Crochet Openshell Tutorial

Crochet openshell tutorial

Learn to crochet Openshell pattern

One of the things I’ve struggled with the most is to read those old crochet charts. You know, the ones with weird symbols and no text at all! But fortunately if you’ve learned to make one, you learned them all. They pretty much follow the same principles. I will try to break down the pattern in this Crochet Openshell Tutorial. This is the old picture chart I found:

I know! This looks confusing and a lot of crocheters will immediately be intimidated and think “I can’t do that, that look too hard”. And that’s a petty, because these old patterns are a lot of times wonderful. There’s not a lot of people who makes these anymore. And it’s actually not that hard when you get in the rhythm.

The symbols

These charts almost always use the same symbols, in this one this is the ones you will use:

Openshell tutorial symbols

Not that bad huh? (And we will not even use the slipstitch)


This one is easy to start. It’s just a lot of chaining. And it doesn’t matter how many. Really! You can just stop right were you are in the pattern. If the next stitch on top of the last one is a treble crochet you just make 4 chains for turning. That makes a fine straight edge.

Breaking down the pattern

I will break this pattern down row by row. I apologise for the lack of aesthetics, I’ve tried to make the pattern readable, not beautiful.

Row 1

This is the first row (after the starting chain)

Openshell crochet tutorial

It’s just a repeat of Chain 5, skip 3, singlecrochet. The arrows mark the 3 stitches you need to skip. So you single crochet in !st stitch, chain 5, single crochet in 5th stitch. It looks like this:

 Row 2

The next row has the first treble crochet:

Openshell crochet tutorial

Now this is where the picture chart comes in handy. This would be incredible complicated to write out. But the basic is: In on of the “loops” you made in the last row you crochet in 7 x treblecrochets. Then you singlecrochet into the middle of the next “loop” and the chain 5 and singlecrochet into next “loop” again. You will have 3 new “loops” in between each treblecrochet clusters. It will look like this:

Crochet Openshell tutorial

Row 3

Now it’s time for the 3rd row:


Crochet openshell tutorial

Here we go: You will still crochet 7 treblecrochets, but this time you will chain one in between. On the last treblecrochet (where you attach it to the “loop” from the last row, you will not make a chain). In between the clusters you will still chain the “loops”, but now it’s only 2 loops. It will look like this:

Crochet openshell tutorial

Row 4

Openshell crochet tutorial

I’m guessing you are starting to get the pattern right? Still 7 treblecrochet but with two chains in between, and now only one “loop” in between the clusters. It will look like this:

Crochet openshell tutorial  The loop got a little flat here, but you get the point.

Row 5

Openshell crochet tutorial

I’m sorry about the quality of this one. But it says x5 in the clusters. Here you are going to crochet 5 doublecrochet (not treble) with one single crochet in between. You will not make a cluster in the “loop” from the last row, only single crochet into them. It will look like this:

Crochet openshell tutorial

Same problem – it says x5 on the clusters.

Row 6 – last row

Almost done!!

Openshell crochet tutorial

Now you are going to make a “chain 5, singlecrochet” row again. But with the one difference: In the two “lowest” clusters from the row before you make one single crochet in each with no chain between. Looks like this:

Crochet openshell tutorial


That’s it!

If you want a new one, you just start from row 1 again. Hope this crochet openshell tutorial helped you understanding those great old picture charts. If you have any questions you are welcome to comment here and I will get back to you.

/Love Sara

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