How To Master The Spike Stitch In Crochet To Get The Heads Turned?

Ready to make your crochet projects the talk of the town? Meet Spike Stitch, your new best friend in the crochet world. This eye-catching technique adds fabulous texture and a modern twist to any piece. 

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Spike Stitch

Whether you’re a seasoned crocheter or just picking up the hook, mastering the spike stitch offers endless creative possibilities. From chic scarves to cozy blankets, this stitch steals the spotlight. 

So grab your yarn and hooks; we’re diving into a step-by-step guide that will elevate your crochet game to head-turning heights! Let’s get stitching!

What Is A Spike Stitch? 

The spike stitch is a crochet technique that adds visual interest and texture to a fabric by elongating a basic stitch, such as a single crochet, half-double crochet, or double crochet. 

Instead of inserting the hook into the corresponding stitch in the row directly below, you insert it into a stitch one or more rows below the working row. This creates a “spike” of yarn that stretches down into the fabric, creating a decorative effect.

The spike stitch is a versatile technique often used for geometric designs, adding texture, or blending colors. Depending on how many rows below you insert your hook, you can create various lengths of spikes, giving the work a layered appearance. It’s a simple yet effective way to add a new dimension to your crochet projects.

What Are The Variations In Spike Stitch? 

The spike stitch offers multiple variations, allowing a wide range of creative expression. You can achieve different visual effects and textures by adjusting several factors, such as length, placement, and color. Here are some of the most popular variations:

  • Single-Spike Stitch: Using a basic single crochet stitch, the spike is created by inserting the hook in one or more rows below the working row.
  • Double-Spike Stitch: Similar to the single-spike, but uses a double crochet instead for a taller stitch.
  • Multi-Level Spike Stitch: Incorporate spikes of varying lengths in a single row or round to create a textured, layered look.
  • Clustered Spike Stitch: Multiple spike stitches are worked into the same base stitch, creating a clustered or bundled appearance.
  • Alternating Spike Stitch: Alternate between regular stitches and spike stitches within the same row or round to create a more subtle, rhythmic pattern.
  • Offset Spike Stitch: The spike stitches are staggered or offset in adjacent rows, creating zigzag or wave-like patterns.
  • Two-Color Spike Stitch: The spike stitches can produce a color-blocking or striping effect by changing colors between rows.
  • Diagonal Spike Stitch: Instead of inserting the hook directly below the working stitch, insert it diagonally to create a slanted spike.
  • Crossed Spike Stitch: Create a spike stitch that crosses over another stitch, forming an X or crisscross pattern.
  • Double-Layer Spike Stitch: Create spike stitches in two contrasting colors for a visually complex and vibrant pattern.
  • V-Stitch Spike: Incorporate a V-stitch and a spike stitch together to create a more intricate design.
  • Puff Spike Stitch: Combine puff stitches with spike stitches for a highly textured, cushion-like effect.

What Are The Basic Abbreviations For The Spike Stitch?

In crochet patterns, abbreviations are often used to simplify the instructions. For the spike stitch, there aren’t standardized abbreviations that are universally recognized, but here are some commonly used terms and their typical interpretations:

  • SC: Single Crochet (the base for a single crochet spike stitch)
  • DC: Double Crochet (the base for a double crochet spike stitch)
  • SpSt or Sps: Spike Stitch (sometimes seen in patterns)
  • 1-SpSt: One-row Spike Stitch (insert hook into the row immediately below)
  • 2-SpSt: Two-row Spike Stitch (insert hook two rows below)
  • 3-SpSt: Three-row Spike Stitch (insert hook three rows below)
  • Ch: Chain
  • St: Stitch
  • YO: Yarn Over
  • Rep: Repeat
  • Sk: Skip

RELATED: How To Craft Triple Stitch From Start To End

How To Choose The Right Yarn For The Spike Stitch?

Choosing the suitable yarn for a spike stitch project is an essential step in ensuring your finished work will look and feel as you intended. Here are some factors to consider when selecting yarn for spike stitches:

Yarn Weight

  • Light to Medium Weight: These are ideal for achieving well-defined spikes, especially for intricate patterns.
  • Heavy Weight: Not commonly used for spike stitch due to the risk of the work becoming too bulky, but can be effective for larger projects like rugs.

