Shell Stitch

The past few weeks we have been reviewing how to make some of the fundamental stitches in crochet. We have focused on many stitches that build onto or use a Double Crochet stitch. Today we will also use Double Crochet stitches, and Single Crochet stitches too, you may want to review the tutorials on how to make those stitches before moving forward here.

Shell Stitch

Materials:

Yarn: Medium (4) Weight Yarn- Here I have used Vanna’s Choice

Hook: The recommended hook size for the yarn- Here I used a Boye- J-10/6.00MM

Yarn Needle/Darning Needle

Scissors

Stitch Markers (Optional)

Stitches & Abbreviations:

CH- Chain

SK- Skip

SC- Single Crochet

DC- Double Crochet

SHL- Shell Stitch

H-SHL- Half-Shell Stitch

REP- Repeat

( )- Total Stitch Count at the End of the Row

Notes:

Make only one Stitch in the Stitch below unless specifically instructed to create more than one Stitch.

There are two Half-Shells on the odd number rows. I will label them H-SHL-1 and H-SHL-2. H-SHL-1 is the half-shell created at the beginning of the row, it is created by 3 Chain stitches and two Double Crochet stitches. H-SHL-2 is at the end of the row and is created by 3 Double Crochet stitches.

CH 23.

Row One:

In the fourth Chain from the hook create two Double Crochet stitches in the same Chain.

The Chain three and the two Double Crochet stitches are going to create our first Half-Shell of Row One.

Count three Chains. Create a Single Crochet in the third Chain.

There should be two empty Chains between the Half-Shell and the Single Crochet.

Count three Chains. In the third Chain you will create your first full Shell. To create the Shell you will crochet 5 Double Crochet stitches in the third Chain.

Count three Chains. Create a Single Crochet in the third Chain.

Count three Chains. Create five Double Crochet stitches (One Shell) in the third Chain.

Count three Chains. Create a Single Crochet in the third Chain.

In the last Chain (not the Slip Knot) create three Double Crochet stitches (Half-Shell) in that Chain.

That is the end of Row One. Chain one. Turn.

Row Two:

The shells in Row Two will be created in the Single Crochets of Row One. Create five Double Crochet stitches (One Shell) in the first Single Crochet of Row One.

As in Row One we will create a Single Crochet between the Shell Stitches. The Single Crochet stitches will be created on the middle (third Double Crochet) of the Shell from Row One.

Create a Shell Stitch (5 Double Crochet stitches) in the next Single Crochet.

Single Crochet into the third Double Crochet of the Shell below.

Create a Shell Stitch (5 Double Crochet stitches) in the next Single Crochet.

At the end of the row, Single Crochet into the top/third chain of the chain three (that we counted as Double Crochet.

Chain Three. Turn.

Row Three:

Count the Chain three as a Double Crochet. Crochet two Double Crochet Stitches into the turning space.

You have created the Half-Shell that is the beginning of the Row.

Single Crochet into the third Double Crochet of the Shell below.

Create a Shell Stitch (5 Double Crochet stitches) in the next Single Crochet.

Single Crochet into the third Double Crochet of the Shell below.

Create a Shell Stitch (5 Double Crochet stitches) in the next Single Crochet.

Single Crochet into the third Double Crochet of the Shell below.

Create three Double Crochet stitches (Half-Shell) in the turning chain at the end of the Row.

Pattern:

Foundation:

Multiples of Nine + Four (or Five if you do not want to use the Slip Knot as stitch)

Row One:

Count CH 3 as first DC. 2 DC in fourth CH from hook. (H-SHL-1 created) SK 2 CH. SC in third CH. SK 2 CH. 5 DC in third CH. (SHL created). SK 2 CH. SC in third CH. SK 2 CH. SHL in third CH. SK 2 CH. SC in third CH. SK 2 CH. H-SHL-2 in final CH. CH One. Turn. (2 H-SHL, 3 SC, 2 SHL)

Row Two:

Count CH as first SC. SK 2 DC. 5 DC/SHL in SC of previous Row. SK 2 DC. SC in third DC of SHL. SK 2 DC, SHL in SC of previous Row. SK 2 DC. SC in third DC of SHL. SK 2 DC, SHL in SC of previous Row. SK 2 DC. SC in the top CH of the CH 3. (3 SHL, 4 SC)

REP Row One and Row Two until the project is as long as you want it to be.

What do you think of the Shell Stitch? Do you have any additional advice on how to create the Shell Stitch? Have any stitches you would like to learn?

