Learn all the essentials of how to corner to corner crochet including c2c increases, c2c decreases, how to read a graphgan chart (and even design your own!)
WELCOME! In addition to the information that follows, I have a video that covers all the basics of how to corner to corner crochet! Check out the photo tutorials and information below and then head here to watch the video.
Today, I’d like to show you the basic skills you need to corner to corner crochet, including how to increase, how to decrease and how to read a c2c chart and design your own if you’re interested. We’ll also cover how to change colors with c2c crochet and how to manage all the different skeins while you’re working.
Corner to corner crochet (c2c) is a technique that works just as it sounds–you crochet little “tiles” at a diagonal, increasing each row by one tile until your project is tall and wide enough, at which point you start decreasing each row.
Corner to corner crochet can be used to make striped afghans like this, but I absolutely love it for the fact that you can design a graph of anything that you want and then essentially paint by number with yarn to turn it into a c2c graphgan. (Graphgan = afghan that’s made from a graph.)
A few years ago, I took on the (overly?) ambitious project of designing a corner to corner crochet Christmas afghan for my family. While it was quite a big project, we love how it turned out and will use it for years (hopefully even decades!) to come. You can find all the free patterns here!
I’ve also used corner to corner crochet to design my Nordic snowflake super scarf, “Be a Deer” afghan and the Free Range Cardigan. As you can see, c2c is a really versatile crochet technique that opens up a whole new world of design possibilities.
How to Crochet a C2C Rectangle
Almost all corner to corner crochet projects are based on a square or rectangle design. Even exceptions like the Free Range Cardigan pattern are still built from several rectangle shapes. So learning how to crochet a C2C rectangle (or square!) is pretty much the most foundational skill you need to master. But don’t worry, we’ll walk through it step-by-step. If you’re a video learner, you can find the c2c rectangle video tutorial here.
In order to crochet a C2C square or rectangle, you need to know how to both increase and decrease using the diagonal box stitch. Combining the following two techniques is how you’ll create any dimmensions you want for your square or rectangle.
A quick note on increasing and decreasing: In the first stitch of corner to corner crochet, you’re always increasing or decreasing. There’s no such thing as a regular, non-increase or non-decrease first stitch. Decreasing is simply the term for not increasing any more and therefore not making your project any wider/taller on that edge.
How To Corner To Crochet Increase
Any corner to corner crochet project will always begin with increase rows. You’ll increase by one tile per diagonal row until your desired dimensions are reached and then you’ll begin decreasing. It’s relevant to note that if you’re making a rectangle, like I did in my Nordic super scarf, you might be increasing on one side of the row and decreasing on the other side so as to keep the total number of tiles per row the same.
Here is a step-by-step photo tutorial of the c2c increase stitch with more written details below the photos. Watch a video tutorial on how to increase in C2C crochet here.
CORNER TO CORNER CROCHET WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS:
Step 1: Chain 6
Step 2: Double crochet into the fourth chain from the hook
Step 3: Double crochet in the next two chain
Step 4: Chain 6
Step 5: Double crochet in fourth chain from the hook and next two chains
Step 6: Slip stitch into the ch-3 turning chain from the previous row
Step 7: Chain 3
Step 8: Double crochet 3 in ch-3 turning chain
ROW 3 and beyond:
Repeat steps 4-8
How to Corner to Corner Crochet Decrease
The “decrease” term can be slightly confusing because when this stitch is worked, the row doesn’t actually look as if it’s decreasing. Instead, it looks like a flat edge. In reality, the decrease stitch is eliminating one tile from each row you’re crocheting. (See how the top edge and the right side edge are flat as the last section of the square is built below? That’s thanks to the decrease stitch.)
You’ll work the corner to corner decrease stitch as soon as you’ve reached the widest/tallest point in your graph.
Here is a step-by-step photo tutorial of the c2c decrease stitch with more written details below. (In this example, my desired graph would only be three tiles wide. So when I reached the third tile, I would begin to decrease so as not to make the project any wider.) Watch a video tutorial of how to decrease in C2C crochet here.
Step 1: Instead of chaining 3 as you usually would, slip stitch in each double crochet
Step 2: Slip stitch into ch-3 turning chain
Step 3: Chain 3
Step 4: Double crochet 3 in ch-3 turning chain of previous row.
How To Change Colors in C2C Crochet
While using one solid color of yarn (or a self-striping cake yarn!) can be a quick and satisfying way to crochet a blanket using the diagonal box stitch, the real fun begins when your design has two or more colors.
I cover all the basics of C2C crochet color changes in this tutorial. You’ll learn the simple methods and “rules” for how to change colors in corner to corner crochet, plus when to cut your yarn and–perhaps most importantly–how to keep all your different skeins under control while you work!
How to Read a Corner to Corner Crochet Chart
Corner to corner crochet graphs can be used to create words, characters and graphic designs. You can even translate a photo, illustration or logo into a c2c graph!
Corner to corner graphs are typically worked from the bottom right corner to the top left corner as illustrated in the diagram below. (I didn’t know this at first though and worked my entire first c2c project “backwards”–ha! It really doesn’t matter though. If you’re following a graph, the image will turn out the same either way.)
The increase stitch is worked at the beginning of each row until the longest row in the graph pattern is completed, at which point the decrease stitch is used to start each row. It’s important to note that when working a rectangle graph, there will be a point at which you are increasing at the beginning of every other row and decreasing at the beginning of each of the other rows. This will keep the total number of tiles per row the same. I talk about this a bit more in the How to Corner to Corner Crochet video tutorial.
Some corner to corner crochet projects include written instructions that tell you how many tiles of each color to work in a given row. (They would look something like Row 17: 4B, 17C, 9D, with each letter representing a different color of yarn.) Written c2c instructions are really helpful because the prevent you from needing to do a lot of counting on the graph.
I tend to be sort of a “map reader” crocheter though so I really like to look at charts and graphs. When working a corner to corner chart, I like to use a ruler and pencil to draw lines diagonally through each row. Then I highlight each row after I complete it so that I easily know where I’m at in the graph.
When in doubt, count your tiles! It’s a real bummer to get further along in the project and realize you made an error with one tile a ways back. (Trust me, I did this last night. So. much. frogging.)
How to Design Your Own C2C Crochet Graphs
If you’re anything like me, you’ll get hooked on corner to corner crochet and then almost immediatly want to begin designing your own graphs. C2C crochet is such a great way to create unique designs and personalized gifts and I walk you through every step of creating your own C2C pattern here.
What Yarn is Best for C2C Crochet?
You can really use any yarn you’d like to c2c crochet. I have used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice for a lot of my graphgan style projects because the color selection is so fantastic and the worsted weight works well for c2c designs. When I’m “illustrating” with yarn, I like to have as many colors in my toolbox as possible and Vanna’s Choice offers over 70 options! Another great worsted weight option with a lot of colors is Lion Brand Basic Stitch Premium and Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling.
You can use any weight yarn to corner to corner crochet though. For example, the cover project from my book, Corner to Corner Crochet: 15 Contemporary Projects, uses Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick to create a chunky statement piece.
Free Corner to Corner Crochet Patterns
My mom and I have both been whipping up C2C crochet graphgans for a while now, so we’ve got quite the assortment of free patterns to get you started. The Be a Deer Throw is a perfect starter project. (If you work the deer silhouette in one color, you’ll only have two balls of yarn attached at a time.)
If you’d like to try crocheting a C2C garment, the Free Range Cardigan is a surprisingly easy experiment in making your corner to corner stitches form something three dimensional.
And for a super fun, playful C2C crochet blanket, check out the Alpaca Love Graphgan. You can always find all our free corner to corner blanket patterns here.
I hope this post has answered some of your questions about how to corner to corner crochet!
- You can find all our free corner to corner patterns here.
- My book, Corner to Corner Crochet: 15 Contemporary C2C Projects, is an in-depth resource for every single thing you need to know to dive into corner to corner or expand your skills.
- Sarah from RepeatCrafterMe.com has a ton of cute free C2C crochet patterns. If you’re unfamiliar with c2c crochet, Repeat Crafter Me should be your first stop because Sarah has a site full of corner to corner inspiration.
- This video by the Crochet Crowd is great for beginners who want to see the stitch in action. Mikey has a very clear way of explaining how c2c works.
- ChiWei from 1 Dog Woof has compiled all of her corner to corner crochet resources into one helpful list. She has some great tips!
If you love learning new crochet techniques as much as I do, you might also enjoy these tutorials:
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