Monday, February 28, 2011

Single Crochet Leaf Stitch

Leaf Stitch
(Multiple of 2 +1 turning chain)

The leaf stitch is the smallest and most basic of the multi stitch per chain family. Other examples of this family of stitches is the Picot, Fan and V-stitch. When crocheting this type of stitch you are adding more than one stitch to the same chain (or loop). Because you are adding multiple stitches to one loop you will need to skip other stitches if you want your piece to lay flat, or in the case of the Picot stitch you allow a section to 'stick out' thus creating a textured pattern in the piece.

For this stitch you will be adding two single crochet (sc) stitches to a single stitch and then skipping the previous and following stitches to ensure your piece lays flat.

To start you will want to crochet your base chain. The formula for this base chain is a multiple of 2 plus one for the turning chain.

In this example my base chain is 9 loops - 8 working stitches and 1 turning chain. 

For your first row you will single crochet across, making 8 single crochet stitches.

In the second row you will skip the first single crochet and add two single crochet stitches to the next. Continue to skip one chain and add two single crochet stitches to the next across. If you were reading a pattern this would be written like:

Row 2: *skip first single crochet, 2 sc in next stitch.* Repeat from * to * across.

If you look closely you can see two single crochet stitches.

When you have finished the second row you will start seeing the pattern. Notice how two single crochet stitches in one chain space looks like a 'V' or a leaf (thus the name of this stitch).

In all following rows you will repeat the pattern of Row 2 which will result in alternating leaves.

If you happen to try this pattern - post a picture of your work on my Facebook site:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Working on the Road

For those of you that have not been checking my Facebook page, I spent the last week in Chicago and while it was COLD ... I can also confirm that it was beautiful. Chicago is filled with historic buildings, fabulous restaurants and sits right next to Lake Michigan.

I was in Chicago for a business trip for my full time job, but would I let that prevent me from crocheting? Heck no!! Here are just a few examples of items I got finished while in Chicago:

As you can see, I'm a big fan of flowers. And since Spring is just around the corner I thought I'd prepare by bringing Spring to my living room 2 month early!

A few little tidbits I wanted to share with you about traveling with your hooks:

Only pick one or two hooks to bring on the plane with you. At most airports you will get through security with your hooks as long as they are small and you only have a few. Also, putting them in the bag with your yarn helps security ID what they are.

For scissors, the TSA will allow nail clippers but to be safe I only bring ones that do not have a nail file on them. Additionally, if you have a pair of tiny scissors with rounded tips (mine came from one of those travel sewing kits) you can bring these as well.

Whatever you do, bring a self addressed and stamped envelope with you in case they say no. If they won't let you with security with your hooks, they will mail them back to you. And pack extras in your suitcase just in case.

If you've got a good 'crochet on the road' story or picture, publish in the comments section or post on my Facebook site:!/pages/CrochetByKarin/134647016599101

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lattice Stitch

Lattice Stitch
(Multiple of 2 +1 turning chain)

The Lattice stitch is a nice stitch for hats and warm sweaters. It has flexibility without losing its thermal quality. This stitch can also be done with a double or triple crochet, but for warmth I prefer the single crochet. 

To start this stitch you'll want to crochet your base chain. As noted above the formula for the base chain of this stitch is a multiple of 2 plus 1 chain as the turning chain. In the above example my base chain is 8 (a multiple of 2) plus a ninth chain to act as the turning chain. 

To start your first row of the Lattice Stitch you will crochet a Single Crochet (sc) in the second chain from the hook. (see above) Next, chain one stitch. This will be the space in which you will add single crochet stitches in each subsequent row.

Skip the next stitch. Crochet a single crochet in the next stitch (see above). If you were reading a pattern from a book this would be written as :

Chain 9, turn
Sc in second stitch from hook, *chain 1, skip next stitch, sc in next stitch.* Repeat from *to* across

When you get to the end chain one and turn. For all subsequent rows the ends must have a single crochet, this will keep your edges firm. When you start your next row you will single crochet in the first stitch and then in the chain one space. Following this you will *chain one, single crochet in the next chain 1 space* and repeat this pattern across. When you reach the end you will Single crochet in the chain 1 space and in the last stitch of the row.