Popcorn Stitch

I love when things are named after food, it is so evocative. Popcorn. If you are picturing what I am picturing, you see puffy, light, semi-round, pop, and the Popcorn Stitch is very much like that. When we created the Bobble stitch, it created a dense stitch that is in line with the other stitches, but the Popcorn Stitch creates a stitch pops up above the other stitches. This stitch is made with Double Crochet, check out this post for a refresher on how to create the Double Crochet Stitch.

Materials:

Yarn: Medium (4) Weight Yarn- Here I have used Vanna’s Choice Hook: The recommended hook size for the yarn- Here I used a Boye- J-10/6.00MM Yarn Needle/Darning Needle Scissors Stitch Markers (Optional)

Stitches & Abbreviations:

CH- Chain DC- Double Crochet   SLST- Slip Stitch YO- Yarn Over

Foundation:

Chain an even number of stitches.

Notes:

Make only one Stitch in the Stitch below unless specifically instructed to create more than one Stitch.

Pattern:

R1: Count 2 CH as first DC. DC across the row. Turn. R2: CH 2, count as first DC. Now create the Popcorns. DC in 2nd DC of R1. Create 4 more DC in the same stitch. To create the Popcorn you are going to “fold” this Shell in half. To do this remove your hook from the top of the fifth DC of the Shell and insert the hook into the back-loop of the first DC of the Shell. Feed your hook from the first DC to the fifth DC. Insert your hook into the loop you dropped when you pulled your hook from the top of the last DC. You will now have two loops on your hook. YO and pull through the two loops. Ta-da, you have made a Popcorn Stitch. On your next row, R3, you will need to crochet into the top of the Popcorn Stitch. When we created the Popcorn, we “folded” the Shell. When we did this we pulled a loop through the first and fifth DC, it is this loop that you are going to crochet into. On the back of the Popcorn, find these two loops. YO (we are creating a DC) then insert your hook under the two loops on the back of the Popcorn., make your DC.     Do you enjoy making the Popcorn Stitch? Have stitch you would like to see a tutorial for? Let’s talk!

Bobble Stitch

I think it was about seven years ago that I learned how to make the Bobble Stitch. I had just started reading patterns and using them to make projects. I had chosen patterns where I already knew how to do the stitches. Then I wanted to make my grandmother a blanket and I really liked a blanket with bobble, I loved the look. Bobbles were just so different from the other stitches that I knew how to make, namely because they are round. All the other stitches that I knew how to make created lines, but round stitches, that would up my crochet game. I had been able to read, look at rudimentary drawings and talk with friends, when I learned how to create every stitch, until the Bobble Stitch. The directions said to yarn-over and pull-up and I had no idea what that meant, and my traditional resources could not make it make sense to me. This was the first time I turned to the internet for answers to a crochet problem. I spent a few days looking for a satisfactory answer, and then one day, before a class, remember I love to bring my crochet with me everywhere, I finally found an answer that made the stitch make sense to me. Years later I make this stitch all the time, here is how I make a bobble stitch.   I usually make a Bobble Stitch in conjunction with Half-Double (HDC) or Double Crochet (DC) Stitches. The beanie pictured herein is made with HDC, but I my instructional pictures use DC. Chain an even number of stitches. R1: Count first 2 CH as DC. DC in 3rd CH from hook and DC across. Turn. Now to learn how to make a Bobble Stitch. (R2) You are going to Yarn-Over (YO), this is the same way that you would start a HDC or DC. Insert your hook into the second DC of R1, again just like you would to create a HDC or DC. You are going to YO, again just like you would to create a HDC or DC, but this next step is where things change. When you pull-up your yarn, you need to pull-up until the loops on the hook are the height of your chains. Yarn-over (YO). Now, you are going to insert your hook into the same stitch. YO, and pull-up. Again, pull-up until the loops on your hook are the same height as the chains. You should now have 5 loops on your hook. YO, insert hook into same stitch, YO, pull-up. You should now have 7 loops on your hook. You can see that as I add more loops onto my hook it becomes harder to pull the loops to be level with the chains. If you do not pull-up the loops far enough, you will not be able to complete the stitch. You can stop here and make a smaller bobble, but I like bobbles with more definition. So once more, YO, insert hook into same stitch, YO, and pull-up. Now you will have 9 loops on your hook. You can repeat this process to create an even bigger bobble, you will have 11 loops on your hook, but any more than 11 loops is very difficult to work with. To finish the bobble, YO and pull through all the loops on your hook. Here is what the bobbles look like with chain spaces between. With the spaces it is clear, the bobbles are made in only one stitch and the bobbles are cute little round stitches. Here is what the bobbles look like with stitches between them. Happy Bobble Stitch making folks! Are you a fan of the Bobble Stitch? Have some other advice about how to make Bobble Stitches? Let’s talk!

