Crochet Crocodile Stitch Photo Tutorial

One of the crochet stitches that’s important for the house bag is the crocodile stitch. Look, here it is, used for the roof of the house, which forms the flap for the bag:-

Crocodile Stitch For The Roof Of The House

Crocodile Stitch For The Roof Of The House

It’s not difficult but it looks fancy, and it’s a stitch that works well for scarves. Since you work the scales one-at-a-time, it can carry a variegated yarn quite well, more so than – say – a granny square, which can get weirdly splodgy in a variegated yarn.

Crocodile Stitch

Crocodile Stitch

Just don’t make an entire cardigan in this stitch, especially not in green, or you will look like an actual crocodile – which is not a good look (except on crocodiles, of course).

Whilst I finish off writing up the bag pattern, I thought I’d put together these instructions, because although there are a lot of crocodile stitch tutorials out there, they really do vary in quality. (I found this out the hard way when I was first learning the technique.) Here’s a version that most definitely works. And it really is easy. So without further ado, permit me to present… the crochet crocodile stitch photo-tutorial:-

(Actually there is a bit of further ado.) PLEASE NOTE: NORTH AMERICAN CROCHET TERMS USED THROUGHOUT.


ch = chain

ss = slip stitch

dc = double crochet (which would be a treble in UK crochet terms)

sk = skip

st/sts = stitch/stitches

1. Chain multiples of 6+1. Just to orientate you, you’re beginning at the bottom of your work and progressing upwards. In the little sample I’m making below, I’ve chained 19, i.e. (3×6)+1. This will give me a piece with rows alternating between 4 scales and 3 scales wide, like this:-



2. Pinch your last chain and ch3 (to act as your first dc). 1dc into the st you’ve pinched. (Ch1. Sk2 links of chain and work 2dc into next stitch) until the end of the row. (You should find yourself working 2dc into the final stitch.) You will have made something that looks rather like a ladder. There will be an odd number of pairs of dcs:-

crochet crocodile stitch tutorial

3. Turn your work clockwise through 90◦ so that your ladder is hanging downwards. To make the crocodile scale, you’re going to work stitches into the gap between the pair of dc posts, initially from right to left down the first dc, and then back up the other side via the other dc in this first pair. So, ch3 (counts as your first dc), then, working from right to left along the first dc, make 4dc. Ch1.



Turn your work through 180◦ so that the rung of the ladder you’re working on is now at the bottom. Working from right to left, make 5dc in the second of the pair of dc stitches from row 2.

Working The First Stitch Of The Second Side Of The Scale.

Working The First Stitch Of The Second Side Of The Scale.

Now ch1. You’ve made a scale.

easy crocodile stitch tutorial


4. Turn your ladder through 180◦ again, so that it’s hanging downwards. Skip the next pair of dc sts from row 2 and instead work 5dc from right to left into the first dc of the following pair. Ch1, then turn your work through 180◦ and work another 5dc back up the other dc of the pair. Ch1.

5. Continue in this way, working down and then up every alternate pair of the dcs that you made in row 2. You should finish on the final pair of dcs and should now have 4 scales. Instead of your final ch1, work a ss into the top of the middle of the last scale, so that its right hand side curves nicely at the top. Your scales won’t look very neat at the moment but don’t worry, as you work the next (set-up) row, you’ll anchor them in place and make them behave.


6. Hold your work horizontally with the scales facing you and pointing downwards, and with your initial chain at the bottom. You’ll now make a new row of pairs of dcs, each pair separated by a ch1, with each pair worked into the gap between one of the pairs of dcs below. Where this coincides with the edges of two scales (ie alternate occasions), you work your dcs into the ch1 between scales as well as into the gap between dcs, thus anchoring these together. The first dc of the very first pair only should be replaced by a ch3. You should have the same number of pairs of dcs as in row 2, i.e. 7 pairs in this example.

Much Neater. Second Set-Up Row Added, Which Also Anchors Your First Row Of Scales

Much Neater. Second Set-Up Row Added, Which Also Anchors Your First Row Of Scales

7. You’re now going to work across again with another set of scales. However, on this row you will make one fewer scales than before – 3 in this case – because they’re slightly offset from the previous row. So, no need to begin with a ch3 this time. Instead, work 5dcs from top to bottom into the first post of the second pair of dcs. Ch1. Work 5dcs up the other side. Ch1. Continue working scales across the row until you have 3. This time, you’ll finish the final scale with a ss into the last pair of dcs, and your scale will not protrude any further than this pair of posts.

