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How to do the Crocodile stitch

Updated on April 20, 2015

Crocodile Stitch Craze!!

Over time we ‘happy hookers’ tend to evolve into more. More what? More and different ideas when using one medium to create another. Terms of the times have a tendency to influence the names of the stitches as well.

At this point in time evolution is a big discussion everywhere. Whether it’s on the news or television shows or on blogs. There is a lot of arguing going on of us humans just ‘being’. We crafter's would rather spend our time creating leaving our beliefs in our minds rather than having a debate on the subject. But that doesn't mean we aren’t using what is being said!

One of the newest stitches that is being emulated over and over no one quite knowing where it came from yet everyone wanting to do it is called ‘The Crocodile Stitch’. For the most part when you look up ‘how to do’ the Crocodile stitch you will get lovely pictures or someone wanting to sell said item or just showing off what they have made. That is GREAT!! But I am a curious George. I like to make things on my own.

Who wants to dance!!

It truly reminds me of the song back in the early 70’s of a song called ‘Crocodile Rock’ sung by Elton John!! I always wanted to learn how to do that dance!! I think most of the reason (other than the great dance beat) is my name is slipped in there! Yeah, I have quite a few songs with my name in them, I like them all!! “Slap me around and call me Susan!” (Oh geez, now I’m going to toss in movie quotes?) Blankman starring Damon Wayans

Enough reminiscing!

I never promised I could draw with a mouse!!

Let's just see what it looks like!

A little bit about the Crocodile Stitch. It is really more of an ‘end product’ rather than a stitch. More of a pattern. Very similar in nature to the ‘popcorn stitch’ it’s the combining of stitches together to make something. What makes this stitch so cool is the way it is layered. There are 2 ways that you can make it, either one on top of the other, or alternating rows so they are more ‘layered’ looking.

I’ve attempted to ‘draw’ what the pattern looks like, let’s just say that it’s good that I crochet MUCH better than I draw, on paint program!!

On to the Heart of the Subject

Now to describe just HOW you put the stitches together to make this Crocodile Stitch!

Because I have only found one description on just ‘How to do it’, I have had to come to my own conclusions. It’s going to take a little practice, so I would suggest using some scrap yarn to begin with, make some swatches and see if it’s something that you really want to do!

Begin using regular worsted weight 4 ply yarn, and a fairly large crochet hook, such as size I. Keep in mind the smaller your yarn and hook the smaller your end project will be. For the purpose of this demonstration I have used a solid color yarn, my next step will be to use a variegated yarn, I think that would be lovely!!

This pattern is made using multiples of 3. So to begin, lets start with a small swatch.

Alternating Crocodile stitches:

Chain 15 +3 (18), Double crochet in 3rd chain from hook (1st set of 2 DC posts). Chain 2 skip 3 chains, 2 double crochet in one chain, chain 2, skip 3 chains 2 double crochet in 1 chain and repeat to the end, chain 1. You will have sort of a ‘ladder effect of 6, 2DC (double crochet) posts.

Now this is where the hard part gets.

Flip the work sideways, so the ‘top’ of the ladder is away from you. Yarn Over (YO) and slip your hook through the side of the last double crochet you made.YO and bring through 2 loops YO and bring through 2 more. This is your first double crochet (DC) of your Crocodile stitch. Make 4 more DC in the same area, chain 1. Turn your work 180 degrees. Working in the 2nd double crochet (directly next to the first one) insert 5 DC. You have now made your first crocodile stitch!

Skip the next 2 DC (or posts) moving to the 3rd set of DC posts. Turn your work away from you, (very first crocodile stitch will be furthest from you) Make 5 DC in this 1st DC, chain 1, turn your work 180 degrees, make 5 DC in the 2nd DC of that post. Now you have 2 Crocodile stitches.

Skip the next 2 DC post, With the 2 crocodile stitches away from you in 1st DC post make 5 DC, chain 1 turn 180 degrees, make 5 DC in 2nd part of DC post. You now have 3 crocodile stitches for your swatch!! Cool eh?

Now for the next part, this is where there are a few variations of the pattern. If you decided to go with alternating stitches so they are not on top of one another but more of in between each other, here is the next step.

Slip Stitch into the last stitch from 1st row. Chain 3 turn, DC in same spot. Chain 2, 2 DC in hole of 1st Crocodile stitch, chain 2, 2 DC in center of DC that were unused last row, Chain 2, 2 DC in hole of 2nd Crocodile stitch, continue on across to last Crocodile stitch. In one of the top loops to the edge of the stitch, make 2 DC. Chain 1

Begin making crocodile stitches in 2 DC posts (skipping every other 2 DC Post) across. You will have 4 Crocodile stitches in this row. The next row you will have to go back to 3. Alternating number of crocodile stitches per row.

Stacked Crocodile stitches

For the crocodile stitch that is ‘stacked’ rather than alternating. Here is the pattern for the swatch.

