Broken Shell Stitch Crochet Pattern

broken shell stitch crochet pattern

A new easy crochet stitch tutorial, the broken shell crochet stitch is now a free crochet stitch pattern on the blog. Read about how to use it, the yarn and stitch bundle it is a part of or scroll down for the free pattern.

No time right now? Pin this broken shell stitch pattern for later!

Broken shell stitch crochet pattern FREE

*This post contains affiliate links (only for products I love, use and spend my own money on obviously). This means I earn some yarn money if you make a purchase through one of these links (of course at no extra cost for you!), which I promise to use to create more awesome patterns like this one. In addition, some posts are sponsored by yarn companies. All opinions are my own. See my full disclosure here

What to make with the Broken Shells crochet stitch?

The broken shell stitch is an easy open stitch. It can easily be worked in one color or combining different colors depending on the project and desired effect.

Great for shawls and summer garments.

broken shell crochet stitch pattern

Crochet Stitch Bundle

Striking stitches crochet pattern bundle

This easy crochet stitch is part of the Striking Stitches CAL (crochet along). Join the fun and discover all-new crochet stitches here.

All stitch tutorials are available on our blogs but if you want a printable PDF version for easy recording and to take notes etc. You can grab the bundle with all 8 stitches here.

Sometimes it’s just easier to have a stitch dictionary on hand when you’re deciding on your next project rather than having to search online and remember where you saved that stitch you want to use.

Before You Start


  • 5.5 mm / US I – 9 hook. 
  • Worsted weight yarn. I used WeCrochet Dishie (worsted weight, 100% cotton, 174 m/190 yd, 100g/3.5 Oz) which has an amazing stitch definition which really helps when learning new stitches.
  • Tapestry needle to weave in the ends. I love this set as it has different eye sizes for different yarn thicknesses and it comes in a small tube which is very convenient so I don’t lose them.


The pattern is written for a 15cm by 15cm / 6” by 6” square.  You can easily adapt the size to your desired project size with the stitch multiple info below.

Stitch Multiple

The pattern needs a multiple of 5 + 1 number of stitches; your starting chain will be a multiple of 5 + 3 for an extra turning chain.


The gauge for this pattern is 20 st by 5.5 rows in stitch pattern for a 10 cm by 10 cm square (4” by 4”).


This pattern uses US notations.

  • st = stitch
  • ch = chain
  • dc = double crochet
  • skip = miss
free knitting and crochet cheatsheets


Work instructions between [] the indicated number of times or until the end of the row.

The final number of stitches is indicated at the end of the row between < >.

The turning ch 1, ch 2, ch 3 don’t count as a stitch throughout the pattern except if mentioned otherwise.

Stitches above a ch-1 space are worked in the ch-1 space except if mentioned otherwise.

The pattern is written in crochet shorthand.  For example:

  • “sc 1” means to single crochet in the next stitch,
  • “sc 2” means to single crochet in each of the next 2 stitches,
  • and “2 sc” means to single crochet twice in the next st.

All pictures show lefthanded crochet. All stitches are symmetrical and can be worked by both right and lefthanded crocheters.

Tips and Tricks

When working the broken shell stitch with an uneven number of colors, you can carry the colors up the side, avoiding too many ends to weave in.

You can then hide the float lines with a border or in a seam depending on the project.

Special Stitches

  • Shell = (2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) worked in the same st

The Broken Shell Stitch Tutorial

With your 5.5mm / US I- 9 hook ch 29 with color A,

Row 1: Dc in third ch from hook, skip 2, shell in next st, [skip 4, shell in next st] across ending with 3 chains after last shell, skip 2, dc in last ch. <5 shells + 2 dc>

Switch to color B.

Row 2: Ch 2, dc, shell in each shell’s ch-3 space across, dc in last dc, turn.

broken shell crochet stitch tutorial

Repeat Row 2 with color C then alternate colors A, B, C until you reach 15 cm / 6”.


When you’re done with the crocheting part, make sure to weave in all the ends.

To make your stitch pattern even prettier and help straighten your edges block your project lightly.

Don’t skip this step as it can make a huge difference. Read my detailed tutorial on why block, how-to, and all my tips and tricks if you need help.

More Crochet Stitches You'll Love View All

free knitting and crochet cheatsheets

You Might Also Like