Clamshell Tutorial


Difficulty:
★ - Tricky
(I've put this as tricky because there are a couple of harder stitches, 
but if you're a beginner, don't worry, I'll walk you through it all, so don't be too put off!)

You will need:

This is a tutorial to show you how to make my clamshell stitch pattern, which I came up with because I wanted to recreate that lovely clamshell shape that you see on beautiful hand made quilts.

Once you know the basics of the stitch, you can then go on to use for whatever project you like.  Cushions, blankets in all shapes and sizes, bags, wraps or anything else you can think of.

The choice of yarn, yardage, hook and size of the project will depend on what you choose to make.
(If it helps, I used dk yarn and a 4mm (USA G hook) for this tutorial.)

Crochet Terms:

This pattern is written in UK terms. 
American terms are given below in green.

British (American)
sp - Space
ss - Slip Stitch (Slip Stitch)
ch - Chain (Chain)
dc - Double (Single)
htr - Half Treble (Half Double)
tr - Treble (Double)
dtr - Double Treble (Treble)


Written Pattern:

Abbreviated instructions for the pattern can be found at the end of the post, if you're happy to work from them alone, free feel to jump to the end right now.

Video Tutorial:

Video tutorials in US Terms now available.
Skip to the end of the post to find the links.


Otherwise, here we go...



We need to start with a chain.  The number you start with depends on how big you need to make your blanket, cushion, or whatever.  But you need to follow this rule:  It needs to be a multiple of 8, plus 2. 

So, you can have any number x 8 to get the length you want, 32, 80, 160 etc but then just add 2 more chains.  For this little example I used 26 chains.  (3 x 8 = 24, 24+ 2 = 26) 

ROW ONE

Make a double crochet in second chain from hook, and then make one double crochet into each chain all the way to the end.


ROW TWO

Turn the work and chain one.

Make a double crochet into the first stitch, and then make 1 double crochet into each stitch along the row right to the end.



Now you've finished the 'set-up' rows, we're ready to start working the pattern rows.

ROW THREE

Turn the work and make a slip stitch into the first stitch of the row.



Then, make another slip stitch into the next stitch along.

Now you need to make a half treble crochet into the next stitch.  (That's the one where you yarn over, insert hook, yarn over and pull through, then yarn over once more and pull through all the loops on your hook.  It's like a squashed treble!)


Next, make 1 treble stitch into each of the next 3 stitches.

Then make a half treble into the next stitch and then to finish this 'bump' make a slip stitch into the next 3 stitches. 


Now it's just a case of repeating what we've done so far.  So, you'll need to make 1 half treble, 3 trebles, 1 half treble and then 3 slip stitches to make the next 'bump'.

Carry on making these bumps along the row till you get to the end.

You should finish having just made 3 trebles and 1 half treble and then have 2 stitches left to work.


Then work a slip stitch into each of those last two stitches.

ROW FOUR

Now it's time to turn your work and this is where we change colour too.

Attach your new colour and chain 3.


Make 1 treble into the next stitch.

Then make one half treble.


Next make, 1 double crochet into each of the next 3 stitches.

Then another half treble.


Ok, now we come to the tricky part of this pattern.  We're going to make the CLAMSHELL SPIKE, as I'm calling it!  This is the part that makes those lovely points at the bottom of each shell.

First of all, we need to skip over the first slip stitch and make a treble into the dc under the second slip stitch.  (That's the dc of ROW TWO)  Have a look at the picture (above left), you can see I've indicated where the hook is going to go.

Pull your yarn through as for a normal crochet stitch and pull it up slightly so it's clear of the lower row.  (Above right)


Then complete the treble stitch in the normal way.   You can see in the picture (above left) the stitch just looks a little longer than normal.

Now we need to make a second treble.  This one is going to go into the same place, but just one row lower.  See where my silver hook is pointing in the picture (above right)? 




As before, pull your yarn through as for a normal treble stitch, but just pull it up a little further so it's clear of those rows below and then finish the treble stitch like normal.

The last stich of the CLAMSHELL SPIKE now, but it's the trickiest.  We're going to put this treble stitch into exactly the same place that the first one went.  You'll just need to move the treble you just made slightly out of the way to get into that stitch again.  I've popped my silver hook in again to show you where we're going to go. (Above right)


When you push your hook in to make the stitch, you'll also want to make sure that you're not getting caught up in the treble stitches at the back.  See the picture (above left) taken from the back, see how I've made sure those other stitches are on the right-hand side of my hook?  If you're not careful the hook goes into the middle of those stitches and you don't want that, it'd look all wrong!

I know this part sounds a bit faffy and fiddly, and I grant you it is a bit for the first couple of stitches.  But, I promise you, after you've got used to it and done a row or so, it won't be a problem.  

Okay, after you have your hook in the right place and have completed this third treble, you should have something that looks like this (above right).  A nice pointy CLAMSHELL SPIKE!


Now we need to make 1 half treble.  So skip the last slip stitch and make the half treble into the half treble of the row below.

Then 3 double crochets.


Then one more half treble and you're ready to make another CLAMSHELL SPIKE.  