Ribs in the Round

As we have been discussing front-post and back-post double crochet we have reviewed the creation of rectangular, flat projects, like the Waffle Stitch and the Basket Stitch.. But there are times when you may want to use front-post and back-post stitches for a cowl or for a beanie

When making a cowl you can make the cowl flat and connect/sew the ends of the project when you are done, or you can create the cowl in the round

I chose to create a flat project and connect the ends because I wanted the ribs on my cowl to be vertical and not horizontal. If you want to create horizontal ribs you can create the project flat or in the round.

To create this flat project, I crochets a full row of DC, then FPDC, then a full row of BPDC, switching back and forth between FPDC and BPDC until the project was as long as I wanted it to be.

Crocheting the same stitch all the way across the row, then switching, created a project with two very distinct sides. You can see that the one side has vertical ribs, and the other has horizontal post stitches.

If I had chosen to crochet this cowl in the round, I would not have to switch back and forth between FPDC and BPDC, I would choose one or the other, because in the round you do not turn your project. This will make more sense as I explain how to make a ribbed beanie.

I think that for most people round implies circle, and this is true in crochet but there are different ways to create a circle. One of the ways is to create a chain, slip stitch the end of the chain to the beginning of the chain and crochet a tube, like I suggested could be done for the cowl. You can make a beanie like this, from the bottom to the top. But, I am not going to show you how to make a beanie like that today. Nope, today we are going to learn how to make a beanie from the top to the bottom.

Materials:

Yarn: Medium (4) Weight Yarn- Here I have used Vanna’s Choice

Hook: The recommended hook size for the yarn- Here I used a Boye- J-10/6.00MM

Yarn Needle/Darning Needle

Scissors

Stitch Markers (Optional)

Stitches & Abbreviations:

CH- Chain

DC- Double Crochet

FPDC- Front-post Double Crochet

BPDC- Back-post Double Crochet

SLST- Slip Stitch

REP- Repeat

( )- Total Stitch Count at the End of the Row

Foundation:

Joined Chains. Odd number of DC in R1.

Notes:

Make only one Stitch in the Stitch below unless specifically instructed to create more than one Stitch.

Pattern:

CH 4. Join the last CH to the Slip Knot to create a circle.

For R1 you are going to crochet inside the small circle you just created, do not crochet in the chains of the circle.

R1. 12 DC in the circle. Join with a Slip Stitch.

For R2 we are going to crochet two stiches on to the same stitch.

R2: CH 2 (Count as DC). On the next First DC of R1, you will 2 FPDC. Crochet 2 FPDC around each DC of R1 across the round. You will end with 25 stitches. Join with a Slip Stitch.

R3: CH 2 (Count as DC) FPDC onto the FPDC of R2 and DC between the 2 FPDC of R2.

Repeat around to last FPDC, end on FPDC. (48)

R4: CH 2 (Count as DC). FPDC onto the FPDC of R3. BPDC onto the DC of R3. FPDC, BPDC across round. (48)

REP R4 until project is as long as you want it to be.

This beanie will fit most medium to large heads, the ribs make the sizing very flexible.

If you want to make a smaller beanie crochet fewer DC in R1.

If you want to make a larger beanie crochet more DC in R1.

Basket(weave) Stitch

I want to continue today with front-post and back-post double crochet stitch patterns. As I have explained, to become excellent at any stitch you need to practice and I like to practice by learning variations. We have discussed how to create rib and waffle stitches using front-post and back-post double crochet, today we are going to review the Basket Stitch or Basket Weave Stitch.

The Basket Stitch is great for so many projects, but especially for projects where you want the pattern on both sides of the project.

The Waffle Stitch creates a pattern on one side of the project, this is great for pillow cases, blankets, beanies, but is not as dynamic on a scarf. The Basket Stitch is perfect if you are looking for a more dynamic stitch.

The Basket Stitch is so named because the finished project looks like a woven basket.

With this stitch, front-post and back-post double crochets are grouped, usually in sets of four wide stitches wide by five rows high. By this I am not implying that you create this pattern in squares and connect them, you will work down the row in the traditional fashion.

