seek out another crochet method or step-by-step photos. What works for one person might not work for you, or you might come across a much easier way of working a crochet stitch that's a combination of different methods. Just don't give up! Certain stitches, like the crocodile stitch here, might seem way more confusing, but just keep practicing and check out multiple tutorials if you need to. 

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One of my favorite stitches. It's so unique!

I'm so excited to have found this tutorial as I've been struggling with making a mermaid tail blanket for my daughter. I am a beginner at crochet and found the directions in the pattern a bit difficult to understand. I started over using the shell stitch but I'm unhappy with the result. Has anyone used this crocodile stitch to make a mermaid tail blanket and would you recommend doing so?

I am making the Sweet Princess Cocoon-ghan and have all of my crock rows... I am having a hard time reading the 12th row... can someone please help me

perfect tutorial. I was having trouble understanding how the crocodile stitch works. this helped a lot! many thanks!

Wow, I love all of these. This type of stitch makes everything look awesome.

Thank you for posting the crocodile stitch! I've been wanting to use this for a project. Now that I've started I find some of the 'scales' don't lie flat and as they curl the holes are visible. Is it because of my material (acrylic) or the tightness of my stitches (I try to keep the firmness consistent) or is this just something that will be fixed in blocking?

very impressed

presented well like it I will start my project soon

I have watched your vids and like them, this is the first time on All Free Crochet, and was happy to see you here, Thank you for all your teachings. :)

I am so pleased to have found your tutorial!! I have a gorgeous pattern for baby shoes with a crocodile stitch but the instructions are not clear and I was beginning to despair of ever making them properly. Your detailed instructions and clear video have given me fresh enthusiasm. thank you

I like it, great instructions

Very nice tutorial. Easy to understand. I had a few questions though. What happens to the work if you do not chain one at the bottom of the scale? Also, would it not help keep the work more solid if instead of chain one at the top, you slip stitch into the unused space? Then when doing a foundation row you needn't worry about getting the scale portion on the hook. Thank you!

I love the tutorials. Mike is very clear with his instructions and very easy to follow. He goes into just enough detail to remember how to do what he is teaching. Mike is a very good teacher! I think I can now do the stitch without any problems and can't wait to use the yarn he demonstrated with. I have had it for some time and did not have any idea what to do with it.

What do you mean when you say pinch.

Oh My this is awesome...I was so afraid of this stitch...and if I was trying to learn it by just reading the instructions I don't think I would have ever got it. But your tutorial was easy to follow, and I could stop and start as I needed. and I got it! I have already started a scarf, and I can't wait to experiment with other projects...Thank you so much Mikey you are my hero!

Awsome tutorial!! Mikey has a very calm voice and great instructions, thanks!!

Very good tutorial. I love the texture. A very good play off the shell stitch.


Michael, thank you SO MUCH for making this EASY to learn and remember. I tired one other tutorial, but yours is SO much Better. Thanks again

Brilliant love the video!,


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