Yarn Texture

  • Smooth Yarn: A smoother yarn will provide cleaner, sharper spikes, making it easier to see the intricate details of the stitch.
  • Textured or Novelty Yarn: These can add extra flair but might obscure the details of the spike stitch.

Fiber Content

  • Natural Fibers: Cotton, wool, and bamboo are good choices for clarity and stitch definition.
  • Synthetic Fibers: Acrylic and polyester can also work well but may lack the crisp stitch definition of natural fibers.


  • Solid Colors: Great for highlighting the texture and depth of the spike stitch.
  • Variegated Yarn: Can create a fascinating visual effect, but be cautious as the color changes can sometimes distract from the spike stitch pattern.
  • Contrasting Colors: Using more than one color can bring attention to the spikes, especially if you’re going for a layered or multi-level effect.


  • Consider the purpose of your project. If it’s a household item like a rug, choose a durable yarn that is easy to wash.
  • Elasticity
  • Some stretch is good for maintaining the shape of the project, but too much elasticity may distort the spike stitch.


  • Always make a test swatch to see how the yarn behaves with the spike stitch. This will help you gauge if your chosen yarn will deliver the desired result.

Expert Recommendations

  • Check patterns, tutorials, and reviews to see what types of yarn others have successfully used for spike stitch projects.
Spike Stitch

How To Choose The Hook Size For The Spike Stitch?

Choosing the right hook size for your spike stitch project is crucial for achieving the desired tension, gauge, and final appearance. Here are some factors to consider:

Follow Pattern Recommendations

  • If you’re working from a pattern, it will usually specify a recommended hook size. Start with this as your baseline.

Test With Swatches

  • Create small swatches using different hook sizes to see which one gives you the desired stitch definition and drape.

Yarn Weight Matters

  • Lighter yarn often pairs well with smaller hooks (e.g., US sizes E-4 to H-8) for a tight, well-defined stitch.
  • Heavier yarn may require a larger hook (e.g., US sizes I-9 to K-10.5) to prevent the fabric from becoming too stiff.

Consider Tension

  • If you naturally crochet tightly, you might want to go up a hook size to avoid a stiff or contracted fabric.
  • A smaller hook may help you achieve a better stitch definition if you crochet loosely.

Spike Stitch Specifics

  • For spike stitches, you might opt for a hook with a pointier head to help ease into stitches several rows below the current row.

Hook’s Material

  • Aluminum or steel hooks tend to allow the yarn to glide more smoothly, which is helpful for intricate stitches like the spike stitch.
  • Wooden or bamboo hooks offer more friction, which can help control tension, but may need to be smoother for the spike stitch.

Hook Shape

  • Inline hooks can provide more control over the yarn and may be better for intricate stitch patterns.
  • Tapered hooks make entering and exiting stitches easier but may offer less control.

Project Purpose

  • Consider the function of the finished item. For example, a blanket might benefit from a looser gauge (larger hook), while a bag may require a tighter gauge (smaller hook) for durability.

Expert Advice

  • Consult other crocheters or resources that have experience with the spike stitch to learn what hook sizes they recommend.

What Is The Difference Between Types Of Spike Stitch?

The spike stitch in crochet offers a variety of types or variations, each with its own unique aesthetic and texture. Here’s a look at how different types of spike stitches vary:

Based On Stitch Length

  • Single-Spike Stitch: This is the most basic form, extending a single crochet stitch down to a row below the working row.
  • Double-Spike Stitch: Similar to the single-spike, but uses a double crochet stitch, creating a taller spike.

Based On Complexity

  • Simple Spike Stitch: All spike stitches are made to be the same length, creating a uniform pattern.
  • Multi-Level Spike Stitch: The lengths of the spikes vary within the same row or round, creating a layered, textured appearance.

Based On Arrangement

  • Alternating Spike Stitch: Regular stitches and spike stitches alternate within the same row or round.
  • Clustered Spike Stitch: Multiple spike stitches are grouped together into a cluster.
  • Offset Spike Stitch: The spike stitches are staggered or offset in adjacent rows, forming patterns like zigzags or waves.
  • Crossed Spike Stitch: One spike stitch crosses over another, creating an “X” or crisscross pattern.

