Clamshell Tutorial

★ - 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 just a tutorial to show you how to make the clamshell pattern, which 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.
So the choice of yarn, yardage, hook and size of the project depends 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.

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) 


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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


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.

: :


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

: :

S x


  1. Love this pattern. Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. That's a beautiful pattern, thank you so much for sharing it Sandra! :)

  3. Lovely pattern, thanks so much for sharing. I'm going to put it on my to do list as I have a lot of projects on the go at the moment (even for me!) as you will see if you visit my blog. I definitely want to give it a go though, thanks again. Rowen @ Coastal Colours x

  4. lovely pattern, I'm very tempted to try it even though I already have 3 blankets as WIP

  5. Sandra Sandra....what an amazing blanket you have made and I love it...and I will go out and buy myself some pretty yarns and try and tackle this one !! Really have to...
    Thankyou so much for the tutorial....:0)))

  6. its amazing!!hugs to you!!!my friend!

  7. Gorgeous! It will be my summer project. Thanks a million for the tutorial.

  8. Simply stunning!! I am mastering knitting, but also want to learn how to crochet very soon, just for projects like this one :-) Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Thank you so much Sandra, for sharing your beautiful pattern, your tutorial is awesome!
    Thanks for sharing, I'm going to try it!

  10. Oh wow thank you so much, I love this pattern and would of payed for it you are so generous, This is now on my long list of things to make. Maybe a baby blanket? Just gotta wait for the next little one to come along. Thanks you so much again for sharing.

  11. Thanks heaps, I have some lovely yarn that will look lovely in this pattern

  12. Wow, wow, wow. Firstly beautiful stitch and piece. I love the colour combination. And secondly what a wonderful tutorial. I have only recently started my blog and wanted to post my first tutorial - this is truly a great inspiration. Definitely will try this stitch. Thank you.

  13. I think I will do myself a HUGE favor and do a practice run (maybe a lovely scarf?) to get the feel of this before before diving into an afghan. *grin*
    Thank you so much Sandra! This looks like fun!

  14. This is a great tutorial! Thank you...

  15. Brilliant, I'm going to give it a go when I get home tues, can't wait. Thanks so much Sandra x

  16. love, love, love your blog! <3 and your tutorial. Geez, my to-do-list is already way too long, but I'll have to add this to my projects! :)

    xxx Lucia

  17. Ok...since I'm awful at crochet, maybe I could join in and make a little clamshell mug rug? =P Thank you for the wonderful tutorial!!!

  18. Thank you, thank you, thank you. What a beautiful pattern and thank you for sharing it with us for free.

  19. Gorgeous!!Thank you so much for sharing and I can't wait to give it a try!! Have a wonderful weekend!! xo Heather

  20. You are such a clever lady.. Thanks for sharing your talent xx

  21. It's beautiful! Sharing this tomorrow at Tangled Happy. :)

  22. Thank you for sharing Sandra. You're very generous!!
    I've been watching and waiting for this wonderful pattern :)
    Robyn x

  23. This blanket is lovely! Thank you for the pattern! May I ask what edging you used? It's perfect for this blanket, and I'd like to make this for a baby gift.

  24. love it-- and as others said-- how do we do that lovely edge?

  25. Gorgeous pattern...Lovely work & blog (very informative) Thanks Monique :)

  26. Wish you had given the instructions in the English version also

  27. I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure what you mean by this... It's written in Uk terms already so you've lost me!?
    S x

  28. I just love your pattern and am always looking for new and interesting ones to try. I thought of making fewer rows multi colored into a scarf. Very pretty afghan!

  29. Really pretty --thanks for the instructions! Can't wait to give it a try!Also following you on pinterest now! You have lots of great stuff! Thanks again.

  30. Absolutely gorgeous, and the tutorial is perfect! I featured a link to it this morning on Moogly:

  31. Do you have instructions for the beautiful edging you used to complete this pattern? It's a wonderful design! Thanks!

  32. I just found your site from Allfreecrochetpatterns, This is beautiful. My next project. Thank you for the pattern.

  33. SO! I'm finaly up and running with this pattern - and I'm crazy about it.

    I've posted about it on my blog:

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Best wishes