Crochet In the Front or Back Loops of a Stitch

Working the front or back loops only of a stitch will leave a horizontal bar exposed on the fabric.  The fabric will tend to be more elastic than when working under both loops, and it is possible to create interesting textural effects when working under a single loop only.

You can crochet in the front or back loop only of any crochet stitch.   The photos below demonstrate crocheting in the front and back loop of double crochet stitches using double crochet stitches. 

Anatomy of a Crochet Stitch:  Pictured to the left is a crochet fabric made of 2 rows of double crochet stitches.  Following are some definitions of the parts of a crochet stitch:
    • Post:  The post of the stitch is the main vertical portion of the stitch.
    • Front/Back Loop:  The upper part of the stitch is defined by 2 loops.  The front loop is the loop that is closest, the back loop is the one that is farthest from you.
    • Top of the Stitch:  This is the space just underneath the front and back loops and above the 3rd horizontal thread of the stitch.  Unless instructions direct otherwise, this is the spot where the hook should be inserted to create a crochet stitch.
    • Between Stitches:  Underneath all horizontal threads of the stitch and between the posts of the crochet stitches is the spot where you should insert your hook if directed to work between crochet stitches.

    Standard Crochet Location

    Here's a look at the standard location for inserting the hook to make a crochet stitch.  Note that it is below the front and back loops.

    Working the Back Loop

    To work in the back loop of a stitch, insert your hook underneath the back loop only and make the stitch as indicated.

    Working the Front Loop

    To work in the front loop of a stitch, insert your hook underneath the front loop only and make the stitch as indicated.

    A Completed Fabric

    Shown at left is a fabric with the top row worked under either the front or the back loop.  Notice that the stitches worked in the front loops will leave a horizontal bar on the side of the work opposite you, and stitches worked in the back loops leave a horizontal bar visible underneath the stitch on the side of the work facing you.