[In this picture I'm adding a Single crochet to the first stitch- 
this is the last single crochet from the previous row.]


[Next you single crochet in the first chain 1 space. If you have trouble finding it, use your finger to make the hole larger. Then repeat across.]

Here's an example in two colors so that you can see the different rows. Here you can see the single crochet stitches from the top row tie into the chain 1 spaces of the previous row.

Keep repeating the pattern until you get the length you want. I use this pattern quite often with my hats. The finished item is flexible, warm and if you interchange colors it can look very cool.

If you happen to try this pattern - post a picture of your work on my Facebook site:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Double Crochet Interlocking Stitch

Double Crochet Interlocking Stitch
(Multiple of 1 +2 turning)

The Interlocking stitch can be made using Double of Triple crochet (dc or tc). It has a great deal of movement and flexibility and is a popular stitch for loose bags, sweaters and scarves. The above option of alternating the colors looks very pretty, but adds a lot of work when you're ready to finish your piece so, decide early how much work you're willing to put in.

If you do decide to use multiple colors, I would suggest using the same brand, type and line of yarn to to prevent puckering and make it look more cohesive. The above example is not made with the same yarn and you can see how the middle row is smaller. Also, I had to crochet the middle row a lot looser so that the two rows were the same length.

To complete this stitch you'll want to crochet your base chain. This pattern's formula is multiple of 1 so you can have a base chain of any length plus two chains for the turning chain. Next crochet a row of Double Crochet - for info on how to do this, see the Double Crochet stitch page.

Once you've completed your first row of Double Crochet you'll chain 2 and turn.

[You are right, I changed colors so that you can see the stitches better. If you also want to change colors, go back to the previous picture, see that loop at the end? Undo it and instead, pull up a loop for your new color and then proceed following the instructions.]

For your second row you'll also add Double Crochet stitches, but for this stitch you won't insert your hook in each stitch but between the stitches. See above, you can see how the loop is pulled up between the stitches.

Continue across adding a Double Crochet stitch to each space. When you get to the end, add a double crochet in the space made by your turning chain from the previous row.

Notice how your last Double Crochet is made in the turning chain space. You'll do this for each row to ensure that the same number of Double Crochet stitches are added in each row.

[Ok so notice that green string hanging out on the right side. If you interchange colors you'll end up with extra strings for each row and they'll each need to be sewn in to finish the piece. Make sure you have the patience to do this. Otherwise I would recommenced that you use a single color.]

[Enjoy the pattern and let me know what you think on my  Facebook page!]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Go Long with the Triple Crochet

Triple Crochet 
(Multiple of 1 +3)

The Triple Crochet (TC) is constructed of three single crochets. What I mean by this is that you use the same series of loops that you would to make a single crochet, but you do it three times to make a triple crochet.  

The triple crochet (tc) is used in lace patterns,edgings and clothing. In clothing I've made pretty shrugs and cover-ups for swim suits. 

To make a triple crochet first chain your base row. The formula for the triple crochet base row is any multiple of 1 plus 3 loops for the turning chain. 

Once you've made your base row you're ready to crochet your first triple crochet (tc). Remember for the double crochet that we 'yarned over' once before we inserted our hook in the stitch. This time you need to yarn over twice (see above). I think the hardest thing about this is keeping the two loops on your hook until you've inserted it in your first stitch. Try rotating the hook and your base chain until you find the best angles and positions to ensure your yarn stays on the hook and feels good while you're crocheting.

Ok, so yarn over twice - this will put two loops on your hook. Then insert your hook in the forth chain from your hook and pull up a loop. (Remember that the forth chain from the hook does not include the loop on your hook.)

