What Does FLO Mean in Crochet?

What Does FLO Mean in Crochet? A Concise Explanation

When it comes to crochet, understanding various techniques and stitches is essential for creating stunning and intricate designs. One such technique is known as “FLO,” which stands for “front loop only.” This method allows crocheters to add depth and texture to their projects.

By working in the “front loop only”, crocheters can create distinctive patterns and designs that set their work apart from others. Furthermore, mastering this technique enables crocheters to explore new design possibilities and improve their overall craft.

Key Takeaways

  • FLO refers to “front loop only” and is a technique used to add depth and texture to crochet projects
  • FLO can be applied to a variety of different crochet stitches
  • Mastering FLO can enhance overall crochet skills and lead to unique creations
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Understanding FLO in Crochet

“FLO” stands for Front Loop Only and this technique offers crocheters a unique way to add texture and dimension to their projects.

Crocheting in the FLO means working a stitch through only the front loop of the stitch from the previous row, as opposed to through both loops. Each crochet stitch, whether single crochet, double crochet, half double crochet, etc, has two loops that make up its top: the front loop and the back loop. When a pattern calls for FLO, the crocheter will insert the hook under the front loop only, rather than under both loops, as they form a stitch.

Crocheters typically use the FLO technique when working in rows or rounds to create a specific texture or pattern. FLO stitches give a finished project an interesting visual element and can also affect the drape and elasticity of the piece.

To create a FLO stitch, the crocheter needs to insert the hook beneath the front loop only of the stitch from the previous row, rather than both loops as done in conventional stitches. The front loop is the one closest to the person crocheting. By doing this, the crocheter leaves the back loop unworked, giving a raised effect to the fabric.

crochet hook in sample indicating the front loop
The front loop is indicated by the crochet hook in this photo. It is the front strand at the top of the stitch into which the next stitch will be worked.

To work a FLO stitch, follow these steps:

  1. Hold your crochet hook and yarn as you normally would.
  2. Perform any initial yarn overs required for the stitch you are working (e.g. none for single crochet, one for half double or double crochet, etc.)
  3. Insert the hook under the front loop only of the stitch on the previous row.
  4. Grab the yarn and pull it through the front loop.
  5. Complete the stitch in the usual way, i.e. with the required further yarn overs and pull throughs.

FLO can be used in various crochet stitches, such as single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), and half-double crochet (hdc). The technique can be employed in both solid and lacy stitch patterns, adding a unique touch to projects like blankets, scarves, and garments.

a sample of dcFLO crochet stitches
A sample of double crochet stitches worked in the front loop only (dcFLO).

Some advantages of using the FLO technique in crochet include:

  • Providing added texture to your project
  • Offering increased flexibility and drape to the fabric
  • Creating an appealing visual effect
  • Allowing for easy integration into a wide range of stitch patterns

Crochet Techniques Involving FLO

Creating Texture with FLO

Front loop only (FLO) is a crochet technique where the stitch is worked into the front loop of the stitch from the previous row, leaving the back loop exposed. This creates a unique texture in the crochet fabric.

FLO can be used in combination with other stitches, such as:

  • Back loop only (BLO): This technique results in a ridged effect, as the unworked loops of each row form rows of displaced yarn that add depth to the surface.
  • Popcorn and bobble stitches: These textured stitches create bumpy patterns in your work, and alternating them with FLO can create a fascinating mixture of effects.
  • Front post and back post stitches: By using post stitches, which involve working around the posts of stitches rather than into the loops, FLO can be combined with both front and back post techniques for added texture and visual interest.


The FLO technique is also a great way to create crochet ribbing. By working slip stitch, single crochet, or half double crochet stitches back and forth in rows and using the front loop only (FLO), beautiful crochet ribbing can be created.

Mosaic and Overlay Crochet

The FLO technique is also used in techniques such as mosaic and overlay crochet. In such techniques, a first (e.g. single crochet) stitch might be worked into the back loop of a particular stitch and then a second, taller (e.g. double crochet) stitch is worked in front of the first stitch and into the front loop of the same stitch. In this way, beautiful colorwork patterns can be created with stunning effects.

starry spruce mosaic crochet table runner
This Starry Spruce Table Runner involves making dc stitches into the FLO with the mosaic crochet technique.

FLO Increases and Decreases

FLO can be effectively maintained whilst creating increases and decreases within your crochet work:

  • Increases: To increase in FLO, work two stitches in the front loop of the stitch below. This technique ensures that the extra stitch is seamlessly integrated into the texture of the piece.
  • Decreases: To decrease in FLO whilst working with single crochet, insert the hook into the front loop of the first stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop, then insert the hook into the front loop of the next stitch, yarn over, and pull through all three loops on the hook. This maintains the texture of the FLO while reducing the stitch count.

Following these methods, it is possible to work increases and decreases into your crochet projects without sacrificing the unique texture that FLO provides.

Using FLO for Joining

Joining or seaming is another aspect of many crochet projects where the FLO technique can be beneficial. By working your joining stitches, e.g. single crochet or slip stitch, into the FLO, you can achieve a neater joining of two pieces—creating a less conspicuous and smoother seam.

Follow these steps to work with FLO for a slip stitch join:

  1. Align the crochet pieces with their right sides facing up
  2. Insert the hook into adjacent front loops of both pieces, working from left to right across the seam
  3. Yarn over and pull through both front loops and the loop on your hook to create a slip stitch
  4. Continue this method along the entire edges to be joined


In conclusion, understanding the term “FLO” in crochet is essential for any enthusiast looking to enhance their crocheting skills. FLO, or front loop only, is a specific technique that requires working stitches through only the front loop instead of the usual two loops. This technique creates a unique texture and pattern in the final product and can be used in conjunction with any of the basis crochet stitches, such as slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet, etc.

The ability to work with the front loop only allows crafters to explore various stitch patterns, adding texture and a unique appearance to their projects. It is also a useful joining method when joining pieces together.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between FLO and BLO?

FLO (Front Loop Only) and BLO (Back Loop Only) are techniques in crochet where you work into only one of the two loops in the top of a stitch. FLO is when you insert your hook under the front loop, while BLO is when you insert your hook under the back loop.

How do you crochet in the front loop only?

To crochet in the front loop only:

  1. Identify the front and back loops: looking at the top of the stitch, the loop closest to you is the front loop, and the loop farthest away is the back loop.
  2. Insert your hook under the front loop from front to back.
  3. Complete your stitch as you normally would, making sure to work only in the front loop.

What is the purpose of front loop only stitches?

Front loop only stitches are used to:

  • Create a particular texture or pattern
  • Make ribbing or stretchy fabric
  • Form a base for additional stitches in later rows or rounds
  • Add flexibility to certain areas of a project

How does FLO affect the texture of a crochet project?

FLO creates a texture that is different from regular crochet stitches. Because only one loop is used, it results in a more flexible fabric. This is particularly useful when creating projects that require a stretchy or textured surface, such as ribbing on hats or cuffs.

When should you use FLO and BLO techniques?

FLO and BLO techniques are most effective when:

  • You want to create a visible edge, border, or seam
  • You’re working with a textured pattern
  • You need to add flexibility in specific areas of your project
  • You’re creating ribbing or other stretchy fabric

Are there specific patterns that utilize FLO?

Yes, there are many patterns available that utilize FLO stitches, including:

  • Ribbed hats and beanies
  • Stretchy cuffs and collars
  • Textured fabrics used for blankets, rugs, and clothing
  • Mosaic crochet techniques
  • Patterns with intricate, textured designs

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