This project was inspired in 2014 as part of my mermaid project. You can read the full story behind all of the sea shells here...
This crochet pattern is also available as a printer friendly, 8-page eBook / PDF download, which also includes the Spiral Conch Shell (with bonus photo tutorial) and the other two variations of the pearl shells - Half Pearl Shell & Treasure Pearl Shell. GRAB IT HERE for only $3.75!
- cotton thread size 10 (I use Circulo Clea) - less than 25m (4 grams / 0.15oz) - in choice colours
- 1.05mm hook
- sport (2:fine / 5ply UK) yarn - less than 25m (4 grams / 0.15oz) - in choice colours
- 3.75mm hook
- yarn and hook of choosing for alternate sized shells
- tapestry yarn needle
- polyester fiberfill - a pinch for thread clam shells, a large pinch or more for yarn clam shells.
- Thread Size 10 – 0.75” (2 cm) tall & wide.
- Sport Yarn Size – 1.25” (3 cm) tall & wide.
- Thread Size 10 + 1.05mm hook – 20 single crochet stitches x 24 rows = 2” (5 cm).
- Sport Yarn + 3.75mm hook – 12 single crochet stitches x 12 rows = 2” (5 cm).
You should be familiar with basic crochet stitches (chs, sl sts, sc), working in rows, rounds, front/back loops, and how to do increases and decreases.
Decreases or sc2tog sts are best worked by using the invisible decrease technique, where you only work in one loop of a stitch. *If you are unfamiliar with this technique, see my video tutorial here...
You should also be familiar with hand sewing crochet pieces by means of the whipstitch.
Clam Pearl Shell Instructions:
These clam pearl shells, or intact/closed shells, are worked in rows from side to side (shell’s left to right when WS faces you) by working one half of the clam shell at a time. Later the ending tail is used to close up the shell. Work ALL sts into BL unless directed to do otherwise. *EVEN rows = RS.
- The start of ODD rows and the end of EVEN rows = the TOP of the shell.
- The end of ODD rows and the start of EVEN rows = the BOTTOM of the shell.
- Be careful NOT to make your slip stitches too tight as you work the shell, since most count as sts and you will work into them again.
NOTE: You’ll end the shell with the WS facing you.
Starting the FIRST Shell Half:
row 1: sc into the 2nd ch from the hook & in the next 2 chs, sl st 2, turn (5 sts).
row 2: ch 1, sk the first st, sl st, sc 2, sc 2 in the last st, ch 1, turn (6 sts). *The first ch of this row and all even rows below count as a st.
row 3: sc 4, sl st 2, turn (6 sts).
row 4: ch 1, sk the first st, sl st 2, sc 2, sc 2 in the last st, ch 1, turn (7 sts).
row 5: sc 4, sl st 3, turn (7 sts).
row 6: ch 1, sk the first st, sl st 2, sc 4, ch 1, turn (7 sts).
row 7: sc2tog, sc 3, sl st 2, turn (6 sts).
row 8: ch 1, sk the first st, sl st, sc 2, sc2tog, ch 1, turn (6 sts).
row 9: sc 3, sl st 2, sl st join to the very first ch made (also the last st of the first row) to bring both ends of the bottom of the shell tog and create a pinched effect, ch 1, do not turn (5 sts).
Starting the SECOND Shell Half:
continuing where you left off, ch 6...
row 10-17: rep rows 1-8 again, this time the odd rows are the “even” rows when it comes time to count the first ch of a row as a st.
row 18: sc 3, sl st 2, sl st join to the very first ch made after row 9 (also the last st of row 10), sl st join to the very first ch made at the start of this shell, f/o with a long tail (5 sts).
Optional Step: Weave the starting tail along the edge of the pinched end of one shell half and weave the ending tail along the edge of the pinched of the other shell half. Pull tight on each to gather the rows and close the small hole. Tie off AFTER sewing the both half together. OR, omit this step and leave the little hole as part of the design.
Use the ending tail and the whip stitch to sew around the perimeter of both shell halves, thereby joining both halves together. Before you sew the hole completely shut, lightly stuff with polyester fiberfill. If you completed the optional step, you’ll want to tie both tail ends together. Weave in all ends or tuck them inside the shell.
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A special shout out to Brisja R. & Reshanda P. for testing, and to Margie E. & Theresa P. for tech editing this crochet pattern!