Knitting a Shell Stitch

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Adding decorative stitches to your knitting projects is a fun way to turn up the volume on Stockinette stitch. In this video, knitting expert Corrina Ferguson demonstrates how to work a shell stitch, which provides a pretty detail to any pattern.

The shell stitch is created by working elongated stitches into Stockinette (knit on Right Side/purl on Wrong Side). The elongated stitches are twisted and worked together to give the fabric the look of a small seashell. A small “crown” of purl stitches is added to the top of the stitches to complete the stitch pattern.

The shell itself is worked over 5 stitches. On the Wrong Side of the fabric elongated stitches are created by double wrapping the yarn when working the purl stitches. On the Right Side, these extra wraps are dropped to elongate the stitch. The shell is then created as follows:

1. Slip 5 stitches purlwise to right needle, dropping the extra wraps off the needle to elongate the stitches.
2. Slip the 5 stitches purlwise back to left needle.
3. Slip first 3 stitches together knitwise (as if to knit three together).
4. Slip the 3 stitches purlwise back to left needle.
5. (k5tog, yo, k5tog, yo, k5tog) into all 5 elongated stitches.

SHELL STITCH

This stitch pattern is worked over a multiple of 6 plus 1 stitches as follows:

Row 1 (RS): Knit all sts.
Row 2 (WS): P4, *p5 wrapping yarn twice around needle for each stitch, p1; rep from * to last 3 sts, p3.
Row 3: K3, *k1, make shell; rep from * to last 4 sts, k4.
Row 4: Purl all sts.
Row 5: K3, *k1, p5; rep from * to last 4 sts, k4.
Row 6: Purl all sts.
Row 7: Knit all sts.
Row 8: P1, *p5 wrapping yarn twice around needle for each stitch, p1; rep from * to end.
Row 9: *K1, make shell; rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 10: Purl all sts.
Row 11: *K1, p5; rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 12: Purl all sts.

Rep Rows 1 – 12 for pattern.

SPECIAL ABBREVIATION

Make Shell: Slip 5 sts to right needle, dropping extra loops, slip all 5 back to left needle, slip 3 sts together knitwise, then slip these 3 sts back to left needle (3 sts will now be twisted), then work (k5tog, yo, k5tog, yo, k5tog) into all 5 sts.

ABBREVIATIONS

k: knit
p: purl
st(s): stitch(es)
rep: repeat
RS: Right Side
WS: Wrong Side