Based On Color

  • Single-Color Spike Stitch: All spikes are of the same color, emphasizing texture over color variation.
  • Two-Color/Multi-Color Spike Stitch: Different colors are used for different rows, and the spikes bring colors from one row down into another, creating a color block or striping effect.

Specialty Variations

  • Diagonal Spike Stitch: The spike is made diagonally rather than vertically, adding a slanted effect.
  • V-Stitch Spike: Incorporates a V-stitch and a spike stitch to create a more intricate pattern.
  • Puff Spike Stitch: Combines puff stitches with spike stitches for a highly textured, cushion-like effect.

RELATED: A Step-By-Step Guide To Mastering The Puff Stitch Crochet

How To Count The Number Of Stitches?

Counting stitches in crochet is an essential skill that helps ensure your project turns out as expected. Here’s how to count stitches in general and specifically for spike stitches:

General Stitches

  • Top Loops: Look at the top of your crochet fabric. You’ll see a series of “V” shapes. Each “V” is one stitch.
  • Work Progression: As you work, you can use stitch markers to mark the first stitch of each row or round. This helps keep track as you go along.
  • Vertical Posts: For taller stitches like double crochet, you can count the vertical “posts” extending from one row to the next.

Spike Stitches

  • Visual Identification: Spike stitches are elongated, so they stand out visually. However, they still only count as one stitch at the top, just like a regular stitch.
  • Check the Base: When counting spike stitches, make sure to count them at the row they belong to, not where they extend down to.
  • Grouping: If you’re working with clustered or multi-level spike stitches, each individual spike stitch still counts as one at the top where it joins the working row.

How To Hold The Hook And The Yarn?

Holding the crochet hook and yarn correctly is essential for maintaining even tension, stitch consistency, and minimizing hand fatigue. While there’s no “one-size-fits-all” method, there are generally accepted ways to hold the hook and yarn that many find comfortable and efficient. Here’s a guide to help you get started:

Holding The Crochet Hook

  • Pencil Grip: Hold the hook as you would a pencil, with the thumb and index finger near the flat part of the hook (if there is one), and the other fingers supporting the back end. This grip is often considered more precise.
  • Knife Grip: Hold the hook like you would a knife, with the handle resting against your palm and your four fingers over the hook. Your thumb will be under the hook. This grip provides more leverage and is suitable for bulkier projects.
  • Adjusting for Comfort: Depending on the project and your preference, you may adjust your grip. Maintaining a relaxed hold is essential to prevent hand and wrist fatigue.

Holding The Yarn

  • Over the Index Finger: The most common way is to let the yarn run over your index finger and under the middle and ring fingers. This allows you to control tension with the index finger and gives the yarn a smooth path to the hook.
  • Pinch Technique: Use your thumb and middle finger to pinch the yarn that’s attached to your project (also known as the working yarn). This stabilizes the work and allows you to manipulate the hook more easily.
  • Wrap Technique: Some people prefer to wrap the yarn around their pinky finger for extra tension control. From there, the yarn can still go over the index finger.
Spike Stitch

Where To Insert The Crochet Hook In Spike Stitch?

In a spike stitch, the placement of your crochet hook varies based on how “spiky” you want the stitch to be—this is what gives the spike stitch its elongated appearance

Unlike traditional stitches, where you insert the hook into a stitch in the current working row, the spike stitch involves inserting the hook into a stitch in a previous row. Here’s how to do it:

Steps To Insert The Hook For A Basic Spike Stitch

  • Locate The Target Stitch: Look at the stitch directly below the next stitch you plan to work into. This is your “target stitch.”
  • Go Deeper For Longer Spikes: Count one or more rows further down from your target stitch for a longer spike. The deeper you go, the longer the spike will be.
  • Insert The Hook: Once you’ve decided which row you want your spike to reach down to, insert your crochet hook into that stitch. Ensure to go under both loops of the stitch unless the pattern specifies otherwise.
  • Yarn Over: With your hook inserted in the stitch from the lower row, yarn over.
  • Pull Up A Loop: Pull up a loop to the height of your current working row. This elongation creates the “spike.”
  • Finish The Stitch: Yarn over one more time and pull through both loops on the hook, just as you would complete a regular single crochet.


