You might be reading a pattern and come across a stitch that says something like sc blo. What is blo in crochet?
Blo stands for back loop only. For blo stitches, the hook is inserted under only the back loop of the stitch.
This step by step tutorial will show you exactly how to make crochet stitches in the back loop only. It will also show you how stitches made this way can look in comparison to other kinds of crochet stitches.
This post will also answer common questions about working stitches in the blo. It will explain the effects the blo stitch and how it can create a different look. It will also discuss how it can be abbreviated in patterns.
Want to learn about front loop only (flo) too? Check out this tutorial on front loop only stitches.
STEP BY STEP PICTURE TUTORIAL FOR HOW TO CROCHET BACK LOOP ONLY
1) PREPARE TO START THE NEXT ROW OF SC BLO
This swatch shows several rows of single crochet back loop only or sc blo. The crochet hook is ready to start the next row.
2) A FEW STITCHES HAVE BEEN MADE
In this photo, a few stitches have been made in the back loop only or blo. If you look closely, you can see that the stitches lay towards the back of the work. The next steps in the tutorial explain how the stitches are made.
3) LOOK FOR THE BACK LOOP OF THE NEXT STITCH
If you turn the top of the swatch towards you, you will see that the tops of the stitches form little “V” shapes. This photo marks four of the “V” shapes in white.
The part of the “V” that is furthest away from you at the back of the fabric is called the “back loop.” The part of the “V” that is closest to you at the front of the fabric is called the “front loop.”
4) INSERT THE HOOK UNDER THE BACK LOOP ONLY OF THE NEXT STITCH
To make a crochet stitch in the back loop only, you insert your hook only under the back loop when you begin the stitch.
This photo shows the start of a single crochet back loop only stitch. The hook is inserted only under the back loop.
5) YARN OVER
To finish the stitch, you then complete the rest of the stitch working only under the back loop. This is a sample of single crochet back loop only stitches. So, the next step is to yarn over.
6) PULL UP A LOOP
Then, the next step is to pull up a loop.
8) COMPLETE THE STITCH
The final step is to pull the yarn through the two loops on the hook. This completes the stitch.
9) WORK A FEW MORE STITCHES
This photo shows the row after the completion of several more single crochet back loop only stitches. Working in the back loop only creates a distinct ridge.
This ridge is made up of the “front loops” that you did not work. Each side of the fabric shows the ridge.
10) COMPARE SC BLO WITH OTHER KINDS OF SC STITCHES
This photo shows the differences in samples of normal single crochet stitch, single crochet front loop only, and single crochet back loop only. You can see how the single crochet back loop only sample is shorter than regular single crochet and has distinct ridges.
What effects can you make with back loop only stitches?
As shown in the last photo, crocheting in the back loop only creates distinct ridges in the fabric. The different texture of these ridges makes it a useful technique for making crochet ribbed fabric.
So back loop only crochet can be a great beginner technique for crochet projects where a flexible fabric ribbing is useful. You may see it used in parts of patterns like hat brims and sweater cuffs.
Back loop only crochet fabric is also shorter than crochet fabric worked under both loops of the top of the stitch. If you look in the photo for step 10, you can see that the back loop only fabric is shorter than the regular fabric made with standard single crochet stitches worked under both loops of the stitch.
This also makes the fabric denser. This means the blo technique can also be useful for portions of projects where you want a denser fabric like for a heavier blanket or a thicker scarf.
Sc blo will help you take a basic crochet stitch and modify it in an easy way for these different effects.
Learning to work in the front loops only is another great way to enhance your crochet skills. As you can see in the photo above, front loop only stitches create a taller fabric with little ridges. Learn more about flo stitches in this post about front loop only crochet.
How are back loop only stitches included in stitch abbreviations?
The Craft Yarn Council maintains a list of standard crochet stitch abbreviations. There are two included for back loop only. These are “blo” and “bl.”
So you may see a stitch such as a single crochet back loop only written with the abbreviation “sc blo” or “BLsc.” A half double crochet front loop only would similarly be “hdc blo” of “BLhdc.”
You may also see it written as an abbreviation for “through back loop.” When abbreviated in this way, single crochet through the back loop can be written as “sc tbl.”
You will also likely find other ways in which patterns abbreviate the stitch. Usually looking at the stitch abbreviation key for the pattern will let you know when the pattern calls for making this kind of stitch.
For other crochet tutorials, check out my crochet tutorials page.