When you are creating this stitch, more than with the other stitches I have reviewed in the past few weeks, you must be vigilant with your counts, fortunately, the stitch will show you when you have messed up. This is the first stitch where you might want to break out the stitch markers to help you keep count.

Materials:

Yarn: Medium (4) Weight Yarn- Here I have used Vanna’s Choice

Hook: The recommended hook size for the yarn- Here I used a Boye- J-10/6.00MM

Yarn Needle/Darning Needle

Scissors

Stitch Markers (optional)

Stitches & Abbreviations:

CH- Chain

DC- Double Crochet

FPDC- Front-post Double Crochet

BPDC- Back-post Double Crochet

REP- Repeat

( )- Total Stitch Count at the End of the Row

Foundation:

Chain multiples of 4

Notes:

I use 2 Chains to create the first Double Crochet on every row, except for Row One

Make only one Stitch in the Stitch below unless specifically instructed to create more than one Stitch.

Each row will end in a DC.

I do not crochet in the slip knot at the beginning of the chain row.

Pattern:

CH 40. Turn.

R1: Count 3 CH as first DC, DC in 4th CH from hook. DC in next 35. (36 DC) Turn.

R2: Ch 2 (Count as first DC). 3 FPDC.4 BPDC. 4 FPDC. 4 BPDC. 4 FPDC. 3 BPDC. DC in the last stitch.

R3: Ch 2 (Count as first DC). 3 BPDC.4 FPDC. 4 BPDC. 4 FPDC. 4 BPDC. 3 FPDC. DC in the last stitch.

R4: REP R2.

R5: REP R3.

R6: REP R2.

(You have created your first set of “weave”. As you switch from FPDC to BPDC you kept the weave in each group on the same side of the project. Next you will reverse your weave and reverse your steps)

R7: REP R2.

R8: REP R3.

R9: REP R2.

R10: REP R3.

R11: REP R2.

(You have completed your second set of “weave”. You should now have two sets of squares completed that face opposite directions. Now you will repeat.)

REP R2-R11 until your project is as long as you want it to be.

Fasten off. Weave in ends.

I like my Basket Stitch projects to be squares and while this is my favorite variation of the Basket Stitch, you can create 2×2 weaves, 6×6 weaves, 8×8 weaves, or you can create rectangular weaves (keep them in multiples of two or four for the best results).

Do you have a favorite Basket Stitch variation you like to use? Have other front-post and back-post stitch variations that you would like to learn? Let’s talk.

Waffles and Ribs

I grew up in Sparks, Nevada. Although the lines between Reno, Nevada and Sparks, Nevada are hazy and Sparks is often the proverbial step-child to Reno, Sparks is a distinct and vibrant city unto itself. Sparks was founded by the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) in 1903-04 when the railroad realigned its tracks for a more efficient route, moving their hub from Wadsworth, NV to what is now Sparks, NV. “The town was variously called East Reno, Glendale, and Harriman. The towns folk finally named the new city ‘Sparks’ in honor of then sitting Nevada Governor John Sparks. The Governor threw a barbecue for all at his Alamo Ranch south of Reno.” I learned all of this and more from the Sparks Museum. It is worth the time (and the $5 for adults) to go into the museum. But, if you want to read a quick history of Sparks this article from Nevada Magazine is a quick and informative read.

Sparks has few claims to fame but the best known is the Best In the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off, fitting given how Sparks got its name. The Rib-Cook off began in 1989 and now hosts almost half a million people. I have heard that it is the largest out-door barbecue festival in the world (but I didn’t know if this is true). The Rib-Cook Off was one of my favorite events to attend during my childhood; it signalled the ending of summer, and brought in food from around the country.

With the addition of the Marina, the Outlets at Legends and the Shops at the Galleria/Sparks Crossing, Sparks today looks like a veritable mecca of food, shops and entertainment as compared to the Sparks of my youth. I remember celebrating when the Outback opened. Hallelujah, there was one more restaurant in Sparks. (Notice that it is a barbecue-style restaurant). One of my favorite Sparks restaurants today is the Great Basin Brewing Co. opened in 1993, which makes them Nevada’s oldest operating brewery. I have recently become a Yelper. https://chelseahahn.yelp.com/

But this post is not entirely about food, it is also about crochet. Last week, I explained how to make front-post and back-post double crochet. Today I want to show you some of the fantastic patterns that you can create with front- and back-post double crochet, Rib Stitches (see what I did there) and Waffle Stitches (I know that it is traditionally Chicken and Waffles, but there is no chicken stitch in crochet).