  • Maintain Tension: Maintaining even tension when pulling up the loop; otherwise, your spike stitch may end up too tight or loose.
  • Be Mindful of Spacing: To maintain a consistent pattern, keep an eye on the distance between your spike stitches, especially if you’re doing multiple rows of them.
  • Follow The Pattern: If you’re following a pattern, it will specify exactly where to insert your hook for each spike stitch.

What Is A Half And Double Stitch For The Crochet?

In crochet, both the half-double crochet (HDC) and the double crochet (DC) stitches are fundamental techniques used in various patterns. They differ in height, texture, and the number of yarn overs and pulls through loops. Here’s a breakdown of each:

Half-Double Crochet (HDC)

  • Yarn Over: Begin by wrapping the yarn over your crochet hook.
  • Insert Hook: Insert the hook into the desired stitch.
  • Yarn Over Again: Wrap the yarn over the hook once more.
  • Pull Through: Pull the yarn through the stitch. You’ll have three loops on your hook.
  • Yarn Over and Complete: Wrap the yarn over the hook again and pull it through all three loops on the hook. One half-double crochet is completed.

Characteristics Of HDC

  • Medium height (taller than a single crochet but shorter than a double crochet).
  • Provides a bit more texture than single crochet but less than double crochet.
  • It is commonly used for projects where you want some density and a bit of give, like hats and blankets.

Double Crochet (DC)

  • Yarn Over: Start by wrapping the yarn over your crochet hook.
  • Insert Hook: Insert the hook into the stitch where you want to make your double crochet.
  • Yarn Over Again: Wrap the yarn over the hook a second time.
  • Pull Through: Pull the yarn through the stitch. Now, you’ll have three loops on your hook.
  • Yarn Over and Pull Through Two: Wrap the yarn over again and pull through the first two loops on the hook. Two loops remain on the hook.
  • Yarn Over and Complete: Wrap the yarn over one last time and pull it through the remaining two loops. One double crochet is complete.

Characteristics Of DC

  • It’s taller than both the single and half-double crochet stitches.
  • Provides a looser fabric, which is suitable for lighter, more airy projects like shawls and scarves.
  • It’s a very common stitch that forms the basis for many variations and combinations.

Pattern Table For Spike Stitch

  • Stitch
  • Skill Level
  • Yarn Brand
  • Yarn Type
  • Yarn Weight
  • Hook Size
  • Category
  • Single-Spike Stitch
  • Beginner
  • Red Heart
  • Super Saver
  • Worsted
  • H-8 (5 mm)
  • Blankets
  • Double-Spike Stitch
  • Intermediate
  • Caron
  • Simply Soft
  • Worsted
  • H-8 (5 mm)
  • Scarves
  • Simple Spike Stitch
  • Beginner
  • Lion Brand
  • Vanna’s Choice
  • Aran
  • I-9 (5.5 mm)
  • Dishcloths
  • Multi-Level Spike Stitch
  • Advanced
  • Bernat
  • Softee Chunky
  • Bulky
  • J-10 (6 mm)
  • Cushion Covers
  • Alternating Spike Stitch
  • Intermediate
  • Paintbox Yarns
  • Simply DK
  • DK
  • G-6 (4 mm

Step-By-Step Instructions To Make A Spike Stitch

Skill Level

  • Beginner To Intermediate



  • This tutorial will focus on the basic single-spike stitch.
  • Each spike stitch is worked into a stitch in a row below the current working row.
  • Maintaining even tension is crucial for the appearance of the spike stitches.


Foundation Chain

  • Start by making a foundation chain. The length should be the desired width of your project plus 3 extra chains (for turning). For this example, let’s say 23 chains.

Row 1: Single Crochet Base

  • Turn your chain and make single crochets: Start from the second chain from the hook and single crochet across each chain. You should have 22 single crochets. Turn your work.