Chain 15 +3 (18) DC in 3rd chain from hook. Chain 2, skip 3 chain 2 DC in chain repeat across until you have 6, 2 DC posts. Chain 1, 5 DC in side of 1st DC of 2 DC post, chain 1 turn work 180 degrees, work 5 DC in 2nd DC of 2 DC post. Skip next set of 2DC posts, turn work make 5 DC in side of 1st DC, chain 1 turn work 180 degrees, work 5 DC in 2 part of DC post. Skip next 2 DC posts. Work 3rd Crocodile stitch (5 DC chain 1, turn 180 degrees work 5 DC in 2nd DC post). Slip stitch in top of last 2 DC post.

Chain 3, (do not turn) DC in same spot. Chain 2, 2 DC in hole of crocodile stitch. Chain 2, 2 DC in center of 2 DC (that was skipped) repeat across. Do not turn. Begin 5 DC in last DC made, chain 1 turn 180 degrees, 5 DC in 2nd DC of post. Skip next 2 DC post. 5 DC in post directly above 2nd crocodile stitch. Continue across (3 crocodile stitches). Slip stitch in top of last DC. Chain 3, repeat rows 1 and 2 until desired size.

Both stitches alternating and stacked


(Please do not misinterpret the term ‘Happy Hooker’ after the book came out by Xavier Hollander many years ago, there was such a giggle about it that fishermen and those who crochet began using the term!!)

You CAN DO it!!!

Because this is all double crochet, you can turn most any pattern into the Crocodile stitch! This would make a lovely afghan, or scarf. I think it would make a terrific clothing item, such as a vest or skirt. It will take a lot of yarn and be a thick item.

Since it is so new and I haven’t found any patterns for making such items, I guess I’ll have to give it a little practice! To see what I come up with.

Give it a whirl!! What’s the worst that can happen? Something you have to take out and start over? Oh well, us ‘happy hookers’ are used to that!!

I would give this an intermediate to expert stitch in the way the pattern reads, but if you are comfortable doing double crochet, heck it’s easy!!


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    • profile image

      Maggie Crooks 3 years ago

      Cool stitch. Soon as I get some yarn, I'm going back to crochet. Happy Hooker also refers to people who hook rugs. Just thought you'd like to know. LOL I know because my sister-in-law teaches fine-arts hooking. Her home is filled with examples.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan

      LOL - Well I can say since I posted this I have seen many more crocodile stitches out there. I really like the one that starts with one and adds one each line, making a V for a very nice shawl.

      Good Luck and no matter what - have fun!!

    • wordsmith2418 profile image

      Veronica Lewis 5 years ago from Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

      I just learned to do this stitch today. I found a youtube video and I was able to follow along. It is very awkward but I like how it looks. Of course, I started with mohair yarn, duh, so that made it even more difficult. But it was beautiful!! I was thinking of using it for a doll skirt, but I didn't like it, so not sure what I will make with it. Perhaps a hat. The instructions were different from yours. With the first chain you end up with a line of 2dc, 1dc. The ten dcs are in the 2dc and she slip stitches in the 1dc. Though I did a sc in the 1 dc. Anyway, nice hub and I think I'll try your way to see which I like better!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Yes I think it would!! I've seen a child's hat made with this stitch and it's really neat looking!

    • Wheels2sticks profile image

      Wheels2sticks 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      This stitch would make a great kids owl hat. Very interesting texture.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      After some of the stuff I have seen I truly think that most patterns can accommodate the crocodile stitch. I have been very busy with making all sorts of items lately but I still want to make something cool with this stitch!

    • Rhelena profile image

      Rhelena 6 years ago

      Great tutorial! I have not done this stitch yet, but I have seen many beautiful patterns with it. Love it!!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      LOL - Well now that I can't help you with!! Best of luck to you with that!

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      How do I get my thumbs out of the yarn?

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      You are very welcome!! I hope you give it a try, it is very do-able!!

    • elizabethmcgriff profile image

      elizabethmcgriff 6 years ago from South Alabama

      Very cute and looks do-able. Thanks for taking the time to share.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      well this is true, it does take more yarn to make the projects, but it is much thicker.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      That's a very interesting stitch. looks like it takes a lot of yarn and a lot of time to go a very short distance! I bet it's warm when the project is done.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      LOL - I was wondering what you would make of the expression!! I'm sure in the area in which you live there are MANY hookers!! Of the fisherman persuasion...

      I actually was crocheting the second part of the pattern as I was writing, to ensure quality. It's really not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Heck, I'm not even comfortable doing SINGLE crochet. But I do admire the elegant-looking pattern and your instructions would make sense, I'm sure, to an established hooker, you'll pardon the expression.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Terrific!!! I hope to see you pick up a hook again!! It's just basic row 1 and row 2....

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      I have got to try this! I used to crochet and with your help I just might try it again!

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      You are very welcome!! I hope you get to make something cool with this pattern!!

    • Silwen profile image

      Silwen 6 years ago from Europe

      Very interesting stitch. It's late here, so I do not have an ability to try it right now, but on the weekend I will surely try. I saw this stitch and some ideas on some new projects appeared. Thank you very much for sharing.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      LOL - Oh yes!! Well really I got it right the first time around... Since It's pretty much double crochet it's not too bad.. No 'change up' stitches... I've just seen pictures of it, and some of the projects look pretty cool.

    • profile image

      4youreyes 6 years ago


      What an interesting stitch. I am looking forward to giving this stitch a try. I have never seen it before thanks for the directions, now comes the hard part the patience.

      Have A Good Day !