If you need to, scroll up and follow through those instructions again to make the spike.  Then work, 1 half treble, 3 double crochets, 1 half treble again.  Repeat this along the row until you get to the last two stitches.

You should end having just made, 3 double crochets and then 1 half treble and have two stitches remaining to be worked.



Make 1 treble crochet into each of those last two stitches to complete the row.

ROW FIVE

Turn the work, chain 1 and then make a double crochet into the first stich.


Then, make a double crochet into each stitch along the row.

ROW SIX

Turn the work and chain 3.


Make a treble crochet into the next stitch.

Then make a half treble crochet.


Next make a slip stitch into each of the next 3 stitches.

Then work 1 half treble and then 3 treble stitches.


Then finish the 'bump' with a half treble and then 3 slip stitches.

Continue on in this way to the end of the row, making, 1 half treble, 3 trebles, 1 half treble and 3 slip stitches.

You should end having made 3 slip stitches and 1 half treble, with two stitches left to work.


Make a treble into each of the last two stitches to complete the row.

ROW SEVEN

This is where we need to change colour.

Turn the work and attach the new colour yarn.


Chain 1.

Make 1 double crochet into the first two stitches.


Make a half treble.

Now we're ready to make a CLAMSHELL SPIKE, just like we did before.

Using the picture (above right) as a guide, skip the first slip stitch and work a treble into the dc below the second slip stitch (ROW FIVE).


Then work a treble stitch into the dc of the row below that (ROW FOUR).  See picture (above left).

Then work the final treble into the same place as the first treble, into the dc below the second slip stitch.  See picture (above right).


Remember with this last treble, to push the rest of the spike stitches to the right of your hook on the back of the work.  (Above left).

You should now have completed your CLAMSHELL SPIKE.


Next we need to skip the third slip stitch and work 1 half treble, 3 double crochets and 1 half treble.  You'll now be ready to work another CLAMSHELL SPIKE.

Repeat these instructions to the end of the row.  You should end with just 2 double crochet's instead of the usual 3. 



ROW EIGHT

Turn the work, chain 1 and make a dc into each stitch along the row.

Now you have all the information you need to create the pattern.  So to make more rows of the pattern all you need to do, is scroll back up to ROW THREE and repeat the instructions from that point onwards to continue making pattern repeats. Until the blanket or whatever it is you are making is the length you'd like it to be.

In the picture (above right) I've completed ROW THREE to make finish off the bumps in the turquoise colour, and then followed the instructions for ROW FOUR AND FIVE to start my next lot of clamshells.

When you have the length that you want, I'd recommend that you end on either a ROW FIVE or a ROW EIGHT, so you that you finish with a nice straight edge.

Once you've got used to the pattern, you'll probably only need a little reminder to keep you on track so I've included some written instructions below for you to use as a quick guide.

I really hope you enjoy this tutorial and I'm hoping you'll want to make lots of lovely things using this pattern.

♥ 
If you'd like to share anything you've made or have any questions, why not pop over to my new group,
Cherry Heart's Cozy Corner on Ravelry?



♥ 
You can also join in with the ClamShell Crochet ALong here...

♥ 
Or, by tagging your Instagram pictures with #CSCAL



: : WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS : :

Chain  (Multiple of 8 + 2 for end of patt and turning chain)

ROW 1:  dc in second ch from hook, dc into each chain to end.

ROW 2:  ch1, 1dc into each st to end.

ROW 3:  ss into first 2 dc’s, then *1htr, 3tr, 1htr, ss into next 3 ch’s, repeat from * to last 2 dc, ss in these last 2dc’s.  

Cut yarn, change to new colour.

ROW 4:  ch3 (counts as 1tr), 1tr into next ss, *1htr into htr, 1dc into each of next 3tr’s, 1htr into htr, work CLAMSHELL SPIKE: [skip 1 ss, 1tr into dc under 2nd ss, 1tr into the dc of the row below that (3 rows down) 1tr into dc under 2nd ss again], skip 3rd ss, repeat from * to last 2 ss, 1tr into each ss.

ROW 5: ch1, 1dc into each stitch along to end.

ROW 6: ch3 (counts as 1tr), 1tr into next st, *1htr, 3ss, 1htr, 3tr, repeat from * along row, ending with 2tr.

Cut yarn, change to new colour.

ROW 7:  ch1, 1dc into same st, 1 dc into next st, *1htr into htr, work CLAMSHELL SPIKE: [skip 1 ss, 1tr into dc under 2nd ss, 1tr into the dc of the row below that (3 rows down), 1 tr into the dc under 2nd ss], skip 3rd ss, 1htr into htr, 1 dc in next 3 tr’s , repeat from * to last 2 sts, 1dc into each st.

ROW 8:   As row 5.

Repeat rows 3 to 8 as often as required, ending on a row 5 or a row 8.

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VIDEO TUTORIALS

US Terms

 Clamshell Pattern Video on You Tube (US Terms)
Video created by and used with kind permission of Emmy Lu

Learn to Crochet the Clamshell Stitch (US terms)
Video created by and shared with kind permission of Stacy Moran

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