Row 2: Spike Stitch Row

  • Chain 1 to turn (This does not count as a stitch).
  • Single crochet in the first stitch: This sets up the “base” for your spike stitches.
  • Make your first spike stitch: Yarn over and insert your hook into the corresponding stitch in Row 1, one row below the next stitch you’re about to work into. Yarn over again and pull up a loop to the height of your current working row. Yarn over one more time and pull through both loops on the hook.
  • Single crochet in the next stitch: This anchors your spike stitch.
  • Repeat Steps 3-4 across the row, alternating between spike stitches and single crochets.

Subsequent Rows

  • For a simple spike stitch pattern, you can continue to alternate rows of single crochet with rows of spike stitches.
  • For more advanced patterns, you can start incorporating different variations of spike stitches, as described earlier.

Finishing Up

  • Last Row: End with a row of single crochets to give your work a finished edge.
  • Cut the Yarn: Leave a 6-inch tail.
  • Fasten Off: Pull the tail through the last loop on your hook.
  • Weave in Ends: Use a tapestry needle to weave in your ends.

RELATED: How To Double Stitch Make The Perfect Double Stitch Crochet

What Is Spike Stitch Used For?

The spike stitch is a versatile crochet technique that can be used in various projects, both for aesthetic and functional purposes. Here’s a rundown of some common uses:

Aesthetic Applications

  • Visual Interest: The elongated nature of spike stitches can add a unique visual dynamic to an otherwise simple pattern, providing texture and depth.
  • Design Features: They can be used to create geometric designs, zigzags, or even symbolic shapes like hearts or letters when combined thoughtfully.
  • Color Play: When worked in multiple colors, spike stitches can create striking patterns without the complexity of tapestry or intarsia crochet.

Functional Uses

  • Reinforcement: The spike stitch can add density to certain project areas, making it more durable. This is particularly useful in items like bags or rugs that must withstand wear and tear.
  • Layering: Because spike stitches reach down into previous rows, they can create a layered effect that adds a bit of extra warmth to projects like blankets and winter wear.
  • Surface Texture: The raised nature of the stitch creates a tactile surface, which can be helpful in projects like dish scrubbers or bath mats.

What Can I Make With Spike Stitch?

The spike stitch offers a striking visual element and added texture, making it an excellent choice for a wide variety of crochet projects. Here are some ideas on what you can make using this versatile stitch:


Home Décor

  • Blankets And Afghans: The spike stitch can create a focal point or be repeated for an all-over design.
  • Cushion Covers: Use spike stitches to add a trendy touch to your living room.
  • Table Runners and Placemats: Spike stitches can add a touch of elegance or whimsy to your dining table.
  • Wall Hangings: Combine spike stitches with other crochet techniques for a textured wall feature.
  • Rugs: The extra density of spike stitches can add durability to floor rugs.

Kitchen & Bath

Bags & Accessories

Baby Items

  • Baby Blankets: Spike stitch patterns can make a delightful baby gift.
  • Booties And Hats: Add some spike stitches for extra style points.
  • Baby Clothes: Consider adding a spike stitch trim to a baby dress or onesie for a unique touch.

Pet Accessories

  • Pet Blankets: Use spike stitch to make durable and comfy blankets for your furry friends.
  • Pet Sweaters: Add some fashionable flair to Fido’s winter wardrobe.
  • Leashes And Collars: Customize your pet’s walking gear with some textured details.


  • Bookmarks: A simple and quick project that’s also a great way to use up scrap yarn.
  • Keychains: Small and quick, these make excellent gifts and offer a great way to practice spike stitches.
  • Jewelry: Believe it or not, a fine yarn and a smaller hook can turn spike stitches into attractive bracelets or necklaces.

Basic Crochet Skills Required

If you’re interested in mastering the spike stitch, you must understand some basic crochet stitches well. Here are the fundamental skills you should know:

Chain Stitch (ch)

  • The chain stitch serves as the foundation row in most crochet projects.

How To Chain Stitch

  • Make a slipknot and place it on your hook.
  • Yarn over and pull through the loop on your hook.
  • Repeat as many times as needed for your project.

