Invisible Decrease

Link easily to this tutorial in your patterns: www.planetjune.com/invdec

If you’ve been making amigurumi, you may be lamenting the gap or bump that forms when you decrease. The standard methods of decreasing are to sc2tog, which can leave a bit of a bump and a small gap, or to skip a stitch, which leaves an obvious gap. There has to be a better way… and there is! The invisible decrease really is as good as its name claims – it’s almost impossible to see, even if you know what you’re looking for. (See my blog post for a comparison of these three methods.)

The invisible decrease method will probably take a few attempts to master, but, just like the magic ring, it’s one of those techniques that’s so good, you’ll wonder how you ever crocheted without it!

How do I make an Invisible Decrease?

Choose your preferred learning method! I have video and step-by-step photo tutorials, all for right- and left-handers. Continue to:


Invisible Decrease for right-handers

Before we begin:

Insert the hook into the front loop of the first stitch (2 loops on hook). DO NOT YARN OVER:

Insert the hook into the front loop of the next stitch. To do this, you’ll need to swing the hook down first so you can insert the hook under the front loop. (3 loops on hook):

Swing hook down…

…then up through the front loop of the next stitch

Yarn over and draw through the first two loops on the hook. (2 loops on hook):

Yarn over and draw through both loops on the hook. Invisible decrease completed:

Now let’s play a game: spot the decrease…

Good, huh? Give it a go with your next ami – I promise you won’t regret it…


Invisible Decrease for left-handers

Before we begin:

Insert the hook into the front loop of the first stitch (2 loops on hook). DO NOT YARN OVER:

Insert the hook into the front loop of the next stitch. To do this, you’ll need to swing the hook down first so you can insert the hook under the front loop. (3 loops on hook):

Swing hook down…

…then up through the front loop of the next stitch

Yarn over and draw through the first two loops on the hook. (2 loops on hook):

Yarn over and draw through both loops on the hook. Invisible decrease completed:

Now let’s play a game: spot the decrease…

Good, huh? Give it a go with your next ami – I promise you won’t regret it…

143 Comments »

  1. Lee Ann said

    I love there tutorials! I JUST started in ami work, and even started a doll for my daughter, with all parts done (hoping to finish by Christmas, but can’t find the right size eyes locally), but with FINALLY figuring out the magic circle, and with these other tutorials, I think I will start a new doll for her, finish this one and give it away. I’m excited to start over (sort of, LOL!) and do it right! Can’t thank you enough for these awesome tutorials! I may go ami crazy! =D

  2. Tamara said

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! When I saw invisible decrease on a pattern I was worried that it would be extremely difficult. Your tutorial has explained it wonderfully. I like that you have it for left handed people as well. My granny is a lefty :) now back to making a kitty keychain :)

  3. Sam said

    Can this stitch be done with double crochet?

    • June said

      Yes, Sam, any standard crochet stitch can be made ‘invisible’ using this method. The key thing to remember is that the decrease occurs at the base of the invisible decrease (not at the top as with a standard decrease), so you only create one stitch that covers two stitches of the row below. That’ll be clearer with an example – follow these instructions and you’ll understand!

      To create an invisible double crochet decrease:

      1. Yarn over, insert the hook into the front loop of the first stitch (3 loops on hook). DO NOT YARN OVER.
      2. Insert the hook into the front loop of the next stitch. To do this, you’ll need to swing the hook down first so you can insert the hook under the front loop. (4 loops on hook).
      3. Yarn over and draw through the first two loops on the hook. (3 loops on hook).
      4. (Yarn over and draw through two loops on the hook) twice (1 loop on hook, invisible decrease completed).
  4. cathleen said

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for catering to the left-handed crocheters!! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the picture tutorials you have provided!
    Bless you!

  5. Dear June, I love the instructions, tutorials.
    Had a problem with invisible stitch and magic ring. I now have that, but what is magic ring. I am doing the tiny cat balls.
    Thank You, Deedre S.

  6. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I’m going to try this decrease as soon as I get home! :)

  7. Roberta S. said

    Love your website–I am just starting with amigurumi. You are a wealth of knowledge. My question is this: is the only difference between a sc2tog decrease and an invisible decrease that fact of where you put your hook/pick up a stitch? It appears they both operate the same (go into one stitch, don’t yarn over and go into the next stitch and pull through 3 loops) but with the invisible you are only picking up the front loop, whereas with the sc2tog (even though they don’t really say) you pick up both loops of the stitch? Is the key in picking up the front loop only?

    • June said

      Not quite, Roberta: for a sc2tog, in addition to using both loops, you yarn over and draw up a loop in both the first and second stitches – see my tutorial for the full sc2tog instructions :)

      • Roberta S. said

        Understood! Thank you for pointing this out. Again, you are a wonderful resource for crocheters!