Single-Side Ribs

Double crochet is one of the stitches that I use most often, but there are times when I want add just a bit of texture to my project. I do this most often with what I call Single-Side Ribs. Single-Side Ribs are composed of double crochet, front-post double crochet and back-post double crochet. I tend to space my ribs with two or three double crochets between the front-post and back-post double crochets.

To create Single-Side Ribs, like I show in my example, you need to chain a multiple of three plus two chains. Count two chains (CH) as first double crochet (DC), then double crochet into the third chain from your hook. Double crochet across each chain. If you need a refresher on how to create a double crochet, review this post. When you count your double crochets you should have a multiple of three. You lose the plus to to the creation of the first double crochet (DC). After creating the first row of double crochet stitches, chain two and turn.

Row two will start will a double crochet, then you will create a front-post double crochet (FPDC). If you need to review how to make it, review my post on front-post and back-post double crochets. Then crochet two double crochets, then a front-post double crochet (FPDC) across your pattern for as many multiples of three as you chained. You will end with a double crochet. You will use back-post double (BPDC) crochet in row three.

To make this you will need:

Materials:

Yarn: Medium (4) Weight Yarn- Here I have used Vanna’s Choice
Hook: The recommended hook size for the yarn- Here I used a Boye- J-10/6.00MM
Yarn Needle/Darning Needle
Scissors

Stitches & Abbreviations:

CH- Chain
DC- Double Crochet
FPDC- Front-post Double Crochet
BPDC- Back-post Double Crochet
REP- Repeat
( )- Total Stitch Count at the End of the Row

Foundation:

Chain multiples of 3+ 2

Notes:

I use 2 Chains to create the first Double Crochet on every row.
Every row ends with a Double Crochet.
Make only one Stitch in the Stitch below unless specifically instructed to create more than one Stitch.
I do not crochet in the slip knot at the beginning of the chain row.

Pattern:

CH 17. Turn
R1: Count 2 CH as first DC, DC in 3rd CH from hook. DC in next 14 CH. (15 DC total) Turn.
R2: Ch 2 (Count as first DC). FPDC. 2 DC. FPDC. 2 DC. FPDC. 2 DC. FPDC. 2 DC. FPDC. DC. (15 Total)
R3: Ch 2 (Count as first DC). BPDC. 2 DC. BPDC. 2 DC. BPDC. 2 DC. BPDC. 2 DC. BPDC. DC. (15 Total)
Repeat (REP) R2 and R3 until your work is as long as you want it to be.

Rib(bed) Stitch

One of the easiest front-post double crochet (FPDC) and back-post double crochet (BPDC) patterns to create is the Rib Stitch or Ribbed Stitch.

You can see that I made this scarf in a Rib Stitch. This is a super scarf, it is very wide and very long, but not very heavy. I love when I can make a scarf so large it can substitute as a blanket, but it doesn’t feel like a weight around your neck. To make this scarf I used Red Heart Super Saver Yarn in Icelandic (the variegated yarn) and Dark Grey.

To make this you will need:

Materials:

Yarn: Medium (4) Weight Yarn- Here I have used Vanna’s Choice
Hook: The recommended hook size for the yarn- Here I used a Boye- J-10/6.00MM
Yarn Needle/Darning Needle
Scissors

Stitches & Abbreviations:

CH- Chain
DC- Double Crochet
FPDC- Front-post Double Crochet
BPDC- Back-post Double Crochet
REP- Repeat
( )- Total Stitch Count at the End of the Row

Foundation:

Chain an even number.

Notes:

I use 2 Chains to create the first Double Crochet on every row.
Every row ends with a Double Crochet.
Make only one Stitch in the Stitch below unless specifically instructed to create more than one Stitch.
I do not crochet in the slip stitch at the beginning of the chain row.

Pattern:

CH 16. Turn.
R1: Count 2 CH as first DC (here and throughout the pattern), DC in 3rd CH from hook. DC in next 13 CH (14 DC). Turn.
R2: CH 2. FPDC. BPDC. (REP 5 more times). DC in last stitch. (14)
R3: CH 2. BPDC. FPDC. (REP 5 more times). DC in last stitch. (14)
REP R2 and R3 for as many rows as you would like.

Waffle Stitch

The Waffle Stitch has a few variations, find one that you like, this is the one that I like.

