They say the grass is always greener on the other side, and if you are a crocheter, that grass might just look a little cable knit (or like some 1x1 ribbing)! That makes it all the more fun to be able to pull off some of those classic knit textures all with our beloved crochet. Below you'll find my five favorite techniques for crochet that looks like knitting!
When I say "looks like knitting," what does that mean, exactly. While knitting is versatile, and can look a million different ways, there are some textures that will pop into most people's minds when you say "knit." Those are ribbing, cables and that "V" shaped, classic knit stitch. And each of the stitches below can pull off one or more of those textures.
1. Back Loop
This is the easiest, most beginner friendly way to start making your crochet look more like knitting.
To work into the back loop of a stitch, examine the top of your crochet stitch. You'll see a little V and one leg of the V is closer to you and one is further away. The further loop is the "back loop."
When you work your stitches into the back loop instead of the whole stitch, it leaves the front loop visible, giving a ribbed texture that mimics ribbing styles in knitting.
The trick to getting this technique to look more like knitting is to use the shortest stitch you can! What I mean is, double crochet won't look as good as half double. Half double won't look as much like knitting as single crochet and if you only work slip stitches into the back loops...
...Woah, does that look like knitting or what?!
A trade-off with back loop slip stitches is that it can be tedious. But, if you have the patience, it can give a ribbing effect to the cuff of hats or sweaters that you'd only dreamed of making with crochet!
2. Camel Stitch
Taking the back loop hack one step further, we have the camel stitch. This is a stitch that can only be done with half double crochet.
So to start, you'll make a row of half double crochets.
When working flat, you'll see a bar on the front of your work. It's in front of the front leg of your stitch. When you work another row of half double crochets up under that front bar, you'll get the camel stitch!
By working up under that front bar, it causes your whole stitch to lay to one side, giving that illusive V of the knit stitch. Worked flat, this stitch creates a deep ribbed texture but where the camel stitch really shines is in the round.
If you're working in the round, that front bar will actually be in the back. Behind your back loop. You can work down into that back bar now, which is a bit easier than how it's worked flat.
This beautiful stitch looks just like knitting in almost every way...except the stitch lays the wrong way.
Oh camel stitch...so close yet so far. But a horizontal knit stitch can still be beautiful on a hat or headband. I used this stitch in a crochet turban pattern for example and the fact that the little V's laid sideways worked out perfectly!
3. Front Post/Back Post
Front post and back post double crochet is often the first kind of crochet ribbing you'll learn. And while it doesn't give quite the same "V" shape of the other techniques, it does provide an easy ribbed texture for the cuffs of sweaters or hats that work seamlessly if you're working top-down.
That's why this is the most popular ribbing method in crochet in both new and old patterns alike. For either a front or back post double crochet, you'll need at least one row of double crochet.
To do a front post: Insert your hook front-to-back and weave it behind the dc post below that you want to stick out. Pull a loop from the front, around the back of the post and make a double crochet.
To do a back post:
Insert your hook back-to-front and weave it in front of the dc post below that you want to recess to the back. Pull a loop from the back, around the front of the post and make a double crochet.
But the usefulness of fp/bpdc doesn't stop at ribbing. You can also do cables!
The basics of crochet cables is to skip ahead as you work, putting one fpdc, around a post a few stitches away, then go back and work the stitches you skipped. The order in which you do this determines the direction and shape of your cable.
There are nearly infinite crochet cable combos and they can get pretty complex! If you're looking for somewhere to start, check out my free crochet cable headband pattern here
4. Waistcoat Stitch
The waistcoat stitch is easy, gives you that knit-look V shape and can be worked flat or in the round. But as with most things that are too good to be true, there's a catch.
It's REALLY thick. That's why you usually see this stitch used in baskets, typically with a stretchy yarn like t-shirt yarn. Using a stretchy yarn will make this stitch a little easier on you because it can be quite tight to work and consider going up a hook size.
To work the waistcoat stitch, you'll need a row of regular, single crochet.
Then you'll work another row of single crochets into the center of the previous stitch. And unlike most single crochet, you'll need to work into the turning chain to maintain your stitch count when working flat.
Similarly to camel stitch, waistcoat stitch reaches its full "knit-look" potential when worked in the round.
So if you have a project in mind that needs a super sturdy, thick stitch (think rug, hanging planter, purse) you can really crochet something that looks like knitting using the waistcoat stitch.
5. Surface Crochet
Surface crochet is a supplementary way to add some knitted flair to your project after the fact. I already have a full post about surface crochet you can check out here.
You'll hold your yarn behind a piece of crochet, fasten on, and as long as you keep the yarn in the back, you can slip stitch along the surface of your work. This makes little knit-look V's anywhere you put them on one side of your work.
I've employed this technique in a couple of my patterns and as I mention check out (one of my most popular) blog posts here!
I hope you found these tips helpful and are inspired to add some new techniques to your next project! Make sure to check out the complimentary video series I did for my Youtube channel on knit-look crochet. And if you give any of these stitches a try, let me know on Instagram, Ravelry or Facebook. I'd love to see it!