The beautiful shells stitch features a cool crochet technique where you work crochet chain framing like a “scaffold,” that you can then build thick beautiful shells on top of. There are several intricate (looking) stitches that employ this strategy such as the uber popular Virus Stitch.
If you’ve never crocheted a pattern this way, the simpler cousin of the virus stitch is this beautiful shell stitch (I can see where it gets the name). Alternating shell and framework rows also gives us the opportunity for some very pretty colorwork while only using one color per row.
To introduce this new technique to you, I made a little bandana! I find that it’s best to start small when trying out a new skill or stitch. Also, it’s tough to make the switch to skinny yarn in the warmer months after a whole winter of satisfying chunky projects. But I promise, after just a few color changes, this project will be done before ‘ya know it!
And if you love working this stitch, you can always keep it going! And wind up with a whole shawl, ‘cuz this pattern is worked from the bottom-up!
A skilled crocheter might look at this and think,
Think again, girl! I’ve got you covered with a slightly tricky way to change color, every row, all while never cutting your yarn and NEVER carrying the yarn across the row. Curious? I’ll explain below but I think a visual is best don’t you? Check out the helpful video tutorial!
For a printable, interactive version of the pattern, check it out on Ribblr!
I used just a few yards (less than 50 each) of two colors of DK weight cotton yarn. The green yarn I used was Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK and the peach color is an exact dupe from Ice Yarns called Baby Cotton.
I also used a 3.5mm crochet hook.
You can experiment with any weight yarn and hook size since we will grow the bandana from the very bottom corner-up.
Beautiful Shells Bandana – Crochet Pattern
To begin, in color A, ch6. Sl st to the first ch to join in the round.
Row 1: Ch3 (counts as 1dc), and work 8dc into the center of the ch6 ring (9dc total). Pull the last loop up long, so you don’t lose it. Remove your hook.
Row 2: Insert your hook into the top of your starting ch3 from the prev row. With color B, ch4 (counts as 1dc, ch1). And make 1dc into the same stitch to complete a “v stitch.” Ch5, and make 1 more v stitch (1dc, ch1, 1dc) all into the last stitch of the row.
With the live “color B” loop on your hook, insert your hook into the live “color A” loop. Ch3 in color A only. Pull the color A loop through the color B loop. Again Ch3 in color A while carrying color B up the chain (see video). Turn your work.
Row 3: In color A, make 8dc into the first v stitch (9dc counting the starting ch 3 mentioned in the color change instructions). Make 1sc in the 5th dc from the previous shell stitch, working on top of the ch5 from the previous row. Make 9dc in the next V stitch. Pull the last loop long and remove your hook.
Row 4: Insert your hook into the top of your starting ch3 from the prev row. With color B, ch4 (counts as 1dc, ch1). And make 1dc into the same stitch to complete a “v stitch.” Ch5, v stitch into the single crochet from the prev row. Ch5 and make 1 more v stitch (1dc, ch1, 1dc) all into the last stitch of the row.
Repeat the color change instructions to work in the same direction every two rows and avoid having to cut the yarn.
Continue making shells into each V stitch and V stitch scaffold rows after the shell rows until your piece measures 18″ (46cm) along the long side. For me this was 25 rows.
Using the available working yarn on either end, make chains a few inches long to serve as ties for the headband.
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this pattern and fancy stitch. Don’t forget to check out the video tutorial!
If you liked this pattern, you’ll love my virus stitch shawl tutorial! Check that out next 🙂