To make this you will need:

Materials:

Yarn: Medium (4) Weight Yarn- Here I have used Vanna’s Choice
Hook: The recommended hook size for the yarn- Here I used a Boye- J-10/6.00MM
Yarn Needle/Darning Needle
Scissors

Stitches & Abbreviations:

CH- Chain
DC- Double Crochet
FPDC- Front-post Double Crochet
BPDC- Back-post Double Crochet
REP- Repeat
( )- Total Stitch Count at the End of the Row

Foundation:

Chain an even number.

Notes:

I use 2 Chains to create the first Double Crochet on every row.
Every row ends with a Double Crochet.
Make only one Stitch in the Stitch below unless specifically instructed to create more than one Stitch.
I do not crochet in the slip knot at the beginning of the chain row.

Pattern:

CH 18.
R1: Count 2 CH as first DC (here and throughout the pattern), DC in 3rd CH from hook.. DC across. (16 DC)
R2: CH 2. 2 FPDC. DC. (REP 4 more times). (16)
R3: CH 2. 2 DC. FPDC. (REP 3 more times). 3 DC. (16)
REP R2 and R3 as many times as you want.

 

Do you like to eat waffles or ribs? Have you made crochet projects in the waffle or rib stitch? Let’s talk.

Front-Post and Back-Post Double Crochet Stitches

Now that we have covered the foundation stitches, single crochet, half-double, double, and triple crochet stitches, we can move into more complex stitches that build on these stitches.

Front-post and back-post crochet stitches are great for adding texture to a project. The stitches make the project thicker, but not overwhelmingly thick, because the stitches are kind of squishy.

In this example I am going to create front- and back-post double crochet stitches. You can front- and back-post on all stitches, where you have to yarn-over before inserting the hook into the stitch of the previous row. In other words, you cannot front- or back-post with single crochets, chains, slip stitches or any variants similar to these.

I have chained three, to create the first double crochet, then double crocheted in two stitches. At this point, I am going to begin a front-post double crochet. The difference between a front-post and a back-post stitch is only what side of the project the stitch is made on. Front-post stitches are made on the side of the project that faces you while you are crocheting and back-post stitches on the side of the project facing away from you.

With a traditional double crochet, we create the stitch in the heart at the top of the stitch of the previous row, pulling through the front-loop, the back-loop or both loops. Do not confuse the loops with the posts.

To create a front-post stitch we are going to crochet around the stitch of the previous row, this means we are going to insert the hook underneath the stitch and pull the yarn around the stitch. Once you have the yarn looped around the stitch, you make the double crochet as you normally would.

For this project, I chained (ch) three, created two double crochet (dc) stitches, then I created two front-post double crochet stitches (fpdc), 2dc, 2fpdc, 2dc, 2fpdc, 3dc.

To keep the stitches on the same side of the project, you will need to alternate between front-post and back-post stitches. For the pattern, this means that each fpdc will need to be changed to a back-post double crochet (bpdc).

To create a back-post double crochet you will need to insert your hook around the stitch like you did for the front -post, but now you should approach the project from the side of the project facing away from you. Again, how you start this stitch is what makes it unique, otherwise you create the double crochet as normal.

Continuing this pattern will create a project with two very distinct looking sides. The one side of the project will have the raised post-crochets. On the other side you can see where the yarn is wrapped around the stitches. I love the variety of looks that this simple stitch can create. I will show some of them to you in my next post.

Are you a fan of front-post and back-post stitches? What is your favorite project you have made using them? Have any other tips or tricks for explaining front- and back-post stitches? Let’s Talk!

Changing Colors and Weaving-in Ends

changing colors

Most yarns are a singular color, to add another color into a project you will need to change yarn. After creating however many rows of whatever color you want, and you have decided to change colors, work your project to the last stitch of the row.

In this example I have created double crochet stitches. Before yarning over and pulling through the last two loops on the hook, stop. Take your yarn and cut a 4- to 6-inch tail. Leave the tail for now.

Now, it is time to add the next color. Make a tail between 4 and 6 inches, then grab the yarn with the crochet hook and pull the yarn through the final two loops on the hook of the primary color. Chain the appropriate number of chains for the stitch you are going to make and crochet down the row.

You can foresee, the more times you change colors, the more tails you will have to weave in. Some people weave-in ends as they go, I try to be one of these people, but I don’t always succeed. Sometimes I get to the end of the project and have so very many ends to weave-in, ugh.

