When I first learned to read patterns back in 2002, the Catherine Wheel was one of the stitches that inspired me to learn. This classic crochet stitch has many variations and it allows you to practice at least three techniques: changing colors, increasing, and decreasing.
You can make this stitch with as few as two colors or a multitude of colors. In a scrappy Catherine Wheel project, you can switch your yarns and colors every other row. This pattern unfolds beautifully from side to side, so it works well in any project that has a wide base, including blankets and scarves that start with a long foundation chain. It also makes dramatic bags!
Read through the pattern, and then check out the photo tutorials if you need more visual information.
Crochet Stitch Pattern by Underground Crafter
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern
- CA – Color A (I used Lion Brand Heartland in 109 Olympic)
- CB – Color B (I used Lion Brand Heartland in 105 Glacier Bay)
- ch – chain
- dc – double crochet
- dc3tog – double crochet 3 sts together (decreases 2 sts) – (Yo, insert hook in next st, yo and draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops) 3 times, yo and draw through all 4 loops on hook.
- dc4tog – double crochet 4 sts together (decreases 3 sts) – (Yo, insert hook in next st, yo and draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops) 4 times, yo and draw through all 5 loops on hook.
- dc7tog – double crochet 7 sts together (decreases 6 sts) = (Yo, insert hook in next st, yo and draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops) 7 times, yo and draw through all 8 loops on hook.
- rep – repeat
- sc – single crochet
- sk – skip
- st(s) – stitch(es)
- yo – yarn over
- * Rep instructions after asterisk as indicated.
- To avoid puckering, work decreases and color changes loosely.
Stitch Pattern Instructions
- With CA, ch any multiple of 10 sts, + 7 sts.
- Foundation row: Turn, sk first ch, sc in next 2 ch, *sk 3 ch, 7 dc in next ch, sk 3 ch, sc in next 3 chs; rep from * across to last 4 ch, sk 3 ch, 4 dc in last ch, changing to CB in last yo of final dc.
- Row 1: Turn, ch 1, sc in first 2 sts, *ch 3, dc7tog, ch 3, sc in next 3 sts; rep from * across to last 4 sts, ch 3, dc4tog in last 4 sts.
- Row 2: Turn, ch 3 (counts as first dc, here and throughout), 3 dc in first st, *sk 3 chs, sc in next 3 sts, sk 3 ch, 7 dc in next st; rep from * across to last 5 sts, sk 3 chs, sc in next 2 sts, changing to CA in last yo of final sc.
- Row 3: Turn, ch 3, sk first st, dc3tog, *ch 3, sc in next 3 sts, ch 3, dc7tog; rep from * across to last 2 sts, ch 3, sc in next 2 sts.
- Row 4: Turn, ch 1, sc in first 2 sts, *sk 3 ch, 7 dc in next st, sk 3 ch, sc in next 3 sts; rep from * across to last 4 sts, sk 3 ch, 4 dc in last st, changing to CB in last yo of final dc.
- Rep Rows 1-4 until desired length is reached, ending on Row 2 or 4 for curved edge or on Row 1 or 3 for straight edge.
In this pattern, you always change colors in the last yarn over of the final stitch of the row.
To change colors with single crochet at the end of Row 2:
- Insert hook in last stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop (photo 1),
- Yarn over with CB (photo 2),
- Draw CB through both loops (photo 3).
To change colors with double crochet at the end of Row 4:
- Yarn over, insert hook in last stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops, yarn over with CA (photo 4),
- Draw CA through both loops (photo 5).
You can carry the unworked colors up the side of your piece if you prefer not to weave in ends. If you are carrying yarn, remember not to pull the new color through too tightly or you’ll pucker your piece. Alternatively, you can fasten off the unworked color at each color change and weave in the ends.
In Row 1, you’ll encounter your first decrease in this pattern, the dc7tog. After you master this, the rest of the decreases in the Catherine Wheel are quite simple.
- Yarn over,
- Insert hook in next st,
- Yarn over,
- Draw up a loop,
- Yarn over,
- Draw through 2 loops.
Now you’ll repeat these steps in each of the next 6 stitches (across a total of 7 stitches).
You’ll end each repeat of steps 1-6 with an additional loop on the hook, until you end up with 8 loops (picture 6). Then yarn over and draw through all 8 loops (picture 8).
Later in the pattern, you’ll complete a dc3tog and dc4tog. Start with steps 1-6 again, but don’t repeat as often.
- For the dc3tog, yo and draw through when you have 4 loops left on the hook (picture 2).
- For the dc4tog, yo and draw through when you have 5 loops left on the hook (picture 3).