8. Make the next set-up row, as in row 6. Ch3 (to act as your first dc). 1dc into the base of this ch3. (Ch1. Sk2 stitches and work 2dc into next stitch) until the end of the row.



9. Repeat 3-8.

Have fun!

An Actual Crocodile

An Actual Crocodile


Filed under Crochet

47 Responses to Crochet Crocodile Stitch Photo Tutorial

  1. Alicadabra

    Excellent tutorial (and eek! at the actual crocodile)

  2. This is a fricking miracle. Excuse the rock band language…

  3. Awesome. I’m off to make a green sweater in this stitch. 😉

  4. Thanks for teaching us, I love learning and this is a stunning stitch. Definitely need to make something using it. 🙂

  5. Brenda Breitkreutz

    Thank you for the tutorial. The photos helped a ton! Last time I tried this stitch, I was hopelessly confused.

  6. “Twitch…twitch*…”

  7. I so want to try this but its such a yarn pig

  8. Hi, thanks for the clear tutorial. Like the stitch, but for some reason never tried before. Saw a pattern for baby leg warmers with crocodile stitch last week. Think I’ll start on that now…

  9. Reblogged this on craftsmondiale and commented:
    Came across this awesome blog, and great post. Always put projects with crocodile stitch off, but now I have to try.

  10. Cathy Cutler

    Thank you for simplifying this stitch. Your tutorial is by far the best one I have come across ☺️ I am so excited that my light bulb turned on in understanding this stitch, thanks again🙏🏼

  11. Suzanne Bridger

    an awesome stitch with a great tutorial thanks so much, appreciate your time and knowledge.

  12. Sharon

    Thank you so much for sharing. I really want to make my Granddaughter a mermaid blanket in this stitch but have been afraid the stitch might be to difficult. You have explained it very well and I’m confident to attempt it now. Much appreciated.

  13. vidu

    i am learning any crochet through internet
    i need help
    crocodile stitch is done in the first photo of roof in first row 8 crocodile and second row 7 crocodile? again 8 and then 7?

    • The Twisted Yarn

      Hi Vidu,
      First and most importantly, I am SO sorry for insanely long interval before replying to your comment/question. I’m not sure how or why, but for some reason your comment slipped through the net. Assuming that late really is better than never, I’ll try to answer you. Yes, the number of tiles/scales does change between rows, eg 8-7-8-7-8-7-8 or 32-33-32-33-32-33 etc, because the tiles are slightly offset. I hope this makes sense?

  14. Pauline

    Please can you explain what you mean by “pinch” the last stitch?

    • The Twisted Yarn

      Eek, I’m SO sorry for insanely slow reply. Somehow this one slipped through the net. In the vague hope that late really is better than never, here’s my response (assuming that you can even recall your question from so long ago!)
      I do literally mean pinch/hold the stitch between two fingers so that you don’t lose it. Does that make sense? Happy to discuss further (and I’ll reply straight away this time, honest!)

  15. Pingback: The Twisted Yarn Cottage Bag: Bagalong for January 2016 - Crafternoon Treats

  16. Julie Shefcik

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial!

  17. Pat Rogers

    Finally, something that makes sense. I’m doing a backpack and the pattern just didn’t look right because it caused the back of the stitch to face me and the front to the back. Now, I’ll have to tear out three rows, to the base ladder but, this time it will finally look right. Mostly I make jewelry but I also crochet a lot. I wonder how this would look with beaded crocodiles. Hmmm! I think I’ll have to try it.

  18. Thank you wonderful pattern. Going to try this soon!

  19. Linda Waterman

    Thank you so much for making this crocodile stitch more of an understanding way to crochet this pattern. It makes the pattern so much easier. Thank you once again ,, Linda Waterman.

  20. Alissa Strohl

    Love the look of this! Struggling a bit on my second row of scales, how do I get from the leftmost pair of DC to the pair of DC where I start stitching again? Meaning after I finish stitching pair seven, how do I get back over to pair six?

  21. Why can this not be printed out

  22. Bex Lockyer

    Okay, want to add my thanks to the above – new to your blog, but so love it. Thanks for sharing your lifecraft! This tutorial is super-clear, and I now understand a new stitch for the repertoire, ta muchly. One question – I completely adore your ring – wherever did you find it? x

    • The Twisted Yarn

      Thank you! I bought the ring years and years ago in Greece, when I was visiting my friend in Athens. It does tend to catch on things such as clothes and children, so I don’t wear it as often as I’d like to.

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