Have you heard that there are two different ways to decrease in single crochet? There are! You can choose to use the traditional single crochet decrease (sc2tog) or the invisible decrease. So, with these two options, how do you know which decrease to use?
How to Decrease
First, make sure you familiarize yourself with both decrease methods. Both techniques reduce two single crochet stitches into one, lessening the number of total stitches in the round or row you’re working.
The traditional single crochet decrease involves inserting your hook into two consecutive stitches while working the stitch. You can learn more details about this decrease here. The invisible decrease is similar, but is worked into the front loops only, which gives a less bulky result with fewer gaps. Learn how to perform the invisible decrease here.
Deciding When to Sc2tog or Invisible Decrease
So, which decrease should you be using? Well, that depends entirely on the project you’re crocheting! The traditional single crochet decrease (sc2tog) is best when working in rows, especially if the finished object will be seen from both sides. Blankets, scarves, and some garments would fall into this category. In addition, anytime rows require you to work into the back loop only (BLO) or the front loop only (FLO), a sc2tog stitch is perfect.
In contrast, the invisible decrease is perfect for making amigurumi (and if you love amigurumi patterns, I’ve got some free ones here)! Amigurumi looks smoother and neater when made with invisible decreases because there are fewer gaps for stuffing to poke through. The whole result is much cleaner. Other patterns that will only be seen from the outside, and where you’re working in the round, like baskets or hats, are also great projects for trying the invisible decrease.
See the Difference
Let’s look at the difference the invisible decrease can make when used in a stuffed piece. I’ve crocheted two simple spheres, much like some shapes you’d see in amigurumi. The sphere on the left was worked with traditional single crochet decreases. The sphere on the right was worked with invisible decreases.
You can see that the tops of both spheres look the same, but the bottoms do not! The one on the left (made with sc2tog) has more gaps and a bulkier look. The sphere on the right (made with invdec) has a cleaner, smoother look.
As another example, take a look at this video by Meghan Makes Do where she shows the difference as well. So, the next time you’re crocheting something like amigurumi, give the invisible decrease a try! I think you’ll love the result.
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