  8. bernadette said

    will that invisible dec work when decreasing along neck edge.
    also can you show dec in basket weave stitch please

  9. elham said

    hi, thankyou very much beacuse of ur teaching

  10. Lana said

    Hello! Im attempting to make an amigurumi hippo and the pattern im following calls for a full round of *SC4TOG, SC 1* repeat. no matter what yarn or hook size i try i cannot manage to do this drastic decrease without 7 large bumps appearing (each about the size of a dime around). is there a way to decrease 4 st at a time with a method similar to this one, so they wouldnt be so noticeable?
    All the best,
    Lana

    • June said

      I’m afraid not; decreasing 4 stitches at a time is a huge change in stitch count, and it’s going to leave a bump or a gap no matter what you do! I’d never use such a steep decrease in my designs for that reason.

  11. t.hoang said

    I don’t get how this is different than single crocheting two together other than going only through the front loop…? or is that the magic difference?? :o

    • t.hoang said

      wait, nvm. i see the difference :]

  12. Great tutorial! Thank you for this!

  13. Hi June,

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I have used the invisible when making some toadstools and the comparison between the ones I made before I learned this method of decrease and the one I have made after are tremendous! A pic can be seen in my latest post at http://sallystrawberrycrochetandknitting.blogspot.co.uk/

    Thanks again for such a brilliant tutorial!

    Sally x

  14. Irene Foss said

    Thank you very much for the lesson on invisible decrease. I had never heard of it before. But then when I started crocheting again this spring it had about 35 years since I had done any crochet.
    This will be so nice to use in the 2 crochet sweaters I’m making for 2 great grand daughters. The pattern has a pretty yoke and lots of decreases. I was so glad to see the post by Sam Said asking if the invisible decrease could be done in dc. The yoke of the sweater is made in dc. I am just getting to the point where I will be starting the decreases and will use the invisible technique

  15. Jessica said

    I am 18 and I just started to crochet recently, I love it. The only problem I had was the way my decreases looked, this is great. Thanks a lot.

  16. Celine said

    Thank you so much for your tutorial! My decreases looked horrible before. I tried your method and it works like magic : no visible decreases anymore! Thanks again!

  17. Nicole H said

    Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and creativity with the rest of us! Special kudos for including left-handed instructions! Now to go try to master the MC. It’s usually hit-or-miss whether or not I get it right.

  18. Perrie said

    Thank you for the tutorial. I’ve been crocheting for a long time and I never heard of this stitch. It’s so invisible that I’m amazed at how I can now hide my decreases. Very cool. JAH BLESS AND ONE LOVE! !

  19. Stacey said

    I LOVE you! lol Thank you so much this is amazing! I definitely do not regret learning this ;)! and I am sorry I haven’t found this sooner!! But, oh well, from now on, no more visible decs!!

    Thanks again!

    Cheers! xo

  20. Habiba said

    Hey June! I really dont get the invisible dec method
    I have a round that says
    [ inv dec , sc 4] around { 36}
    How do i do it??

    • June said

      The ‘invdec’ in your pattern is just the invisible decrease I show above – an invisible way of turning 2 stitches of the round below into 1. If you don’t understand the way your pattern is written, you should contact the designer for assistance :)

  21. robin quade said

    Thank you for explaining this method, but do you need to go in the front loop for the rest of the stitches in the row?

    • June said

      Definitely not, Robin – changing to front loops only would change the look and shape of your stitches. Invdec is only used as a direct substitute for sc2tog decreases; all the other stitches in the pattern remain unchanged.

  22. Lynsi said

    AMAZING. Mind blown. I’m never doing another type of decrease again!

  23. Pat Reynolds said

    This is a great tutorial ty for sharing
    g

  24. Debby said

    THANK you !! I was making little crocheted toy balls for my grandson, and did not care for the little holes where the stuffing could come out – your version is perfect !!

  25. Leelou de France said

    Hi ! I like your patterns and purchase several. They are clear and, MORE in these patterns they are links to all your technical explanations. And these explanations are also so clear !! You are really a MASTER, “the” TEACHER !! THANKS, THANKS, so thank for sharing all your knowledges !!!! Leelou
    (I hope that you understand my approximate english ;) …..)

    • June said

      Thank you, Leelou! I’m so happy you find my patterns and tutorials to be clear and helpful – that’s what I aim for :)

  26. Rachel said

    Thank you so much for this! I love doing amigurumi and didn’t realise there was such thing as an invisible decrease! I hated having the bumpy side showing on some of my creations. I’m getting out of bed just to try this out now!

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