Master Crocheting Clusters

What is a Cluster Stitch? The general definition is a group of stitches worked in one stitch or space that only counts as one stitch itself. Clusters are a great way to add texture and visual interest to your crochet projects.

There are a lot of different sizes of cluster stitches in crochet. One simple rule to keep in mind when clusters are in a pattern, is to know what stitches are the basis of the cluster. Most commonly a cluster stitch uses double crochet stitches, but sometimes you will see patterns that use treble or even taller stitches. The special stitches section of your pattern should clearly define the cluster stitch telling you which stitch and how many will be in clusters in the project you are making.

If you are a fan of stitch charts the stitch symbols used for the cluster stitch will give you a lot of information. Not only will they show where the cluster stitch is to be worked, they also show how many and what sort of stitches are to be used in each cluster.

Cool Snowflake Motif

My favorite cluster stitch uses 3 double crochet stitches. It is the cluster stitch I used in my “Cool Snowflake Motif” pattern that you can see here on the blog or purchase an Ad-free PDF version in my Ravelry shop.

Cluster Stitch Tutorial

When you are working cluster stitches you want to pay attention to keeping the working loop (first loop on hook) snug to the shaft. This loop can become over extended making your stitch top wider than other single stitches in your project. For smooth looking cluster stitches you want your tension to be even and consistent. If your tall stitches like doubles and trebles tend to get leggy and loopy you may find your cluster stitches to be disappointing.

In a 3 dc cluster stitch you make the base of the 3 dcs being used, then work the final dc step for all 3 in one go. This same method applies to working any dc clusters, no matter the number of stitches. For cluster stitches using taller stitches like trebles you will work each step of the stitch up to the final “pull thru 2 loops”, that final step will be completed once you have worked the bases of all the stitches in the cluster.

Image D
Photo A

To make a 3 dc cluster st, yarn over (yo) like making a double crochet and insert in st or sp, yo, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook), yo {Photo A},

Image E
Photo B

pull thru 2 loops on hook (2 loops remaining on hook, 1st base made), yo, insert in same st or sp, yo, pull up a loop (4 loops on hook), yo {Photo B},

Image F
Photo C

pull thru 2 loops (3 loops remaining on hook, 2nd base made), yo, insert in same st or sp, yo, pull up a loop (5 loops on hook), yo, pull thru 2 loops (4 loops remaining on hook, 3rd base made), yo {Photo C}, pull thru remaining 4 loops on hook.

Pebbled Star Afghan Square – Andee Graves / M2H Designs

I also like to use cluster stitches to create “bobbles” on my work. A good example of that would be my “Pebbled Star Afghan Square” pattern. The cluster stitches are worked on wrong-side rounds with single crochet stitches framing each cluster so that they are pushed out creating an exaggerated bump on the right side of the fabric. The clusters in this pattern are 3 dc clusters, a 5 dc cluster gives a larger “bump”.

A cluster stitch doesn’t need to be all the same kind of stitches. You can combine stitches like double and treble crochet, this can be especially useful if you are making bobbles and want to make them stand up even more without creating holes in your fabric.

For example…make a cluster that uses (dc, 2 tr, dc). When framed with single crochets you get a bobble that stands out dramatically from the fabric. I used clusters in this way for the feet of my “Luv Bug” amigurumi pattern.

Some of my other patterns that use the cluster stitch are listed below:

Now it is your turn to play with cluster stitches and see if these tips will help you master this fun stitch.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.