Shell Stitch Mitts

Hello lovely people!

I’m super-excited about today’s post… I have conquered shell stitch and am sooooooooo proud of myself!  For those of you who have just met my blog, I only learned to crochet in April, so about two and a half months ago, so it’s all quite new and exciting for me.  Shell stitch is the first stitch I’ve tried other than the usual sc, hdc, dc, tc etc etc… and it took me a while!  More than a few tries in fact… until finally I cracked it.

But before I begin my tribute to shell stitch… I must thank you for all the good wishes you are sending Raymond!  He’s feeling a lot better now and is playing with his mice and scratching his scratch post like a mad-cat.

These are his mice by the way… they are probably the only thing that stop him from moving in with our downstairs neighbour, but that’s a story for another post….


Nearly blind and deaf, these poor things are covered in his spit… he’s so funny, he is completely and utterly addicted to them.  he plays with them on average about 15 times per day and they are the first thing he goes to when he comes inside.  It’s quite hilarious.

But enough about Raymond… I’m all about shell stitch today!

 So I had a hunt on the WWW for a pattern and discovered two things. 

1.  There are thousands of patterns for shell stitch which are all identical

2.  I could not find a comprehensive, easy to follow pattern.

So back to my rocking chair, I tried and tried and tried… narrowly averted a few tantrums, put it down then picked it up IMMEDIATELY.  “Shell stitch, you are not going to get the better of me” I said… then…

I got it!  And I’m so so glad I persevered, because I love shell stitch, and the mitts I’m bursting to show you are my faves so far.  So here is my step-by-step tutorial  on shell stitching some mitts to keep those lovely crafty hands warm.  Because we need to take care of our hands, they are the source of so much joy for us aren’t they?

Before we begin, click here for a complete and professional pattern.  So follow this along with my pictures as I do believe that I may talk you into a tangle trying to explain AND put the pattern!!!  So now you’ve got both windows up, you can go between them. 

OK.  Shell stitch mitts.  I used 8ply wool and a 4mm hook.  It needs to be done in multiples of 6 plus 2 extra stitches.  I did oooh… um…I think 5 lots of 6 (eek, forgotten already!) but measure it around your hand and make sure the ends meet.  It is quite a stiff fabric, and I can’t see it stretching a lot.  So ch 32. (or more or less depending on your hand size… ) Row 1.  sc into 2nd chain from hook.  Skip 2 ch, 5dc into next chain.  Repeat until end of row.  (you should end on a sc into the last ch).  Ch3  turn.  Row 2.  2dc into end sc… now here’s where I got majorly stuck.

But here’s a photo of the first three rows just quickly…

So quickly look at the pattern in the other window… 1sc, 5dc… that’s all you do, but it’s WHERE you do these stitches that’s tricky.  We left off with 3ch and 2dc into end sc… now sc into the MIDDLE dc from the previous row.  Just into the top stitches.  Now, 5dc into the sc in the previous row.  This is where the wave dips.  This next photo shows where to do these 5dc… see where the bigger hook is pointing?

You literally want to do your 5dc into the middle of the sc from the previous row… it’s a lot lower than you might think to do these stitches, which is where I got completely and utterly stuck.  The patterns don’t tell you this, they just expect you to know!  I sure didn’t!   Here’s my hook inserted into the sc…

And the 5dc completed.  Phew!  Am I confusing you?  I sure am confusing myself…

And from here on in, continue with the pattern.  sc into middle stitch of the 5dc from previous row, then 5dc into sc from previous row. 

Time just whizzed by as I shelled and shelled… it hooks up very quickly!

Getting bigger….

Until it was long enough for my liking!  Mine are 22 rows… I made them short because the fabric is not so flexible… so the shortness of them means I can move my wrists easily.  I LOVE the waveyness of the edge…

So much in fact, here’s a close-up…

And a super-zoomed in close up of the shells!

I sewed them up, business as usual… along the edge, until they were the right fit for my hand, leaving a thumb hole… then sc around the edge of the thumb hole for extra strength…

Then whizzed around the edge with my favourite green and ta-daaa!  This is a true ta-daa moment for me here…. I am totally, completely and utterly loving these shell-stitch mitts.

The beautiful bright colours are rocking my world… it’s another dreary, grey day and freezing with it… I think the colours are going to my head… I want to embellish them with flowers…

Or maybe these ones…

What do you think?

