Ultimate Guide to Chevron Crochet
by Kathryn Vercillo
The chevron pattern is a bold graphic pattern that recurs again and again as a popular trend in fashion, home decor and even architecture. It has timeless appeal and yet specific color choices implemented in this pattern can immediately conjure up images of certain eras (such as the orange/yellow/brown chevron of the 1970s or the black/white/gold of the Art Deco years). Chevrons can be found in every type of crochet project including men's crochet ties, women's Missoni-inspired dresses, blankets of all sizes and even designs worked in the round. There are as many different ways to crochet chevrons as there are projects they are used on, but they all have a few things in common so once you learn the basics you'll be able to adapt that knowledge to making all varieties of chevron crochet patterns. This guide will give you that foundation.
Understanding the Chevron Pattern
The chevron, also sometimes called a crochet ripple, is an inverted "v" shaped pattern (not to be confused with v-stitch) that might also be seen as a "zigzag". It can be made using a variety of different stitches and techniques, but the most important thing to understand is that it is generally achieved by crocheting the same stitch (such as a double crochet stitch) across a row or round with increases and decreases at regular intervals. For example, you might make 10 dc, increase, 10 dc, decrease and repeat that pattern across the row. The increases create the "peaks" and the decreases gather together to create the "valleys", giving you the zig zag pattern.
Understanding the Variations in Chevron Crochet Patterns
There are two core things that you can vary to create different versions of the chevron: the stitch used and the amount of space between increases and decreases. (You can also vary your color changes, which we'll discuss towards the end of this guide.)
Changing your stitch
Classic chevron crochet patterns tend to be created with one of the short basic crochet stitches: single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc) or double crochet (dc). However, you can make the pattern with almost any crochet stitch. You could vary the height (use a treble crochet, for example). Shorter stitches create narrower v's than taller stitches. You could also use a more advanced stitch pattern, such as the granny stitch. In addition to changing the stitch itself, you can change the placement of the stitch. One popular option is to crochet in the back loop only, giving a ribbed appearance to your chevrons.
Changing your spacing
The second way to change the appearance of your chevron is to change the spacing between increases and decreases. For a true chevron, you want the same amount of space between each increase and decrease. In the example given above, we mentioned the option of ten dc stitches between each increase and decrease. This is a wide chevron that works well for blankets. In the example worked through below, you'll see an example of using just four double crochet stitches between each increase and decrease. This creates narrower "v" shapes in your chevron. This also works for blankets but is especially great for projects that aren't as wide - such as scarves, hats and cup cozies.
As you get more practice with the chevron pattern, you can play around with other variations. You could see what it looks like if you have more space before each decrease than you do before each increase, for example. This will create a new style of zig zag that is based on the chevron idea but alters it from the original shape. It is a lot of fun to play with!
Practicing a Double Crochet Chevron Pattern
Let's practice a version of the double crochet chevron in which there are four stitches between each increase and decrease. We are going to begin with a foundation chain that is a multiple of 12 + 4. (We'll look at how to calculate your starting chain for chevron crochet in a moment. For now, just trust us!) In our example, we've created a starting chain of 28 stitches.
2 dc in fourth chain from hook (counts as first 3 dc)
Dc in each of next 4 stitches.
Double crochet 3 stitches together (dc3tog)
Dc in each of next 4 st
3 dc in next st
Repeat previous 4 steps to end of row
Ch 3 to turn (count as first dc) and 2 dc in second dc (all together counts as first 3 dc)
Dc in each of next 4 st
Dc in each of next 4 st
3 dc in next st
Repeat previous 4 steps to end of row ... except at the last repeat, at the very end of the row there will be an extra st, so skip 1 st before the final 3 dc (which goes in the top of the ch-3 turning chain). As an alternative, you can choose not to skip 1 and instead make 2 dc, 1 dc in the final two stitches of the row.
Examples of Variations on Chevron Crochet
The crochet chevron pattern above shows a classic chevron made with double crochet stitches with four stitches between each increase or decrease. Let's see what a few variations would look like:
Single Crochet with 4 Spaces Between Increases and Decreases
Treble Crochet with 4 Spaces Between Increases and Decreases
Double Crochet with 4 Spaces Between Increases and Decreases, worked in back loop only
Double Crochet with 10 Spaces Between Increases and Decreases (detail photo)
All of these examples use the same concept for increases and decreases - increasing by crocheting 3 stitches into one st, decreasing by crocheting 3 stitches together in one stitch.