 

weaving in ends

Weaving in ends is my least favorite thing about crochet. I think it may be every crochet makers least favorite part of crochet. In the blanket for my mom, I changed colors a lot, eight times in fact. And, I didn’t understand how to properly weave-in ends, so on top of having kindergarten lines along the sides of the project, I have little knots and frayed yarn all over the project.

So, what do you need to weave-in ends? A needle, of course. When I first started I only saw plastic yarn needles at the store and I broke them, ALL THE TIME. Then one day I was yarn shopping and saw metal yarn needles and weaving in ends was made slightly better. I would recommend you buy the metal yarn needles. I bought two sizes, the smaller one is better for smaller size yarns, and the larger one is better for chunkier yarns.

Feed the yarn through the yarn needle, then feed the yarn through the project, about half the length of the tail.

At the half-way point of the tail, you will need to feed the yarn back through the project.

When creating stitches, we yarn-over and pull through loops on the hook. In the project then, there are areas of two loops close together, this is the area where you want to weave- in ends.

To anchor the yarn appropriately, you should feed the yarn under one of the loops and then feed it over the first loop and under the second loop. Like I said, this is ideal. If you cannot find the loops or you don’t care to find the loops, it won’t be the end of the world. Weaving-in ends is about feeding the tails through the project in a way that hides the tail most effectively, but also it is about ensuring that your project doesn’t fall apart. It is so important, just really not any fun.

Do you have a secret way to make weaving in ends any better? Do you have a song suggestion that would make it better? How often do you change colors in your projects? Do you have techniques for changing colors that I didn’ discuss here? Let’s talk!

Foundation Stitches: Half-Double, Double and Triple Crochet

While working on that incredibly large blanket for my mother, I got really good at single crochet stitches, and got really bored with single crochet stitches. I have not completed another project of the same magnitude with a just one kind of stitch; when I make blankets now, I make them smaller and tend to use a variety of stitches.

I cannot understate just how important single, half-double, double and triple crochet stitches are. You will want to take the time to practice these stitches, make these stitches until all your stitches look the same. I promise it is worth it.

When I described how to make single crochet stitches, I explained that stitches can be made in the front-loop, in the back-loop, or through both loops. This is also true for the stitches that I will show you today. However, now and in future tutorials, I will go through both loops, this is the more traditional way to make projects.

Half-double crochet stitches

 

 

In these photos I created a row of single crochet stitches and built the half-double, double and triple crochet stitches onto that row.

 

When making half-double crochets you start with a chain, of one or two stitches. Most instructions will tell you to start with two chains, I like to start with a chain of one. Because I’m different.

 

 

 

When you turn your project, you will need to decide which stitch on the row below you want to crochet into. It is most often recommended that you begin working into the second stitch of the first row. The chains created serve as the first stitch in the row. You can choose to begin working in the first stitch in the row, I do, this is why I only chain one (for half-double crochet stitches).

 

 

 

Unlike with a single crochet, to make a half-double (and double) crochet you will need to yarn-over (once) before you insert your hook under both loops. Once your hook is under both loops, you will need to yarn-over and pull the yarn up, you will now have three (3) loops on your hook.  To finish the half-double crochet, you will yarn-over and then pull through all three loops on the hook.  Pulling through all three loops will leave you with one loop on your hook, and a completed half-double crochet stitch.  You will repeat this process all the way down the row.

 

 

double crochet stitches

When making double crochet stiches you start with a chain, of two or three chains. Most instructions will tell you to start with three chains. Starting with two will make your edges tighter, which may or may not be something you like. I mentioned that double crochet stitches start the same way as half-double crochet stitches.

 

You will need to yarn-over and insert your hook under both loops of the stitch in the row below. As I explained with the half-double crochet, you can begin your row in the first stitch of the row below or the second. With double crochet stitches, unlike half-double crochet stitches, I start my double crochet in the second stitch of the row below. I count the three chains at the beginning of the row as the first double crochet of the row. There is an active conversation about which is the “right” place to start your row and whether you should count the chains as a stitch. I don’t think that everyone will ever agree, so you get to decide. Just make sure that you keep it consistent throughout your project and count your stitches.

Then you will need to yarn-over and pull-up, you will now have three loops on the hook, just as with the half-double crochet, but here is where the stitches differ.

When you yarn-over to pull through the loops, you will only pull through the first two loops on the hook. This will leave you with two loops on the hook. You will yarn-over and pull through the remaining two loops on the hook. You have just completed a double crochet stitch. Now repeat.

