The Extended Triple Crochet Stitch (ETR): Explained

So, you’ve surmounted the single stitch, dominated the double stitch, and trounced the triple stitch — Well done!

But now you face one of the most daunting tasks in all of crochetdom… the extended stitch, and none are more fear-inducing than the extended triple crochet stitch.

The Extended Triple Crochet Stitch (ETR): Explained

However, you’ll be pleased to hear that all this fear is misplaced, as it’s really a very simple stitch that you’ll have down in no time.

As is the case with any stitch, the trick is simply to learn the constructive pattern of the extended triple stitch and repeat the formula in your head as you go.

It may seem a little outlandish at first, but trust me, after you’ve nailed a couple of these stitches, you’ll be flying through your project in record time.

But before we begin this extended triple crochet stitch tutorial, let’s lay down a bit of theory.

What’s The Difference Between The Triple Crochet Stitch & The Extended Triple?

The extended triple crochet stitch is almost identical to the triple crochet stitch but for an extra chain and an extra singular pull-through. 

When executing a standard triple crochet stitch, you’ll yarn over and pull through two loops three times, hence the “triple” in the stitch’s name.

But when you execute an extended triple crochet stitch, after your first yarn over, you’ll only pull through one loop, followed by the standard three pull-throughs to finish the stitch.

If you’ve already nailed the triple crochet stitch, the triple extended stitch is a total breeze.

If you’re a little shaky on the triple stitch, it’s best to study up on it before continuing here, but, I’ll explain how it relates to the extended stitch as we go if you’d prefer to press on.

What Is The Extended Triple Crochet Stitch For?

Much like any extended crochet stitch, the extended triple crochet stitch is used either to extend the post to make room for more adjoining stitches, or to lengthen a project.

They can add a great deal of height without bulking a piece up with too much extra girth and weight.

What Is The Abbreviation For The Extended Triple Crochet Stitch?

If you ever see the abbreviation ETR on your pattern instructions, they’re asking for an extended triple crochet stitch. It may also be expressed as ETr, as the r doesn’t represent a full word.

What You’ll Need

To execute your very first extended triple crochet stitch, you only need a few things…

Materials

  • Some yarn — Worsted weight yarn is best for beginners. Choose one with minimal fuzz factor, as it’ll clear up your visuals and reduce confusion as you wrestle with new concepts.

Equipment

  • A crochet hook — (see also: What Are The Sizes of Crochet Hooks?)As I’m sure you’re aware, crochet hooks arrive in a multitude of different sizes. For most worsted weight yarns, you’ll need something between 5.0 mm and 6.5 mm.

Skills

  • Slip knot
  • Chain stitch
  • Triple crochet stitch
Extended Triple Crochet Stitch: A Step-By-Step Guide

Extended Triple Crochet Stitch: A Step-By-Step Guide

Right then. Let’s get down to business!

Step 1: Slip Knot

First thing’s first… you’ll need to prepare your yarn and hook for some stitching, the first step of which is tying a slip knot on your hook.

There are a few different methods for tying a slip knot. Simply choose whichever you feel most comfortable with and get cracking.

Here’s a quick guide to the “pretzel method” to get you started:

  • Take roughly 6 inches of yarn.
  • Grab the tail end and drape it over the working yarn to form a loop that looks like a crude fish… sort of like a Jesus fish.
  • Secure the connection point of the loop with your thumb.
  • Take the tail end of the yarn and pull it toward the far side and beneath the loop, forming a pretzel shape.
  • Grab your hook, insert it through the righter-most loop of the pretzel and hook the inside yarn.
  • Securing the working end with your palm and the tail end with your thumb, pull the yarn through the loop with your hook.

Step 2: Crafting Your Chain

For a standard triple crochet stitch, you have to link three chain stitches (surprise, surprise), but as I mentioned earlier, the extended triple crochet stitch is named so because it includes a fourth chain stitch. 

If you’re not sure how to chain, here’s another quick guide:

  • Yarn over
  • Pull the yarn over through your slip knot loop
  • Yarn over
  • Pull the yarn over through the loop that replaced your slip knot loop
  • Rinse and repeat two more times

Step 3: Yarn Over

With your chain established, you’re ready to start the extended triple crochet stitch process in earnest. It all begins with two yarn overs, leaving you with three loops including your initial loop.

Step 4: The Fourth Loop

You need four loops on your hook to execute the extended triple crochet stitch, and you’ll find that extra loop by inserting your hook through the working stitch and pulling the working yarn through it.

Step 5: The First Pull-Through

Next up, you’ll need to yarn over once to create yet another loop. Pull this fifth loop through the next one along. At this point, you should still have four loops remaining on your hook.

Step 6: Continue With A Standard Triple Crochet Stitch

From here, you can finish the process off by executing a standard triple crochet stitch. For the uninitiated, this means you’re going to…

  • Yarn over again, but this time, you’re going to pull it through the next two loops on your hook, leaving you with three altogether.
  • Yarn over and pull it through two loops again, leaving you with two loops.
  • Yarn over once more and pull it through the two remaining loops.

And voilà… you’ve just completed your very first extended triple crochet stitch — Hooray!!!

Step 7: Proceeding Stitches

Now all you have to do is rinse and repeat using the same formula:

  • Two yarn overs (4 loops on hook)
  • Pull the working yarn through the working stitch (5 loops on hook)
  • One pull-through (4 loops on hook)
  • Yarn over (5 loops on hook)
  • Two pull-throughs (3 loops on hook)
  • Yarn over (4 loops on hook)
  • Two pull-throughs (2 loops on hook)
  • Yarn over (3 loops on hook)
  • Two pull-throughs (1 loop on hook)

Final Thoughts

The extended triple crochet stitch (see also: How To Slip Stitch Crochet)isn’t all that common, but it’s an essential skill to add to your crochet repertoire.

You’ll find it most commonly used to form waving or rippling Afghan patterns, but where you’ll find it isn’t necessarily important.

What truly matters here is that you have now deciphered another element of the crochet language so that you might express yourself more fully when creating your own designs or adding your own twist to an existing pattern.

You’re one step closer to complete fluency in your craft, and it won’t be long before you’re considered a bonafide master of the art!

I consider the extended triple stitch to be the last of the basic stitches, so now I recommend that you move on to some more complicated tasks.

That’s not to say you should dive right into the Jasmine stitch, as that’s a real doozy, but perhaps the feather, camel, braid, star, (see also: How To Crochet A Star) or angel stitch would be a suitable next step.

It’s with these more advanced stitches that you’ll truly come into your own as a crocheter — Exciting!!!

Nancy Adriane
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