Monday, July 28, 2014

Front Loop, Back Loop, and Both Loops Crochet

Most often when we're crocheting we insert the hook under both loops of each stitch. However, it is sometimes useful to crochet into the back loop only or the front loop only to achieve a particular effect. Today I'll show you how to crochet into the front or back loops as well as what the fabric looks like when you do.

All of my swatches are worked in single crochet but you can work any type of stitch into the front or back loops. My swatches are also worked in rows. When you're working in rounds your front and back loop stitches will create a different effect, but that's a topic for another day.

First let's look at normal single crochet. We work under both loops like this:

A few short rows of regular single crochet looks like this:

Regular single crochet is a crochet must-learn. It is used in many different situations. Plain single crochet fabric is a little bit dense and moderately flexible.

Now let's take a look at front loop single crochet, which is abbreviated as FLsc (double crochet would be FLdc, etc). You only work through the loop that is closest to you.

A swatch made entirely in FLsc looks like this:

Notice the pronounced ridges where the missed back loops are. The stitches also line up completely unlike in regular single crochet where they are arranged more like roof tiles. Front loop only crochet is good for color work for this reason. The fabric is also slightly less dense than regular single crochet as each row is a bit taller.

Finally, let's look at some BLsc aka back loop single crochet. This time the hook is inserted only under the loop that is farther away from you.

The resulting fabric looks like this:

Back loop single crochet creates a ribbed fabric that is stretchy. It's great for sock or glove cuffs. It is denser than regular single crochet.

Here's a look at all three side by side; FLsc, sc, and BLsc.

Each of these swatches is made of the same number of stitches and the same number of rows. It's true! You can see how much taller the rows are in FLsc and how much shorter the rows are in BLsc. If you haven't already, I encourage you to experiment with front loop and back loop stitches in single crochet and beyond. Let me know how it goes! One of my very favorite crochet textures is alternating front loop and back loop double crochet where you alternate every other stitch.

Have questions about crocheting in the front and back loops? Don't be afraid to leave a comment. I'm always here to help!


  1. Thank you for your very detailed explanation. This has confused me for quite a while. Earlier I just follow the instructions, now I finally understand why =^_^=
    By the way, I surprisingly find that the white yarn you used in demonstrations is the yarn I am looking for a long time. Normally I can find yarn twisted of 3-4 individual lines together. Your yarn is a direct twist of the wool, which gives the pattern a seashell kind of shine. Could you tell me what it is called, or what brand, so that I can order them online? I can't find it in my local shops.

    1. Yay! I'm so glad that the post helped you. As far as the yarn you are looking for goes, I believe you are referencing ply and that you are looking for a 1-ply yarn. Here is a post about ply:

  2. I've read and viewed a DOZEN or more postings on this topic and this is the FIRST one that has clearly explained the HOW and WHY, as well as what happens WHEN you use each technique. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.


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