Single Crochet (sc)

  • The single crochet stitch is one of the simplest and most commonly used stitches in crochet.

How To Single Crochet

  • Insert your hook into the stitch you want to work into.
  • Yarn over and pull up a loop.
  • Yarn over again and pull through both loops on your hook.

Double Crochet (dc)

  • The double crochet stitch is another basic but versatile stitch that adds height and texture to your work.

How To Double Crochet

  • Yarn over and insert your hook into the stitch you want to work into.
  • Yarn over and pull up a loop (three loops on the hook).
  • Yarn over and pull through the first two loops on the hook.
  • Yarn over again and pull through the remaining two loops on your hook.

Tips And Tricks For Mastering The Spike Stitch

How To Avoid Common Mistakes

  • Uneven Tension: Make sure you maintain consistent tension when pulling up the elongated loop for your spike stitch. Uneven tension can make the stitches look irregular.
  • Incorrect Hook Placement: Make sure to insert your hook in the correct row and stitch to get the desired length and spacing for your spikes. Following the pattern carefully can prevent this issue.
  • Inconsistent Spacing: To ensure your spikes are evenly spaced, either count the stitches between each spike or use stitch markers to indicate where each spike should go.
  • Running Out of Yarn: Spike stitches consume more yarn than standard stitches. Ensure you have enough yarn, especially if using multiple colors.

Ideas For Customizing Your Spike Stitch

  • Size: Adjust the length of your spikes by choosing different rows to insert your hook into. This can make your spikes short, medium, or long.
  • Color: Get creative with colors to make your spike stitches pop. You can make each spike a different color, use gradient yarn, or create patterns with color changes.
  • Placement: You don’t have to follow a regular pattern for your spike stitches. Randomly placing spikes can create a unique, organic look.

Advanced Variations For More Experienced Crocheters

  • Clustered Spike Stitches: This involves creating multiple spike stitches into the same base stitch. It creates a clustered, leaf-like effect.
  • Crossed Spike Stitches: Create a spike stitch and then make another one that crosses over it, inserting your hook into a stitch to the left or right of the first spike.
  • Alternating Spike Heights: Vary the length of the spike stitches within a single row for a more dynamic, textured look.
  • Layered Spikes: Work spikes on top of spikes in contrasting colors for a unique, multi-layered effect.
  • Spike Stitch Lace: Combine spike stitches with chain spaces and other lace stitches to create delicate, intricate patterns.
  • Intarsia Spike Stitches: Use the intarsia technique to change colors within a spike stitch, creating a multi-color spike.
  • Textured Spike Stitches: Combine spike stitches with popcorn, bobble, or puff stitches for a richly textured fabric.

RELATED: A Step-By-Step Guide To Master The Half Double Stitch Easily At Home

Key Takeaways

  • Mastering the spike stitch requires a good grasp of basic crochet stitches like chain stitch, single crochet, and double crochet.
  • Consistent tension is crucial for creating even and visually appealing spike stitches.
  • The spike stitch consumes more yarn than regular stitches, so plan your yarn supply accordingly.
  • Choose a smooth, medium-weight yarn and an appropriate hook size to make your spike stitches stand out.
  • The spike stitch adds both visual interest and textural depth, making it versatile for a wide range of projects.
  • Customizing spike length, color, and placement allows for endless creativity and uniqueness in your projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Basic Stitches Do I Need To Know Before Learning The Spike Stitch?

You should be comfortable with chain stitch, single crochet, and double crochet before tackling the spike stitch.

How Do I Choose The Right Yarn For My Spike Stitch Project?

Opt for a smooth, medium-weight yarn to start, as textured or bulky yarns can make it hard to see your stitches clearly.

Can I Use Any Hook Size For A Spike Stitch Pattern?

Your hook size should match the yarn weight and meet the gauge requirements for your specific pattern.

Why Does My Spike Stitch Look Uneven Or Twisted?

Uneven tension is usually the culprit. Make sure you’re pulling your yarn consistently when creating each spike.

Can I Customize The Length And Placement Of My Spikes?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different lengths and placements to create your own unique pattern.

Sarah Reed