A Quick Guide to Knit-Look Crochet Stitches

We’re not always vocal about it, but some crocheters and knitters believe that their yarn craft is superior to the other.

It’s usually a good-natured feud, resulting in the concession that we’ve just grown accustomed to doing one or the other and we’re probably not going to change.

Although I’m firmly in the camp of crochet, I admire the delicacy and fine fabric of knitting. There are benefits and drawbacks to each, and I often dream of having the best of both worlds without having to become proficient in both.

Because the textile gods are merciful—or because crocheters are quite clever—there are several methods for creating knit-look crochet fabrics. They don’t necessarily have the same texture or flexibility, but they will achieve a knit appearance and expand your crochet skills.

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A Fair Isle design crocheted in waistcoat stitch, before blocking to straighten stitches. (Mushrump)
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Waistcoat stitch mittens with half double crochet (HDC) slip stitch ribbing. (Mushrump)

There are a few wonderful guides to knit-look crochet already in existence, and I recommend checking them out if you’d like to get a taste of these techniques. In some ways, this is new territory—knit-look crochet has only recently started to work its way into mainstream crochet magazines and pattern books in a significant way.

Some of these techniques, however, are thought to be much older than the modern standards.

Crochet using only slip stitches, for example, may have originated in the Middle East, South America, or Northern Europe long before crochet’s “official” appearance in the early 1800’s. This is called Bosnian crochet, shepherd’s knitting, pjoning, and about 10 other names in different languages.

bosnian-crochet
Bosnian crochet mittens. (source)

Beyond slip-stitch crochet, there’s the stockinette doppelgänger called waistcoat stitch, along with stitches that mimic knit ribbing, linen stitch, and garter stitch.

It’s nice to have a visual to go with all these stitches as well as a quick reference for how they’re constructed. I’d never seen a quick guide to knit-look crochet and thought it might be helpful to other crocheters, too.

So I created one (below).

This is by no means a comprehensive guide. There are beautiful cable crochet stitch patterns, alternate forms of ribbing, and many other knit-look stitches I haven’t included.

I selected stitches based on their simplicity, how well they mimic knitting, and the texture of the fabric they create. They’re also just personal favorites.

Knit_look Crochet Stitch Guide_v2
You can download a printable PDF of the guide here: Knit-look Crochet Stitch Guide

I’ll also be creating tutorials on selected knit-look crochet techniques soon, so stay tuned and let me know if you have any questions or tutorial requests!

9 thoughts on “A Quick Guide to Knit-Look Crochet Stitches

    1. Hi! I don’t think there’s any special name for it, aside from just “single crochet in the back loop” while working in the round.

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  1. Hi, not sure if my message went through….so posting again….

    Good afternoon, going crazy here trying to figure out whether a jersey I was given and would love to copy is knitted or crocheted. If I sent you photos would you at a glance be able to tell? I think it was handmade in Ukraine or Russia. Best regards Michelle

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    1. Hi Michelle! I would love to take a look at it, but I only have my personal email account right now and I don’t generally give it out. Do you have a way of posting the photos somewhere so I could take a look, perhaps on Imgur or on a blog?

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    2. Hi, this is really interesting. Do you have any videos on these stitches? I am specifically enquiring on the “HDC ribbing.” I am unsure by the instructions. Is it like one row of hdc and then a row of slip st through the back look? If so, do you have to go through both loops on the repeating hdc round or through the back loop of the sl st round below?

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  2. Hi, I don’t know if my other comment went through but do you have any video instructions for these stitches specifically the hdc ribbing. I am a bit confused by the instructions.

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  3. I made two comments before sorry about that. I finally understood the hdc ribbing. I misread before and I now realized that ‘ hdc sl st’ is the name of the stitch. I tried it before but, the book I saw the stitch referred to it as the ‘knotted stitch’.

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