This is a common option for creating the chevron crochet pattern, but it is not the only option. Some patterns may use more than one increase/decrease at each interval (such as dc2tog twice instead of a single dc3tog). Other patterns may have you skip some stitches to create the decrease. As you get used to playing with different patterns, you will find different options available to you.
How to Calculate Your Starting Chain for Chevron Crochet
Here are some tips for calculating the length of your starting chain, presuming that you are working with basic crochet stitches (single, double, etc.) rather than stitch patterns (such as granny stitch) and that you are increasing and decreasing at regular intervals using the 3 stitches in one stitch / work 3 stitches together method shown above. If you are working with a different method of increases or decreases, your starting chain may differ from this.
Calculate the number of stitches in each repeat (meaning one increase and one decrease)
- Each "peak" or increase is going to have 3 stitches in 1 stitch so you need one stitch for the increase.
- Each "valley" or decrease is going to have 3 stitches worked together so you need to have three stitches for each decrease
- Then determine how many stitches will between each increase and decrease and multiple that by two (one for the increase, one for the decrease).
So, in our pattern example, we had four stitches between each increase and decrease, multiplied by two is 8 stitches plus we add 4 (three for the decrease, one for the increase). That means each repeat is going to have 12 stitches. If we were to want ten stitches between each increase and decrease, we would have (10 X 2 = 20), then 20 + 4 for a total of 24 stitches in each repeat.
Calculate the number of repeats you want
Next, you need to determine how many times you want to repeat the pattern. Multiply the number you got in the previous step by the number of repeats you want. So, in our example, we wanted just two repeats, so we multiply the 12 stitches we got in step one by 2 and get a total of 24. In our alternative example, let's say that we want ten repeats. We calculated 24 stitches per repeat so our starting chain would now be at 240.
Finally, add your turning chain
The last step is to add the number of stitches that you need for your turning chain, which depends on the type of stitch pattern that you are using. In our example, we used double crochet, which is worked in the fourth chain from the hook, so we added four. So, we calculated in the previous step that our starting chain would be 24 stitches plus we need four to get started so the final count for our starting chain is 28. In our alternative example, we would still only be adding four stitches because we are still working in double crochet, so we would have a starting chain of 244.
If you were working single crochet, you would only add 2 stitches instead of 4. You would begin the work in the second chain from the hook. The turning chain at the start of each row starting with row 2 would be 1 ch.
For half double crochet, add 3 stitches (and begin the work in the third chain from the hook); your turning chain will be 2. For treble crochet, add 5 stitches (and begin the work in the fifth chain from the hook); your turning chain will be 4.
Note that the extra chains are one stitch longer than the height of the turning chain. Each row is going to have one more increase than the number of decreases in the pattern, because you want to both begin and end at the same height of the "v". A single crochet typically has a turning chain of 1, but here we add 2 to the starting chain so that we can work the increase in the second chain from the hook. Likewise, a double crochet stitch has a turning chain of 3, but we add an additional stitch to the starting chain and work the first increase in the fourth chain from the hook.
Color Options for Chevron Crochet
Chevron crochet can, of course, be worked in a single color but the true effect of the pattern really comes out best when worked in two or more colors. Just a few of the options include:
- Alternating two colors. This is especially popular because it replicates the classic chevron pattern, especially when worked in black and white.
- Alternating three colors. As mentioned before, the orange/yellow/brown common is great for a retro 70s look while the white/black/gold combo is more of a 1920s vibe.
- Creating an ombre. The chevron is a particularly great pattern for the ombre effect. Learn how to crochet an ombre.
- Rainbow shades. One of the most popular designer inspirations for the chevron in knitwear is Missoni, a brand that frequently uses rainbow coloring and related multi-shaded hues to create brilliant colorful designs.
- Incorporating variegated and print yarns. Add a fun twist to your work by using variegated, multi or print yarn for one or more of the rows!
You can alter the impact of your chevron by changing the number of rows between color changes. There is a big difference to the eye when you change colors after every row (creating small stripes) vs. changing them every ten rows (creating color blocking). You can create a very even pattern by changing colors after the same number of rows every time (which is great for an ombre or a rainbow) or create a staggered pattern by varying the number of rows between color changes.
Additional Patterns for Practicing Chevron Crochet
In addition to the patterns you've seen throughout this post, here are some of our best crochet patterns for practicing chevrons: