Learn how to crochet the knit stitch successfully in this step-by-step video tutorial.
The knit stitch (AKA the waistcoat or center single crochet stitch) can be tricky at first. But try a few specific tips mentioned in this video and you'll know how to make crochet look like knitting in no time!
This free knit-stitch video tutorial is part of a collaboration with Lion Brand Yarns. This post contains affiliate links.
How to Crochet the Knit Stitch
Can I make a crochet confession?
While I love the freeform nature of crochet, I often prefer the look of knitting.
Is that a sin to admit on a crochet site? I don't think so, right? All yarn lovers can be friends, whether we're knitting, crocheting or--like my kids--just cutting up old skeins.
Related: 15+ modern crochet patterns that look KNIT ⇨
How to Crochet the Waistcoat Stitch - Only Easier
I've wanted to learn how to crochet the knit stitch for years. And I've tried. Every time it's turned out too tight, too janky or just not knit-looking enough.
After studying several different tutorials though and a lot of trial and error, I figured out the tricks that make crocheting the knit stitch a success for me.
A Simple Twist on Single Crochet
The thing I love about the knit stitch/waistcoat stitch/center single crochet stitch is that is worked using ONLY single crochet. Seriously! Once you get your tension working and master the few tips I share here, this stitch is e-a-s-y.
Personally, I find that the knit stitch looks a lot more like legit stockinette fabric when worked in the round versus in rows. It can be crocheted either way though, so find what works the best for you and what serves the purpose of your project.
Pin it! click to pin this tutorial for later ⇨
How To Crochet the Knit Stitch Video Tutorial
In the video tutorial below, I cover how to crochet the knit stitch in the round as well as how to make the join as invisible as possible while you work. Scroll down a bit further for the written waistcoat stitch instructions and answers to some FAQs.
Waistcoat Stitch Free Crochet Patterns
If you're interested in trying out the crochet knit stitch on a project, here are a few to try. Many of these are also included in our collection of free crochet patterns that look knit here.
3-Hour Chunky "Knit" Mittens - Whether you’re headed to the backcountry or just back to the coffee shop, these classic women's mittens will keep your hands toasty warm like the mitts your grandma used to make.
Morning Mittens - This mitten pattern uses cozy wool and a knit-looking stitch to create a timeless style that's great for personalizing and gift-giving.
Everyday Beanie - Looks knit, but it's not! This pattern uses single crochet stitches to create a modern, double-brimmed beanie for men or women.
The Crochet Knit Stitch
Abbreviations (US terms):
ch - chain
sc - single crochet
sl st - slip stitch
When crochet the knit stitch in the round, there are two ways to work:
• Work in rounds by chaining one at the beginning of the round and slip stitching to the first single crochet at the end of the round.
• Work in a spiral in an amigurumi-type method.
For this tutorial, I'm describing the first option, but just know that both are possible.
Crocheting the Knit Stitch in the Round:
Foundation Round: Ch any multiple of chains, sl st to first ch of round to form a circle.
Round 1: Ch 1, sc in each ch, sl st to first sc to join.
Round 2: Ch 1, sc in between the posts of each sc (see photo below), sl st to first sc to join.
Repeat Round 2 for remainder of project.
Essential Tips for Waistcoat Stitch Success
If you're not the video-watching type, here are the tips in cliff notes form:
• Use a larger hook than you usually would for the yarn. I can't stress this enough. You need a significantly bigger hook to make the spaces between the single crochet posts wide enough to insert your hook through.
• Once you insert your hook in the correct place and yarn over, tip your hook up a bit to loosen the stitch even further. This will help make the next stitch easier to work. (See photo below.)
• When slip stitching at the end of each round, pull the slip stitch quite tight. This will make the join nearly disappear. (See photo below.)
I hope this tutorial helps you know how to crochet the knit stitch with confidence! If you have any pattern ideas you'd like to see created with this stitch, please let me know in the comments below.
Waistcoat / Center Single Crochet Stitch FAQs
How to decrease in the crochet knit stitch?
You can shape items crocheted with the knit stitch just as you would any other crochet project. Increasing is as simple as working two single crochets into the same space between the single crochet posts.
If you're wondering how to decrease using the knit stitch though, it's also very similar to a typical sc2tog. In the photo on the right below, you can see how the sc2tog is simply worked between the posts of two sc stitches.
When you have three loops on your hook as pictured on the right, you'll yarn over and pull through all three loops. This will decrease your round by one stitch.
Can you crochet a stockinette stitch?
The waistcoat stitch is the closest crochet version of a knit stockinette stitch. Each crochet stitch looks like a "V" and when worked in the round, is almost indistinguishable from actual knit fabric at first glance.
Is the waistcoat stitch stretchy?
The waistcoat crochet stitch is many things, but stretchy is not really one of them. Because of how the stitch is constructed, the fabric created with this "knit" crochet stitch is denser than actual knit stockinette fabric.
The sturdiness of the stitch lends itself well to warm crochet mittens, hot pads or baskets. If you'd prefer a more flexible fabric, be sure to size up your hook even more than you might usually with the waistcoat stitch.
Is the waistcoat stitch reversible?
Yes! When worked flat in rows, the waistcoat stitch can be reversible. When the knit stitch is crocheted in turned rows though, the stitches don't line up on top of each other exactly, so the fabric has a little less of a direct stockinette look.
Free Crochet Patterns That Look Knit
There are many ways to make crochet mimic knitting. Here are a few patterns that use addition techniques to achieve the classic knit look. You can also see our collection of free crochet patterns that look knit here.
Hideaway Infinity Scarf- This knit-look cowl is made from a simple rectangle and basic stitches, making it the perfect project for beginners.
Knit Look Beanie - This design from Ned & Mimi uses modern color-blocking to update a classic "knit" hat silhouette.
Chunky Knit Look Blanket - Crochet Dreamz uses thick yarn and a large hook to mimic the stylish look of a chunky knit throw.
The How to Crochet the Knit (Waistcoat) Stitch
- Any Yarn
- Any Hook 2 sizes larger than you'd typically use with the yarn, pointy tipped hooks work the best
Abbreviations + Glossary (US Terms)
- ch – chain
- sc – single crochet
- sl st – slip stitch
Want some company while you crochet?
Get support (and camaraderie!) in the Make & Do Crochet Crew Facebook Group. Search “Make and Do Crochet Crew” on Facebook.com.
Permissions + Copyright
Please do not publish or share this pattern as your own. You may make items to sell with this pattern. In exchange, please link back to this page. Do NOT use my photos as your own sales photos.
How to Crochet the Waistcoat Stitch Step-by-Step
- 1. Foundation Round: Ch any multiple of chains, sl st to first ch of round to form a circle.
- 2. Round 1: Ch 1, sc in each ch, sl st to first sc to join.
- 3. Round 2: Ch 1, sc in between the posts of each sc, sl st to first sc to join.
- 4. Repeat Round 2 for remainder of project.