Ch 3, y-o, insert hook, y-o, pull-up, y-o, pull through two, y-o, pull through two.

When you get to the end of the row you will need to make your last stitch in the top chain of your turning chain. Double crochet, chain three, turn and begin your next row.

 

 

triple crochet stitches

 

Triple crochet, also referred to as treble crochet, starts with three or four chains. When you start half-double and double crochet stitch, you begin by yarning over once, but with triple crochet stitches, you will yarn-over twice.

You will insert your hook into the second stitch of the row below, just like with the double crochet stitches.

 

 

Then you will yarn-over and pull-up, this will leave you with four loops on your hook. You will yarn-over and pull through two loops, three loops left on hook. You will yarn-over and pull through two loops, two loops left on hook. Yarn-over and pull through the final two loops.

Now you have created a triple crochet. Repeat across the row.

Chain four, insert hook, yarn-over, pull-up, yarn-over, pull through two, yarn-over, pull through two, yarn-over, pull through two.

Now you have learned now to make the four foundation stitches: single, half-double, double and triple crochet stitches. Do you have techniques for creating these stitches that I didn’t mention? Have questions still about how to make these stitches? Let’s talk!

 

 

 

Foundation Stitches: The Single Crochet Stitch

The first crochet project I ever started was a blanket for my mother’s birthday. A blanket as a first project is not what I would recommend, start smaller. If you do decide to make a blanket as your first project, I would not make it in a single crochet stitch, like I did. Single crochet is one of the foundation stitches in crochet. When created it makes a small knot, that sometimes looks like a small flower.

After creating a traditional chain you can build stitches onto the chain. If you are using a pattern it might read chain (ch) 26, turn, single crochet (sc) 25 stitches. You will see that you chained 26, but you will end up with only 25 single crochet stitches, why is this? Well, if you tried to crochet into the last chain that you may just cause yourself to undo the final chain.

 

However, the more traditional answer is that the final chain becomes the “step” up to the next row. In crochet this chain is called the turning chain (t-ch). So, we will begin creating our first single crochet in the second to last chain.

 

The chains, as you can see, look like a sideways zero, or an eyeball, to me they have always looked like hearts. I will use the heart description. To begin the single crochet, insert your hook into the middle of the heart and push the top side of the heart over the crochet hook. You can see that you will have two loops on your hook.

Next, you are going to yarn-over (yo), take your crochet hook, place it under the yarn and loop the yarn over the hook, of the crochet hook.

 

Now you will pull the yarn through both loops on the hook.

That is how you create a single crochet. You will repeat this across the chain. Insert hook into the middle of the heart, push one loop of the chain over the hook. There will be two loops on the hook. Yarn-over and pull the yarn through the two loops on the hook.

 

After you have completed a series of single crochet stitches across the chain, it will be time to turn the project again. Flat projects must be turned at the end of each row because it is very difficult to crochet backward across the row, turning the project makes it easy to create the next row.

As I was explaining previously, at the end of each row we need to create a step up to begin the next row, in other words, we need to make one chain at the end of the row. When we turn to make our second row of single crochet we have three ways we can create the row.  Along the top of our single crochet you can see the hearts, like the hearts of the chain, these hearts will appear on the top of all crochet stitches.

 

 

When you are crocheting, these are referred to as front-loop, back-loop and both loops. The back-loop is the loop that is nearest the body when crocheting, the front-loop the other. When you crochet you can crochet through just the front-loop, just the back-loop, alternate between front and back-loops, or crochet through both loops.

Crocheting through the front or back-loops will create stripes across the project. When you alternate between crocheting in the back-loop and the front-loop the stripes will stay on one side of the project, the side with the stripes can be referred to as the right side (RS) and the back, without stripes can be referred to as the wrong side (WS).

 

If you crochet in only the back-loop or only the front-loop then the stripes will appear on both sides of the project, on the RS and the WS. You can see that the stripes created by alternating loops or by only crocheting in one loop are different. I prefer the stripes when they appear on both sides, i.e. when I crochet in the back-loop only.

The final way to create single crochet is by crocheting through both loops. Crocheting through both loops with not create any stripes, because there will not be one loop left, which is how the stripes are made. Crocheting through both loops creates a tighter project.

Now you know how to create a single crochet, one of the foundation stitches in crochet.

Do you have other advice on how to create single crochet? Do you have a favorite project made in single crochet? Still have questions about single crochet you need answered? Let’s talk!