In the above photo you can see your initial chain stitch (far right), the two loops you put on the hook (middle stitches) and the new loop you just pulled up (left). Next your going loop it all together. I don't want to say knot because we aren't making knots, we're making an interlocking system. A knot is stiff and hard to undo. An interlocking system moves and adjusts and will completely unravel if one piece of the system comes loose.

To make your first 'lock' you will yarn over and pull a loop of yarn through two of the loops on your hook. This will leave you wit the loop you just pulled (far left), one of the loops you originally added (middle) and your initial chain loop(right). You have just completed your first single crochet combination:
To complete your second singe crochet combination, loop over and pull the yarn through two of the loops on your hook. This will leave you with the loop you just pulled and your initial chain loop.

To complete the last stage of your triple crochet (tc) you will loop over and pull the yarn through the last two loops on your hook.

Repeat the above steps to make a row of triple crochets across. You'll note that the basic pattern for each stage of the triple crochet was to pull the yarn through two loops of yarn on your hook. For single crochet you do this once per stitch, for double you do it twice and for triple you repeat the pattern three times per stitch.

If you happen to try this pattern - post a picture of your work on my Facebook site:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Elusive Half-Double Crochet

Half-Double Crochet (HDC)
(Multiple of 1 +2)

The Half Double Crochet (hdc) is a double crochet that was in a hurry so it skipped a step. This stitch is shorter than the double crochet and larger than a single. For the turning chain you would use two (2) chains - this is to allow space to prevent puckering and typically does not result in any gaping on the sides.

To complete the  Half Double Crochet first make your base chain. The base chain pattern is any multiple of 1 plus to loops for the turning chain. 

Here I have about 8 chains and I've already made a loop around the hook. This initial loop on the hook is what is used to makes the double in the double crochet.

The next step is to insert your hook and draw up your first chain loop. Remember we're using a 2 loop turning chain so insert your hook in the third chain from the hook (not counting the loop on the hook). 

Now you have three loops on the hook. If you were making a double crochet you would pull a loop of yarn through two of those loops and a second loop of yarn through the last two loops. The Half Double Crochet skips all the work and pulls a loop on yarn through all 3 loops on the hook:

Can you see all three loops connected by a single loop? This makes the Half Double Crochet (HDC). Continue making HDC stitches across your base chain. When you get to the end, chain 2 for your turning chain and flip your piece.

 The Half Double Crochet will result in a stiffer finished piece that has more air resistance than the double crochet (dc) and is great when varying the height of stitches to make a wavy pattern. See my Beach Hat posting for an example of a wavy pattern.

If you happen to try this pattern - post a picture of your work on my Facebook site: 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Double Crochet Stitch

Double Crochet

The Double Crochet (dc) is twice as tall as the single crochet and will provide you will an airy pattern with a lot of stretch and flexibility. This stitch is popular in sweaters and scarves, but won't be super warm unless you double up on layers.

1. So, let's get started...Chain a row of stitches:
(base chain = multiple of 1 +2 turning)

When crocheting your base chain for the Double Crochet stitch you can crochet any multiple of one, plus 2 for the turning chain. If you're reading a stitch guide many will provide you with this information.

Ok, so once you've got your base chain crocheted you can turn to start your first row of DC (double crochet). Remember that your turning chain must be the same height as the stitch your making if you'd like your rows to look straight. Double crochet is the height of two chains so your turning chain must have two chains.

2a. Yarn over a loop on the hook and then insert the hook in the third loop from the hook. Yarn over and pull up a loop. See below:

2b. Next, yarn over and pull through two loops on the hook. This will leave you with two loops on the hook. The original one and the one you just pulled.

2c. To finish the double crochet you yarn over a second time and pull through the remaining two loops.

2d. Continue across the entire row to make your first row.

3. To start your next row, chain two loops for your turning chain, turn and add a double crochet (DC) to each dc from the previous row. [To change colors, stop before you complete your last double crochet, pull up your new color and complete the last DC. Ch 2 and turn.]

4. DC across

Continue adding rows until you reach the length that you want.

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