What is an Extended Single Crochet? Understanding Crochet Stitches

What is an Extended Single Crochet? Understanding Crochet Stitches

The world of crochet is vast and diverse, offering a plethora of techniques and stitches to explore. One such stitch that has gained popularity in recent years is the extended single crochet. This versatile stitch takes the basic single crochet and adds a small modification to give it added height and a slightly different texture, making it a great option for various crochet projects such as blankets, scarves and even garments.

Read on to learn how to crochet the extended single crochet stitch.

making a tapestry crochet blanket
The Morven Blanket uses the extended single crochet stitch to create this cool geometric tapestry crochet pattern.

Extended Single Crochet Basics

Definition and Difference from Single Crochet

The extended single crochet (esc) is a variant of the basic single crochet (sc). It is created by adding an extra step to the standard single crochet stitch, allowing for additional height and a slightly different texture. When worked in the round, this extra step also helps to avoid the natural slanting that occurs with single crochet stitches.

To perform an extended single crochet, follow these steps:

  1. Insert hook into the stitch.
  2. Yarn over and pull up a loop (2 loops on hook).
  3. Yarn over and draw through one loop (2 loops remain on hook).
  4. Yarn over and draw through both loops on the hook (extended single crochet complete).

The primary difference from the regular single crochet is the addition of step 3, where you yarn over and draw through just one loop. This extra step increases the height of the stitch.

Height and Texture

When comparing an extended single crochet (esc) to a regular single crochet (sc), you’ll notice the following differences in height and texture:

  • The esc is slightly taller than the sc, meaning that you need fewer rows to cover a given length.
  • The texture of a fabric created with esc stitches is slightly looser than that of a fabric made with sc stitches. This is great when you want your project to have a bit more drape.
  • Extended single crochet creates a slightly more open and airy finish, which is ideal for lightweight garments and accessories.

Materials and Yarn

To create an extended single crochet, you’ll need the same materials as you would for any crochet project:

  • Crochet hook: Choose a hook size that matches the weight of your yarn or as required by your pattern
  • Yarn: You can use any yarn type for extended single crochet, ranging from lightweight cotton to thicker wool. Just ensure that your yarn is compatible with your chosen hook size

While working with extended single crochet stitches, experiment with different types of yarns and hook sizes to achieve the desired height, texture, and drape for your finished project.

Projects and Patterns

Extended single crochet (esc) is a versatile stitch that can be used in various projects, adding interest and texture to your work. This section will explore three types of crochet project in which the esc stitch can be used to great effect.


Extended single crochet (esc) can be used to create beautiful blankets that are warm, cozy, and have a unique texture. Always make a swatch before starting your project to test the appearance and drape of your chosen yarn and hook size.

Here are some ideas for blankets you could make using the esc stitch:

  • Stripy Textured Blanket: Combine esc with other stitches to create an exciting textured and striped pattern. For instance, work three rows of esc, then two rows of double crochet, and repeat this sequence throughout the project.
  • Color-Blocked Blanket: Create a color-blocked effect by switching yarn colors every few rows. This technique adds visual interest and allows you to incorporate a range of hues in your finished blanket.
  • Tapestry Crochet Blanket: Esc is a great stitch for tapestry crochet designs as it provides a relatively small “pixel” to work with, allowing your colorwork patterns to have great detail, whilst still giving a lovely drape.
moreven crochet blanket made with 4ply cotton and bamboo yarn
The lovely Morven Blanket combines tapestry crochet esc sections with a moss stitch central section.


Extended single crochet is a great choice for accessories as it is dense enough to create a warm fabric whilst not being too stiff. For example, you could use the esc stitch to make hats, mittens, cowls, handwarmers, shawls and more.

arda tapestry crochet mittens
These Arda Mittens use the extended single crochet stitch to create a warm and flexible fabric that keeps out the draughts.


Bags are another great project for the extended single crochet stitch. As the esc stitch is denser than the half double crochet and double crochet stitches, there are fewer gaps in the fabric through which items could wiggle their way out. However, as noted above, the esc also has an advantage over the single crochet stitch that it doesn’t lead to slanting when worked in the round.

touch the sky crochet tote bag
The Touch the Sky Bag uses extended single crochet to form a relatively dense fabric, perfect for holding all your bits and bobs.

Advanced Techniques

Combining Stitches

Extended single crochet stitches (esc) offer great versatility when combined with other crochet stitches. This creates visually stunning patterns and textures, perfect for various projects. Here are a few popular combinations:

  • Extended single crochet with single crochet (esc, sc): By alternating between extended single crochet stitches and single crochet stitches in the same row, you create a simple yet appealing texture, ideal for blankets and garments.
  • Extended single crochet with half double crochet (esc, hdc): Mixing esc with half double crochet stitch produces a sturdy fabric, suitable for bags and baskets.
  • Extended single crochet with double crochet (esc, dc): Pairing esc and double crochet stitch offers an exciting and intricate design, perfect for shawls and scarves.

Always remember to follow a consistent pattern and count your stitches to achieve a symmetrical outcome. Alternate your stitches in the opposite way in odd and even rows to ensure that your work lies flat.

Tapestry Crochet

All of the pattern examples given above show the extended single crochet stitch worked with the tapestry crochet technique. The extended single crochet stitch is a great one to use for this technique because:

  • Compared to half double crochet and double crochet, the extended single crochet is shorter and relatively small. This means that it provides a more versatile pixel from which to create detailed tapestry crochet designs.
  • When worked in the round, the extra step in the extended single crochet stitch compared to the single crochet stitch means that the stitches don’t end up slanting to one side. In other words, they always line up centrally on top of each other. This is a great benefit with colorwork designs where sloping to one side would be undesirable.
  • As you have to carry one or more yarns along through your stitches in tapestry crochet, this does result in a slightly thicker fabric. If you are using the single crochet stitch, this can end up quite dense and bulky. However, the extra height and airiness of the extended single crochet stitch makes this less of an issue and you can still create attractive tapestry crochet designs with a lovely drape.

Conclusion: What is an Extended Single Crochet?

The extended single crochet stitch is a variation of the traditional single crochet stitch that creates a taller stitch with more height and stretch. This stitch is perfect for creating textured patterns and is easy to learn for beginners. By adding just one small extra step to the normal single crochet stitch, the extended single crochet stitch can be created.

Esc is a versatile stitch that can be used in a variety of crochet projects, from blankets to accessories and bags. It is also great for combining with other stitches to create interesting and beautiful textures, and it is wonderful when used with the tapestry crochet technique.

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