I hope this was a useful how-to with the shell stitch… I am so keen on it, I know there will be more mitts made soon!  I think it would make good scarves too, just with a bigger hook.  Oh dear… I’m so inspired, you’ll have to excuse me, I must go and create.

Have a lovely day, from Alice and Raymond XX

p.s I’m so glad that so many of you were inspired by the goodness of Mrs Twins!  I loved reading your comments about her project and how much you enjoyed her blog… looking forward to seeing her appear on your blogs too!  XXX

About Crochet with Raymond

I'm a crochet obsessed, reiki master, crystal healing, yoga junkie, counselling student, in a happy long term relationship... and Raymond's mum!
This entry was posted in Crochet Goodness, Patterns. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Shell Stitch Mitts

  1. Louise says:

    Hi I found you!!! Thanks for the comment on my blog. Yep the granny jacket is teensey just now but its not done yet. The link that is with my post shows an adult finished jacket. You just keep going round until it fits you. I believe that its a traditional way of making baby garments. Wow only crocheting since April well done keep going it will claim your life. Mwar har har har (evil laughter?)

  2. megan says:

    i can’t believe you only learnt how to crochet back in april! there’s hope for me yet! your shell stitched mitts look fab🙂

  3. Raymond is absolutely beautiful! I’ve probably said that before, haven’t I?! Just can’t help it! That shell stitch is lovely isn’t it………….. and the finished mitts are fab, well done! Love Vanessa xxx

  4. Amanda says:

    Don’t you just love getting the hang of new stitches? I taught myself to crochet in 2006 and stuck to the basics for a long time, but when I had a go at other stitches it was so much fun (although, my first non-basic stitch was a basketweave stitch for a baby blanket that is still unfinished because that particular stitch seems to take so long!) I think you are doing marvellously to say you only started crocheting in April – you have come such a long way in such a short time, I seriously thought you had been doing it for much, much longer!

    Glad to hear that Raymond is feeling much better and he has his mice to keep him entertained.

  5. Mrs Twins says:

    These mitts are gorgeous! I have been doing the stitch for some years. Making a lot of blankets for my twins years ago, pram blankets, dolls blankets.
    Its really nice and crochets up so quickly.
    Did you paint your nails especially for the photo shoot!🙂
    Lovely colour!
    Hugs Suex

  6. frances says:

    Alice, how grand!! So love those mitts of yours. Ohhhhh, my list is growing, I can’t seem to keep up. Next week I hope to tackle more of my yarn stash tho. Those colours are perfect together too. (Shhhhh, but I bought more yarn today, lol, oh I am so naughty)

    Raymond, love your mice mates, and so glad to hear you are feeling less sniffly today.

  7. Bianca says:

    I only learnt to crochet around April too! You’re doing so much better than me though. I can really only crochet in the round well – so granny’s and circles, awesome….anything that requires crochet in a line I can’t get the grasp of turning corners and where to start the first stitches!

    I am going to sit down and go over your post on the weekend, see if I can’t sort myself out the shell stitch too! I am thinking I might do a series of washers in different stitches.

    You’ve inspired me!

  8. Brilliant mitts!!! Love the colour….have I seen that somewhere before?? 😉 Your tutorial is fine, I was able to follow along without any trouble. Well done!

    I love both those flowers what about one on each hand??

    Raymond must be addicted to the cat-nip in those mice!!! He sure loves them to death doesn’t he!! I will have to get some for Hamish although that might mean he has to get up off the lounge 🙂

    PS look up crochet cats on You Tube and there is a tutorial there for a version of the shell stitch that when you make it up it looks like little kittens….maybe you could make Raymond a blankie 🙂

  9. Patz says:

    WOW :-D… As Frances says above: can’t quite keep up with my list of TtMs (Things to Make ^^). Beautiful, and well done cracking it! I am completely addicted to the ripple at the moment, and have not even considered trying out new stitches😮. But when the time comes, I shall try out this beautiful one, and if it’s still winter (mmmm… ;-p) I shall make myself some gorgeous mitts just like you (rhoo). And personally, I loooove the 2d flower’s colours with your mitts.
    Clever Raymond; I love your mice too!

  10. Penelope says:

    Oh Alice, thank you thank you for this fab tutorial, I have only ever “shelled” around my crochet creations as a border but now I am just as addicted to crocheting scalloped shell mitts. My little Alice who is almost 10 has put her order in and so I got hooky last night and have almost finished the first one for her, in a purple scottish tweed. Although its very hot here in blighty I am thinking of the chills of winter that will eventually come and these will keep her little creative hands happy xox

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